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Castle of Ansiães


Lavandeira, 5140-144

Open all days

Guided tours to groups by prior appointment at LIT (Interactive Tourism Shop)

The interior of the Church of São Salvador de Ansiães can be visited at the following time:

Monday: from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday to Thursday: from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

and from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Friday: from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Closed on Saturdays

41.203683, -7.303787

+351 278 098 507

With a geographical location that gives it excellent natural defence conditions, the Castle of Ansiães appears to us with a millenary history, whose beginning dates to the 3rd millennium BC. Since that period, the geomorphological characteristics of the site have greatly contributed to an almost successive occupation of this topography. This vocation for natural defence acquires particular importance during the process of the Christian Reconquista. At that time, Ansiães was granted her first foral (royal document) by the Leonese king Fernando Magno. The 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries define an exponential period in the growth of this walled stronghold. Afonso Henriques in 1160, Sancho I in 1198, Afonso II in 1219, and finally Manuel I in 1510 recognize and promulgate forais to the town of Ansiães.

At the end of the 15th century, and particularly in the 16th century, a demographic trend with a depressive character began to reach the place, and in 1527 some villages that constituted the municipality already had a population greater than that of Ansiães. In the following centuries, this movement became more acute, culminating in the transfer of the town hall to Carrazeda, an act that took place in 1734 since an exceedingly small number of people lived in the old stronghold. Structurally, this archaeological site is divided into two distinct spaces. The first one located at higher quotas and corresponds to the primitive rock implantation. This perimeter is defined and organized around an oval-shaped wall that is reinforced with five quadrangular turrets. It is an area with a certified defensive specialization, a kind of last stronghold destined to house the residents in case of a military dispute.

The second space, which defines the urban area itself, is made up of a second line of walls with an extension of more than 600 metres and three quadrangular turrets. This space was divided by several paths that intersected each other, structuring small neighbourhoods or residential areas. In this space is also the Romanesque Church of São Salvador de Ansiães, dating from the 13th century. Its originality lies mainly in the tympanum "Christ Pantocrator" of the main portal, whose iconography of "Christ in Majesty" constitutes the most complete example of the Portuguese Romanesque. On the same portal, the tympanum is flanked by a group of archivolts whose decoration represents scenes of the apostolate and zoomorphic, phytomorphic and anthropomorphic figures.