The Castle of Almeida: medieval origin, Manueline reforms and modern reuse



The castle of Almeida is located in the centre of this ancient fortress in the Portuguese province of Beira, with a secular role in the defence of the Portuguese border. As a medieval building, it underwent important works during the reign of King Manuel I, under the command of Biscayan architect Francisco Danzilho, becoming one of the paragons of this period’s military architecture, only matched by the forts erected overseas. During the Early Modern Age, it was reused as a logistics facility supporting the fortress, until 1810, during the third French invasion, when an explosion left it in ruins. Thus, the surveyed area, which also includes the surrounding where stood the main church, presents great cultural and historical potential.



Its decay and the scarcity of initiatives and studies of research and valuation, led the City Council of Almeida and CHAM to promote a research project on the Castle and a programme for its patrimonial requalification. The project aims to study the castle of Almeida from its origins to the present day, to understand its various renovations, in strict collaboration with the surrounding population. The project is, from the onset, an academic camp for college students in archaeology. 


Start: 2007

Duration: 96 months

Principal Investigator: André Teixeira (CHAM)




- Câmara Municipal de Almeida

Host Institution

- Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas / Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Main Research Unit

- Centro de História d'Aquém e d'Além-Mar / Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas/Universidade Nova de Lisboa | Universidade dos Açores



André Teixeira   .    Coordenator

Alexandra Gomes

Andreia Machado

Cátia Charters

Luís Serrão Gil (CHAM)