Castelo de Penedono
Small in size but extremely gracious, set off by elegant towers topped off with battlements, the Penedono castle does not seem like any mere, basic defensive structure. It rather takes on the air of a country house castle and does indeed represent an aesthetically more interesting type of construction among those to be found in Portugal.
Its documented history stretches back to a last will and testament made in the tenth century. It is also known that the entire region was again conquered by the Moors before Fernando Magno de Castela definitively re-established Christian rule in the second half of the eleventh century.
The castle was home to the noble Coutinho family. During the Portuguese dynastic struggles of 1383-85, they backed the party of D. João, Master of Avis, king of Portugal in 1385, after the defeat of Castile at Aljubarrota. Gonçalo Vasques Coutinho was later lord of the castle and his children were born here, including the renowned Magriço, Álvaro Gonçalves Coutinho, who carried out romantic feats much to the liking of the tastes of the decadent knights of the Middle Ages.
In spite of its thousand year long year, the current castle structure dates back to a fifteenth century reconstruction coinciding to the royal charter granted to the town of Penedono by King Manuel I in 1515.
Try and ensure your visit lasts includes a sunny late afternoon. The sunset to the east sets off the granite walls to a beautiful effect.