Torres Novas Castle

The History of the Torres Novas Castle is very mysterious. No one knows, for sure, who first built it and lived in it…

The municipality of Torres Novas dates from the beginning of the Portuguese nationality. It was conquered from the Moors by Dom Afonso Henriques in 1148, and then its seat received a charter in 1190 by Dom Sancho I.

In the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries, the Romans already inhabited this region and left traces in Vila Cardilium.

We do not know if Torres Novas Castle was occupied before the Middle Ages. What is known is that D. Sancho I ordered the construction of a fortified enclosure that was eventually destroyed in the 14th century due to the Peninsular Wars. There are still those who suspect that this castle was an Arab fortress from the 12th century and that only in 1190 was conquered by D. Sancho I.

At the moment, the castle has a well-kept garden that you can enjoy. This is because, after the implementation of a landscape recovery project, this monument and the area surrounding it became more pleasant since circuits for walking and leisure areas were built.

The castle has a Gothic style, with a plan that is defended by ten quadrangular towers. It’s a hill castle. The main door is in the southern section and is part of the old mayor’s house, which was able to control the movement of people and goods inside the castle. The castle was badly damaged after the famous earthquake of 1755 that caused the fall of four towers. In the following decades, there was a reconstruction of several elements.

In 1835 the castle began to be used as a cemetery and in 1839 D. Maria granted the Torres Novas City Council full possession of the castle.

In one of the castle’s north-facing towers, the so-called betrayal gate has been considered a Keep. The Keeps are the main point of power and the last stronghold of defense, and in some cases, they can serve as the castle’s housing precinct.

In 1910 the castle of Torres Novas was considered a National Monument.