Castelo Branco - Walking the City
On foot, head along Rua Sidónio Pais. At the end, there is the impressive Cathedral, the best example of religious architecture in what has been a cathedral city since 1711.
From the Largo da Sé, Rua das Olarias takes you along to the Franciso Tavares Proença Júnior Museum. Here, you can take in the famous Castelo Branco Embroidery as well as the pleasant Baroque gardens of the Episcopal Palace, the jewel in the Castelo Branco crown.
On the other side of the street, there is the City Park, and at the end, the Convent of Graça housing the Misericórdia Museum of Sacred Art, both well worth visiting.
Head back to the Largo da Sé and proceed down Rua de São Sebastião. The Torre do Relógio (Clock Tower) represents the medieval walls and the end of the first stage of your tour.
Praça Camões, also called the Praça Velha (Old Square), signals the start of old Castelo Branco. Here, there is the 18th century Paços do Concelho, with an armillary sphere, the royal symbol of king Manuel, adorning its façade.
Alongside is the former Office of the Administrator of the Order of Christ, encharged with jurisdiction over the city, identified by a Cross hanging over the entranceway.
In front, there is the arch that stands on one of the former city gates. Here, the Templars built a house for the bishop. The Bishop´s Arch leads onto the Church of Santa Isabel, the first home of the Castelo Branco Misericórdia (state charity institution).
Turn to the right and be taken in by those views. You´ll be surprised by a historic city dotted with houses from a range of historical periods. Dating back to the Middle Ages, they´ve been embellished with small details to the doors and windows. It is still possible today to make out their historical origins highlighted by the granite used. Rua Nova, Rua dos Peleteiros, Rua d´Ega and Rua do Muro all head upwards to the summit and the Church of Santa Maria and the Castle ruins. The finale to this stroll is the wonderful view out over the city of Castelo Branco and beyond.