The castle of Marvão is a well-preserved medieval castle , located in the town of Santa Maria de Marvao, in the municipality of Marvao, district of Portalegre, in Portugal.
Although its origin seems to be a Roman fort, the name of Marvao comes from an Andalusian Sufi leader named Ibn Marwan al-Yil`liqui, who rebelled against the Cordovan caliphate and established a kind of independent taifa with capital in Badajoz back in the century IX. It was not until 1226 when Marvao passed into Portuguese hands, reconquered by Sancho II.
his successor Alfonso III gave it in possession to the order of the Hospital, and in 1271 the infant Don Alfonso. But this was too important a place to be out of the control of the crown so, in 1299, Don Dionis subdues his brother Alfonso, and forces him to change Portalegre and Marvao, owned by the infant, by Sintra and Ourem, less strategic value since they were far from the Castilian-Portuguese border. After seizing the castle, Don Dionis undertook a series of improvements to the fortress, including the construction of the keep, begun in 1300.
between 1640 and 1662, Abbot Joao Dama undertook the repairs necessary to put into use damaged sections of the wall, as well as the barbican, doors and other areas that were practically in ruins. However, while the works lasted, the square suffered Spanish attacks from Valencia de Alcantara. In 1704, Marvao fell into Spanish hands to be recovered a year later by an army commanded by the Count of Sao Joao. In 1772, the area was again the victim of attacks from Spain, remaining in the hands of Spanish troops until in 1808 it was occupied by the French in the wake of the Peninsular wars.
Access : Coordinates: : 39.394528, -7.376556 /Marvao is located 117 kilometers and an hour and a half west of the city of Caceres, passing through Valencia de Alcantara / The Castle of Marvao located at the western end of the village of Marvao . parking in the parking lot at the gates of the walls of Marvao village.
Facilities :Access is 1.50 €. In the church located in front of the castle there is an information office and a small museum.
Attractions-site layout :
– The castle of Marvao stands on a crest of quartz, 850 meters above sea level, enclosing the medieval village within its walls. Its walls, reinforced by towers, are distributed in concentric defensive lines:
– Near the entrance there is a large vaulted aljive, still today full of water.the inner line, reinforced by two towers, dominated by the tower of the tribute,the outer line, constituted by the barbacana, from where part to nearby that surrounds the mount and the town.
– When you are in the castle you must go through the gardens of Santa Maria next to the church of the same name.
– inside the Castle of Marvao is its large cistern, it has two accesses through narrow stairs, supported by large arches and with great capacity to house water, which allowed the villa of Marvao to defend itself from sieges of up to one year.
– after the second courtyard (The courtyard is an open quadrangular space, located in the highest part of the Castle) another corridor full of loopholes that gives access to two defensive bastions to protect that area and where there was an escape in case of extreme necessity, along the walls, between the battlements you can see some iron cannons that have been recovered from the ruins of the castle.
Opening hours: Open during the 24 hours Admission fees :1.50 € for adults, € 0.50 for children aged 10 and under and for children under that age free
Activities : The access to the castle is free when you can camp inside / sightseeing / photo opportunities / Enjoy the wonderful views /
Go next : Caceres / Beja , historic city / Portalegre / Comporta / Coruche / Monsaraz / The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications is a UNESCO World Heritage site.