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|Pena Castle in Sintra, near Lisbon, Portugal|
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Castles of Portugal
Due to its specific geographical location and being the oldest nation in Europe, Portuguese Castles are history filled constructions, playing a main role in maintaining the Portuguese borders, thus allowing the country to subsist almost around 800 years of history, securing the internal border to the always expansionist surrounding Kingdoms, which later united to form Spain. Later, this allowed the later expansion towards the sea thus beginning the discoveries era. In addition, these castles reflect influences from a multitude of different cultures and civilisations, some previous to Portugal´s establishment as a Kingdom, and others due to the connection from Europe to Africa, India, China, Japan, Brazilian as well as several other cultures with which Portugal interacted over the centuries.
There are many stories in the history coming from far, which attract the contemplation and arouse our curiosity for the past times of heroic feats and glorious battles. The discovery of the castles means to become acquainted with our deep and remote roots, it helps us to understand the culture and the way of living of our ancestors. The increasing need to defend a territory which was constantly growing brought about the building of more castles, from North to South. In this way, new and beautiful constructions were added to some of the existing castles conquered from the Moors and new castles were born.
Portugal has a wide range of castles and many of them felt into ruins or have been seriously damaged by the earthquakes. The effort to keep and to restore them is great and the tradition lives in the halo of the legends and poetry revolving these ruins and the national history persists in them, in their evocation of sublime heroism of selfless sacrifices and of glories!
Castles in Lisbon
Castles in Sintra
Castles around Portugal
More castles in Portugal
A well worth seeing castle is the Almourol Castle which is situated on a small rocky island in the middle of the Tagus River:
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