Sabugal Castle, Guarda, Portugal
Sabugal Castle or Castelo do Sabugal was built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The monumental medieval fortress dominates the village, rising above the river Côa with panoramic views of the Sierra Malcata mountain range. The site has a rich history, populated since prehistoric times, fought over by the Moors, Christians, Jews until it became an official possession of Portugal due to the Alcanices Treaty in 1297. Sabugal castle is very well preserved and one of five in the area on the the route of castles.
The fortification is gargantuan. With four towers in the vertexes, a citadel the imposing walls hold a keep over 20m high! The castle is also known as ‘Castelo dos Cinco Quinas’ due to the unusual format of its keep which a pentagonal shape with five corners. The castle has even been used as a cemetery when it was abandoned and fell into disrepair from the mid 1800’s until its restoration from the mid 1900’s. Most recently an auditorium has been installed inside the castle for summer concerts.
We visited the castle on a cold November morning, the boys weren’t very impressed with the cutting wind but the towering castle doors were open and we were the only visitors. The boys were eventually coaxed to climb up the never-ending steps and we were all rewarded by the spectacular mountainous views. The boys soon warmed to the castle, pretended to be knights and drove their armoured cars (their idea) speedily around the castle walls. Castelo do Sabugal, an imposing structure and a great place for kids to explore and patrol the ramparts.
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