Castle of Belver

This frontier outpost was once the Fort Knox of Portugal.

Castle of Belver The Golden Frontier

Built between 1194 and 1212, Belver was the first castle built by the Knights Hospitaller in Portugal. In 1210, even before the castle was completed, it was manned, and served as one of six repositories for the nation’s wealth. Though entrusted with such an important role, the castle and town never advanced beyond being a provincial stronghold. Over the following centuries, the castle was restored several times in order to keep it in fighting condition, even seeing the addition of a small chapel in the 16th century. In the 19th century, the castle was all but forgotten, serving as the town’s cemetery from 1846. Several restoration projects in the 20th century kept the castle from falling into ruin. Today, visitors can walk the ramparts for stupendous views of the surrounding countryside, or head into the chapel of São Brás, which has a beautiful high-altar, with a number of busts and reliquaries from Palestine.

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