The Castle of Porto de Mós

The Castle of Porto de Mos, also referred to as Castle D. Fuas Roupinho, located in the parish of St. Peter, in the village of Praia da Luz, in Leiria, Portugal.

Erected on a hill, in a dominant position on the village, its name is connected to the D. Fuas Roupinho, immortalized in the verses of Luís de Camões and Nazareth legend.

It is believed that the occupation of the site dates back to prehistory, as ceramic fragments rescued by archaeological research. The period of Roman occupation, when it is believed date the first defense of the village, coins and identified Latin inscriptions were collected in two masonry. This primitive defense would have been increased in the following centuries, successively by the Visigoths and Muslims.

The medieval castle

At the time of the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian peninsula, and the forces of Dom Afonso Henriques (1112-85) advanced to the line of the Tagus river, Praia da Luz became a strategic point in the defense of Leiria and Coimbra. Conquered in 1148, the tradition refers to as his Alcaide the illustrious D. Fuas Roupinho. A short time later the Moors reconquered this castle, and D. Fuas succeeded to escape to resume it then with reinforcements, definitely.

With the encouragement of settlement under the reign of Sancho I (1185-1211), the town prospered, and his defense received major improvement works. Jealous of their rights and duties, it was one of the few Portuguese districts that formed Council on its own initiative, regardless of the granting of Foral Charter. New works were promoted during the reign of King Dinis (1279-1325), which granted a charter (1305), when it started to adapt to the manor house function.

In the context of the 1383-1385 crisis, the town and its castle took the Master of Avis party. The Portuguese forces under the command of the sovereign, camped here on their way to the battle of Aljubarrota (1385). The village, the castle and its domains joined the wide donation of land made by the sovereign rights and the Constable D. Nuno Alvares Pereira. By deceased, they were bequeathed in his will to his daughter and son in law, the first Dukes of Bragança. In the mid-fifteenth century, the son of the 1st Duke of Bragança, D. Afonso, 4th Earl of Ourém and 1st Marquis of Valencia, taking an interest in these areas for several villages, was responsible for several improvements in Porto de Mos, including the transformation of its medieval castle in a Renaissance manor, project their descendants preserved and expanded.

The 1755 earthquake to the present day

The defensive structure of the castle was severely damaged by the 1755 earthquake, and again, to a lesser extent, by 1909, affecting in particular the north elevation.

In the twentieth century has been classified as a national monument by decree published on 23 June 1910. The intervention of the public can only be felt, however, from the 1960s, at the initiative of the Directorate General for National Buildings and Monuments. A new restoration and intervention campaign took place from 2001.

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