5Km from the village of Porto de Mós, in S. Jorge, stands the millitary camp of S. Jorge.
This was the place where the Royal Battle (Batalha Real) or Battle of Aljubarrota took place on August 14th of 1385. This battle against the King of Castilla was of extreme importance for the portuguese nation.
To celebrate the victory, D. Nuno Álvares Pereira gave the order to build this Chapel.
Of course the legend is much more beautiful: In the day of the Battle, there were the two armies, the portuguese and the castillean, face to face. 22000 castilleans and 7000 portuguese, but even if it was a big difference the castilleans were hesitating, impressed with the mystical serenity of the portuguese. They stood like that for hours, and then the castilleans advanced but without any result.. the portuguese resisted. Desperate, the castilleans, knowing that there was a big wild beast in the vicinity they decided to search for it and use it in their side. In the search party was a known wizard that captured and hipnotized the beast that agreed to help the castilleans. They placed it in front of the portuguese army and the monster started to kill everyone in front of him! But then D. João I evoked the assistance of his patron S. Jorge and the Virgin Mary, with all his faith. And then S. Jorge came down from the skies riding his horse and surrounded by a ball of fire, jumping over the beast with his spear. After defeating the beast, S. Jorge turned against the castilleans helping the portuguese to win the battle. And this was the reason that the Chapel was built and where a sculpture of S. Jorge riding his horse killing the beast was placed.
5Km distance from the village of Porto de Mós, in a place called Alqueidão da Serra, is located a roman road that has 9Km long.
The original name of Porto de Mós was Portus de Molis, more than two thousand years ago when the river Lena was still able for navigation and when the romans embarked the millstones (Mós) carved on the local quarries. The period between 200 AC and 300 DC is strongly marked by the iron exploration on the mines of Alqueidão da Serra.
The four meters wide idicates that this mining center was very important for the romans.
Not far from the chapel, these medieval snares, known as Covas do Lobo, can be found. It consisted of numerous holes on the ground (today they're covered to avoid degradation) that had the purpose of delaying the enemy cavalry. We could call it the 14th century mines!!!
In this plaque, with gothic letters, is written:
ERA:DE MIL:E QUATROCENT'
E TRINTA:E HUU:ANOS:NUNAL
EELA:A ONRA:DA VIRGE:MARIA:POR
QUE:EN O:DIA: QUE:SE:FEZ:AQI: A BA
TALHA QUE:ELREY:DE PORTUGAL:OUVE:CÕ:ELREY
wich can be roughly translated to In this year of 1431, Nun'Alvares Pereira, Condestável, gave order to built this Chapel in honor to Virgin Mary, because on the day of the battle that opposed the King of Portugal to the King of Castilla, his flag was placed here
This date, 1431, was in accordance with the Hispanic Era which means that we have to subtract 38 years, thus the result is 1393 A.D., the year when the Chapel was built.
In 1735 one of the five towers fell and, between 1755 and 1770 the earthquakes partially destroyed the castle. Only three very ruined towers stood up and the south side of the balcony also fell. In 1909 a new earthquake destroys three of the balcony arcades, leaving its vaults at sight.
The southern towers were completely restored during the 1930's.
The castle, placed on a high point, dominates the village and it can be seen from a considerable distance.
After its conquest to the Moors by D. Afonso Henriques in 1148, it had lately regain its actual characteristics due to the changes done by D. Sancho I, D. Dinis and D. Afonso, Count of Ourém. Due to the moorish attacks and later the earthquakes only three towers from the original five still remain.
In the fifteenth century, D. Afonso, Count of Ourém, adapted it to a palace, therefore defining the towers that turned it into such an original castle.
Recovering works started in 1930 and today the castle is one of the most singular ones of the country.
This monument gathers original millstones found all through the municipality and it's the true symbol of the village
The castle is open to visits everyday, except mondays, til 5:30pm. The visit is free of charge and inside the castle a small bar and a souvenir shop can be found.
This beautiful building dominates the square where the Town Hall is located. Seen from the middle of the square the Castle can be seen just behind this building.
In 1940 these green pyramids were added to the two south towers and gave the castle this unique look