Medieval Castle of Montemor-o-Velho in the Coimbra district of Coimbra Portugal

Unveiling the Magnificence of Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho: A Glimpse into Portugal's Rich History

Check out our video from our recent trip to Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho!
Keep reading for more information and photos from our trip to Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho....

Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho metal sign just inside the castle walls

Our recent trip to Montemor-o-Velho led us to the awe-inspiring Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho, a historical gem that has watched over the town for centuries. 

Four children running toward the open castle gates at the medieval castle, Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho

As we stepped through the castle gates, we felt transported back in time, immersing ourselves in a world where knights once roamed the halls and royalty graced the courtyards. This imposing fortress stands as a magnificent testament to Portugal's rich historical heritage, with captivating stories woven into its very walls. 

Portuguese landscape as seen from the Montemor-O-Velho castle

Dating back to the 9th century, Montemor-o-Velho Castle was originally built to defend the region against Moorish invasions. Over the years, the castle underwent significant transformations, resulting in the structure that stands today. Exploring its impressive grounds, we were greeted with a labyrinth of stone walls and towers that offered breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. 

Lush green farmland and fields as seen from the Montemor o Velho Castle in Coimbra Portugal

The awe-inspiring views from Montemor-o-Velho Castle were truly mesmerizing, and so was the view within it's walls. Inside the castle walls, we discovered the Igreja de Santa Maria de Alcáçova, a small church with a rich history dating back to the 11th century. 

The Church of Santa Maria da Alcáçova inside the walls of the Montemor-o-Velho castle in Portugal

Adorned with tiles and sculptures from various eras, the church's interior was a pleasant surprise.

Triptych showing three samples of the tiles found on the walls inside the Igreja de Santa Maria de Alcáçova in Montemor-o-Velho Portugal

Example of tiles found on the walls inside the Igreja de Santa Maria de Alcáçova

The church is small and simple, but the medieval artwork really stood out, and we enjoyed taking our time looking at these historical treasures.  

Interior of the Church of Santa Maria da Alcáçova inside the walls of the Montemor-o-Velho castle in Portugal

This church is decorated with various sculptures from different eras, including the Nossa Senhora do Ó and the Angel of the Annunciation by Mestre Pero, a sculptor (probably of Aragonese origin) that was active in Portugal during the 14th century.

Medieval sculpture of the Virgin Mary, Nossa Senhora do Ó, in the Church of Santa Maria da Alcáçova, in the Castle of Montemor-o-Velho, PortugalNossa Senhora do Ó by Mestre Pero (c.1330-1340)  

In addition to the Church of Santa Maria, we found two other chapels, including the Chapel of Saint Anthony of Montemor-o-Velho, located next to the clock tower. Though currently in ruins, this chapel held its own charm, hinting at its storied past and adding to the castle's captivating aura. 

The ruins of the Chapel of Saint Anthony of Montemor-o-Velho in PortugalChapel of Saint Anthony of Montemor-o-Velho

Plan your visit to Montemor-o-Velho Castle with ease, as it's conveniently located just a short drive from Coimbra and Figueira da Foz. The castle is open to the public and you can check their website for upcoming events, hours and admission fees. And don't forget to take a photo on the baloiço! 

Kids sitting on a swing, baloiço, at the Castle of Montemor-o-Velho in Portugal overlooking the lush countryside.

We were delighted to find that there were no admission or parking fees during our visit, making it even more accessible to families with kids and those looking for budget-friendly adventures. 

View through a hole in the castle walls of Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho framing a tree and tower

Whether you're a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply seeking a captivating cultural experience, Montemor-o-Velho Castle promises to leave an impression on your heart. Soak in the breathtaking views and let the castle's enchanting charm transport you to a bygone era.

A castle tower at Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho with a tree growing along the side

This magnificent fortress stands as a testament to Portugal's enduring legacy, offering an unforgettable journey through time and an opportunity to connect with the country's rich cultural heritage. As you plan your next adventure, don't miss the chance to experience the magnificent Montemor-o-Velho Castle.


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