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A totally unique village setting
A little out of the way - may be too quiet for some!
In a nutshell
Worth going out of your way!
As with the other castles that we had visited to that point during our trip (Sintra, Aljezur, Monsaraz and Marvao), Monsanto started life as fortified settlement on top of the highest peak they could find. This area of Portugal had been part of the Roman settlements and there are still remnants of their presence in nearby villages. Over the course of history, the inhabitants of this part of Portugal took to the high ground as they sought to defend themselves during their back-and-forth wars with the Moors 800-1000 years ago. This was our first view of Monsanto, as we prayed for the sun to come through and clear away the clouds - which it did in its own good time!
Updated Jul 14, 2005