|Palmela is another fortress castle actually within sight of the castle of Sao Filipe just five miles north of Setubal and 20 miles southeast of Lisbon. Built as a monastery within the castle walls in 1482 (10 years before Christopher Columbus sailed to America). Fortunately, its use as a Pousada has kept the castle from ruin.|
From an elevation of 1200 feet, it offers one of the best views to be found in Portugal. The village of Palmela is in the heart of the wine country. The night we spent here we saw no views at all because of the violent wind and rain storm. For once, we were very happy to be hidden behind six foot thick stone walls that have stood the test of time and weather for 500 years. Dinner was in a long hall with pewter chandeliers and as the lights flickered from the storm, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner to candle light.
|The castle has long been a strategic control point for middle Portugal. From here, Afonso Henrique drove out the Moors in the 12th Century. An excellent example of medieval military architecture.|
It is believed that the Celts built a castle on this spot in 300BC. Behind the castle is a Roman road which heads to a beach colony at Setubal.
When the weather cleared, the views were stunning. We hated to leave.
We hope you enjoyed our tour of central Portugal. It was a trip far beyond our expectations. I originally wanted to come here to see the Expo '98 and we thought we would spend a few more days here and then head off to other parts. We could have spent another two months and can't wait to come back.