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Montemor-o-Velho Castle little test on a very windy day. Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal. Dominating the valley where the Mondego River runs, with endless rice fields, the town of Montemor-o-Velho is characterized by its imposing castle, the main fortress of Low Mondego during Medieval times.This extensive land has been successively occupied since Roman times and when the Arabs first settled during the 8th century, the Mondego lands became a constant stage of intense fights between Muslims and Christians.After the Catholic Reconquista and the Portuguese independence, Montemor-o-Velho and its majestic fortress were the stage of countless events of Portuguese History. The stones of the castle have defended the valley and the river which fertilizes it and have received Kings and Infantas, being closely associated with tales born out of the people’s traditional imagination.In 911, al-Mansur conquered Montemor-o-Velho and it might have been then that an Islamic fortification with a mosque was built. There is almost nothing left from this ancient space and the castle which now rises upon the Mondego valley is the work of several medieval campaigns. In 1064, after Coimbra was conquered, Montemor-o-Velho was taken over by the Christians and King Alfonso VI of Castile might have rebuilt the defensive structure. During the same period, inside the walls, the Santa Maria da Alcáçova Church was founded and it would be altered many times throughout the following centuries.Under Afonso Henriques and Sancho I, the structure of the fortress was reinforced because Montemor kept its geo-strategic importance after the Portuguese independence. Infantas Teresa and Mafalda ordered the house inside the castle to be renovated and transformed it into a typical manor house.The fortress was the centre of many fights throughout the following centuries. King Afonso II didn’t agree with his father’s will which gave the castle to his two sisters, Teresa and Mafalda and it was necessary for the Pope to intervene in order to settle this issue. Later, it would again become the centre of new conflicts, first between Sancho II and Afonso III and then between Prince Afonso and his father, King D. Dinis. Because of its military importance for the Portuguese territory, the regent Prince Peter chose it as his personal palace. www.visitcentrodeportugal.com.pt Perched high atop a rugged hill 25km west of Coimbra, the glowering walls of the Castelo do Montemor-o-Velho dominate the surrounding marshland far out to the horizon. Whether seen from a distance or from atop the castle walls themselves, it’s easy to imagine this site as an early bastion in the Reconquista. Ferdinand I of Castile and León recaptured Montemor-o-Velho from the Moors in 1064, and within less than a century his great-grandson Afonso Henrique claimed it as part of his new Kingdom of Portugal. Over the intervening centuries the castle was rebuilt and expanded several times, with most of the current structure dating from the 14th century.Read more www.lonelyplanet.com Montemor-o-Velho Castle little test on a very windy day. GoPro Hero 3+ Black with 5.4mm lens.