Linhares, The Medieval Castle

Linhares is one of the Historic Villages of Portugal that retains more of its original houses and streets. In this beautiful village you can still find many traces of Roman occupation.

But the biggest attraction is undoubtedly the castle of Linhares, with its imposing towers. Its origins are even older, but the way in which the castle can be seen today date in much of the thirteenth century.

The Linhares da Beira Castle is located in the village and Parish of Linhares da Beira, Celorico Municipality of Beira, District of Guarda, Portugal.

Situated on a rocky hill in northwest foothills of the Serra da Estrela, dominates the valley of the river Mondego. Your last dives into the legends and is considered one of the most important medieval fortifications of Beira Interior.

The medieval castle

The road communication facility have not left Linhares oblivious to the events of the Christian Reconquista of the peninsula. Some authors have questioned whether the Linhares mentioned among other villages in the granting of a charter undated, by King Ferdinand I of León, would this village in Beira, or the same name, in the Douro.

With the independence of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, in order to promote their settlement and defense, granted it a charter in 1169. This privilege was confirmed in 1217 by Alfonso II.

The first historical reference to the castle dates from sometime in the first three years of the reign of Sancho I (late twelfth century), connected to an invasion of that stretch of the border by the kingdom of Leon forces. They were mayors of Linhares Castle and the Beira Celorico Castle respectively brothers Rodrigo and Gonçalo Mendes. Finding the latter surrounded in Celorico attacker, Rodrigo rushed to the people of Celorico to the aid of his brother, achieving victory under the invocation of Our Lady of the Azores, in devotion to whom they erected a chapel halfway between both locations, and makes each year a pilgrimage to May 3.

Although not known to primitive setting of this castle, is believed to have shown traces of the Romanesque style, with the keep isolated inside the parade ground and engaging about adapted to the terrain. In the reign of King Afonso III in the inquiries of 1258, it is mentioned that the residents of Sátão were required to anúduva (aid in the repair of military structures) in the castles of the Guard and Linhares, which shows, together with the strategic importance the latter on the defensive framework of the kingdom at the time that you were being proceeded works.

Under the reign of King Dinis, just as expressive in the Portuguese fortifications in the period, a new campaign works took place in Linhares. This sovereign donated the fields of town and its castle to his son, Jonathan Sanchez.

The town and its castle were involved in the second war that Ferdinand moved against Henry of Castile, being surrounded and taken by the forces of this when, invading Portugal by Beira, in early 1373, marched to Viseu de Almeida, and hence on Lisbon . With the death of Ferdinand, to open the crisis of 1383-1385, the mayor of Linhares, Martim Afonso de Melo, took the side of Beatrice and John I of Castile, as indeed did much of the main Portuguese nobility. Been falling under the Master of Avis domain, this gave the landlord of the village Egas Coelho, Hidalgo your confidence (14 August 1384), soon succeeded by Martin Vasques da Cunha that would highlight, in front of the people of Linhares in the battle of Trancoso in spring 1385.

With peace, the castle lost its strategic role, his absence news until the seventeenth century, when the public clock in the tower was installed.

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