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Photographer's Note

Set high on the serra of Alto Alentejo near the border with Spain is the tiny village of Marvão with its 13th century castle.

The castle which dominates the village was built by King Dinis in about 1299. Its walls enclose two cisterns and a keep and offer spectacular views south and west towards the Serra de São Mamede and eastward to the Spanish frontier. The village and castle was re-conquered to Christian possessions in 1160 by D. Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal. Located on the frontier between the new born Portuguese kingdom and the enemies of Spain and the Arabs, the castle soon became a very valuable strategic point.

The castle has undergone several modifications over the centuries and it is thought that the current castle is dated from 13th /14th century due to some clear Gothic characteristics including a complex three-stage entrance with three doors and several towers. Due to the wars of the Independence Restoration in the 17th century, the castle was enhanced to cope with the artillery threat by the addition of star-shaped walls.

This castle was considered for several centuries as the most unconquerable of the kingdom as it was totally inaccessible except for one side, and its great height allowed for the troops to monitor approaching threats from and prepare for battle.
The village and castle of Marvão have been nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status.

This was taken last week on my first ever visit to Portugal and I look forward to sharing more photos from this wonderful country.

I have been away from TE for a while and am a bit baffled by the new website. It looks good but it has taken me five attempts just to upload this picture. When will the site be improved to an acceptable standard?

finlay, bibiweb, sacavem, Floydian, nwoehnl, pauloog, alvaraalto, fotka trouve(nt) cette note utile

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Additional Photos by Susanna Leon (sleon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 724 W: 76 N: 2025] (9402)
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