|Trancoso Castle and Walls
The irregularly shaped wall and citadel of the castle still survive in a good state of repair, thus contributing towards the mediaeval atmosphere in Trancoso.
According to historical data, the castle already existed in the 10th century but was only integrated within Portuguese territory in 1160 when it was conquered from the Moors by the first King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques. Given that Trancoso is a strategic point for defence of the border, the architectural complex was subject to various improvements and reinforcement works over the centuries. The most significant intervention was commissioned by D. Dinis, in 1282, when he ordered the wall to be constructed.
It is possible to enter the town through one of the four gates: the Porta d'El Rei to the South West, the Porta do Prado to the North West, and the Porta do Carvalho and Porta da Traição to the North.
The most impressive gate and the main entrance to Trancoso, is the Porta d'El Rei. It was given this name in reference to the works commissioned in the 13th century by the King D. Dinis, whose coat of arms appears on the upper section, alongside those of the municipality. There are 11 existing towers -- 4 in the wall and 7 in the citadel -- the most important of which is the Keep. The Keep is a Mozarab construction with a square layout and a strange configuration - the body narrows towards the top, terminating in the battlements. One of the towers encloses the ruins of the Chapel of Santa Bárbara.
On the north-east side, the castle attains the highest point of the plateau on which it is located -- 875 metres above sea level, thus making it an excellent belvedere over the surrounding area. On the horizon it is possible to see the Serra da Estrela mountain range to the south, Marofa to the west and the hills of Penedono to the North.