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Sadly the day we drove through Penedono the castle was closed, but it was beautiful none the less. The following link has some nice photos and also a map of the area.
Written Sep 4, 2011
In the center and highest part of Penedono stands its imposing castle -- small in terms of area relative to most castles, but impressive in height, design and build, as well as importance in the Portugal's early history. Its unique form has remained unchanged all these centuries, and has kept its medieval architectural design. The castle as it is at present is a result of a reconstruction in the 14th century, but its basic structure goes back many centures past.
In 998 AD, a reconstruction was already undertaken as part of the Reconquest (when the Christians were trying to conquer back the Iberian Peninsula from the Arabs), when it was necessary to establish Christian communities here. Penedono was a crucial fort and castle as it stood on the frontier, and it exchanged hands between occupiers many times. The definitive reconquest of Penedono took place in the 11th century through Fernando Magno, king of Leon. With the formation of the young country, Penedono passed into the hands of the new sovereign, Dom Alfonso II, in 1190.
The castle is only 70m in area, has an irregular hexagonal shape, the crenellations are pyramidal shaped (rather than flat, which is the usual case), and made of granite and schist rock. There is not much to see inside the castle, but the views from the parapet, of the countryside around is great. To enter the door is a bit tricky as is not a straightforward way, the passage to it is over a few huge rocks, so negotiating the entrance for the elderly or handicapped might be difficult. Just at the foot of the castle is the town's tall and impressive pillory whose height and more intricate design attest to the importance of Penedono in the medieval ages. To its left is the tourist information center.
The castle is unique one of the most beautiful castles in Portugal. It is classified as a National Monument.
Updated May 30, 2010
Address: District of Viseu, Northeastern part of Portugal
Driving from Villa Nova de Foz Coa to Lamego, we drove through Penedono and Meda. The link here shows a photo from the Morro da Torre itself.
The town of Meda was not in the VT database, so I have added it here. The panoramic view from here was fantastic, but sadly my photos were not nice.
The other photo here is from the same town of Meda, showing one of the old stone farmhouses right alongside the more modern whitewashed apartment building.
Written Sep 4, 2011