The historical village of Castelo Rodrigo as a whole is a genuine location of monuments preserving important medieval references. The most valuable features of its historical heritage are the old walls, the ruins of Cristóvão de Moura Palace, the 16th-century pillory, the medieval church, the parish church, the medieval cistern and inscriptions attesting to the existence of a substantial new-Christian community. For more than 600 years, Castelo Rodrigo was a town and municipal seat. More than once in the country's history, its inhabitants showed their courage and loyalty to the crown.
Our history your time
O território de Riba-Côa foi ocupado desde tempos remotos, havendo vestígios paleolíticos, megalíticos, da cultura castreja, romanos e árabes. A preocupação com a reorganização e povoamento desta área na época da Reconquista é patente nas doações aos freires Salamantinos, fundadores da Ordem de S. Julião do Pereiro, e aos primeiros frades de Santa Maria de Aguiar, oriundos de Zamora, de que o Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Aguiar, de fundação cisterciense do séc. XII, é importante testemunho.
Conquistada aos Árabes no séc. XI e dependente do Reino de Leão, foi vila elevada a concelho por Afonso IX, integrando definitivamente o território português a 12 de Setembro de 1297, pelo Tratado de Alcanizes - assinado por D. Dinis, que confirmou o seu Foral em Trancoso e mandou repovoar e reconstruir o Castelo, ação repetida por D. Fernando I, que também lhe concedeu Carta de Feira, em 1373.
Castelo Rodrigo está rodeado por uma cintura amuralhada inicialmente composta por 13 torreões (à semelhança de Ávila). Mantém a sua traça medieval, que irradia da alcáçova e acompanha a topografia. Pelas suas ruas encontram-se casas interessantes, umas manuelinas, outras construções árabes, como a casa nº 32, com inscrição e uma carranca, para além da cisterna, de 13 m de fundo, com uma porta em arco de ferradura e outra ogival.
Estando na rota de peregrinos a Compostela, aqui se ergueu a Igreja de N. Sra. de Rocamador, fundada por uma confraria de frades hospitaleiros vindos de França no séc. XIII.
Por ter tomado partido por Castela na crise de 1383-85, D. João I castigou Castelo Rodrigo, mandando que o seu brasão ficasse com as armas reais invertidas e a vila dependente de Pinhel. O pelourinho manuelino - de gaiola e grandes dimensões, atesta o poder municipal, regulamentado pelo foral novo de 1508, altura em que D. Manuel, o Rei Venturoso, mandou repovoar a vila e refazer o castelo.
Sob domínio filipino instituiu-se o condado e marquesado de Castelo Rodrigo na pessoa de Cristóvão de Moura, que mandou edificar um Palácio. Após a Restauração este foi destruído pelo povo. No largo de S. João, o padrão assinala e comemora a restauração da independência nacional.
Ainda nas lutas contra Espanha, a vila sofreu em 1664 o cerco do Duque de Ossuna, tendo a sua guarnição de 150 homens resistido heroicamente até à chegada de reforços, travando-se a batalha da Salgadela, junto ao Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Aguiar. Conta-se que o Duque de Ossuna e D. João d’Áustria escaparam disfarçados de frades.
Após as Guerras da Restauração, Castelo Rodrigo foi perdendo a sua importância, e a 25 de Junho de 1836, por Carta Régia de D. Maria II, a sede de concelho foi transferida para Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo.
Historicamente, nenhuma povoação raiana exerceu por tão longo período um lugar tão relevante nas relações Luso-Castelhanas e na defesa do território português.
What to see
Our Lady of Conception Chapel
Religious architecture of the twentieth century. Chapel with a single longitudinal floor plan, with a covered porch and an attached bell tower on the right side. Triangular-shaped main façade with a semi-circular arch gate, characterised by oblique buttresses. Façades with cornice trim, the sides having semi-circular arch windows. Interior with wooden beam ceilings and a simple altar stone.
House with calvary – rua Páteo do Castelo
This construction preserves a representative inscription of a Calvary on the door of the ground floor. Currently we can still find some symbols and traces of the presence of a community of Jewish converts that existed in the medival village of Castelo Rodrigo. Cruciform inscriptions may be associated with identifying new Christian addresses.
Casa da Cadeia (Gaol)
Its construction dates from the Manueline period, and it gave its name to the street where it is located. One can still see the places where the bars were set. These services were transferred to São Vicente de Figueira on 25 June 1836, as part of the municipal administrative reform undertaken by D. Maria II.
Where to eat
Taverna da Matilde
In a place that was once a games hall, Taverna da Matilde was born in August 2011. The space does justice to its name with a simple décor true to the idea we have of old-fashioned taverns. The wooden tables are covered with red and white check tablecloths. A robust set of iron scales, now just for show, reminds us of times when business was done face to face. An old sieve sits on a chest. We immediately associate everything with the rural world and the insistence on making and keeping good bread. This décor took many hours of work to make the place cosy and special for first-time visitors, said Delfina proudly.
Casa da Amendoeira
Colmeal Countryside Hotel
Hidden in Serra da Marofa, in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, the Colmeal Countryside Hotel is much more than a 4-star hotel: it is the perfect retreat to find the silence, the hospitality and the delights of Beirã gastronomy, in a historic village surrounded by nature. Rebuilt in line with the local heritage by the architect Pedro Brígida, Colmeal has 11 rooms and 3 country houses, a relaxing SPA and an outdoor pool with water from the mountains that surround the 700 hectares of the farm. At the restaurant, you can also taste the best regional products recreated in recipes with the signature of Chef Vítor Sobral, accompanied by the unique aromas of Silêncio, white or red wine, produced locally. On foot or by bicycle, Colmeal invites you to walk the old paths of the shepherds and discover the history of the village, the landscape of the mountains, the flight of birds, the rock paintings, the streams and, above all, the silence nature's infinite. Through visits organized by the region, we can take you to discover the rock engravings of Foz Côa, take a boat trip through the Douro International, visit the Faia Brava reserve, walk through Riba Côa, watch the water birds in the Santa Maria de Aguiar dam or visit the historic village of Castelo Rodrigo, one of the 7 wonders of Portugal. Whether private or business, make an appointment with the silence of this refuge and ask us for information so that we can make your stay a unique experience. At Colmeal Countryside Hotel you will find all the serenity you need to disconnect from the world. And connect more and more with yourself.
Casa da Cisterna
Casa da Cisterna in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo is a place of great beauty in close contact with nature and manages to unite past and present. Nine rooms and two suites carefully restored and adapted to modern life, a swimming pool and a terrace with a view as far as the eye can see (for enjoying breakfast or dinner) make this unit an excellent choice for a stay in the castle of the historical village de Castelo Rodrigo. Donkey or jeep rides across the meadow are some of the activities available locally, where the landscape is rocky and olive trees predominate. A visit to the historical villages of Castelo Rodrigo, Almeida and Castelo Mendo is a must, along with the rock carvings of Vale do Côa, the Douro Internacional Natural Park and the Faia Brava Reserve. Don’t forget to ask for a picnic basket to take on your trips.
What to do
TRY PORTUGAL – Adventure, Nature & Culture
TRY PORTUGAL promotes personalized programs and experiences of active and cultural tourism, exploring the Natural, Historical and Cultural heritage of the country. All programs in autonomy or with guides are created to guarantee experiences of gastronomy & wines, culture & traditions. We highlight the interior regions that are still unknown to most travelers, through thematic vacation programs, the provision of tourist services, and the organization of sports & cultural events. Services: Thematic tours, active tourism programs, guided tours, organization of cultural and sporting events. Our tours are designed to include one or more of the following activities that are available in the region: Walking & Hiking - Mountain & Road Cycling - Water trails activities - Air activities- Horseback Riding – Rock Climbing – Wellness & Yoga Retreats - Ecotourism - Geo-tourism - Cultural & Historical Tourism - Creative Residences - Impact Tourism & Volunteering COME TRY PORTUGAL!
Adventure and nature trips
We are a registered tour operating company and we base our activity on the values of legal compliance, nature protection and sustainability. We operate according to the Portuguese legislation and we hold a special accreditation from the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests allowing us to drive inside Nature Parks and other protected areas (where permitted)- We are members of the Natural.pt brand (www.natural.pt), reserved for companies who adhere to the programme. Following the recent pandemic we got our Clean & Safe seal from the Tourism Authority signifying our compliance with the official health requirements for the prevention and control of infections. Our trips are much more than just going from A to B and we distinguish ourselves for having a higher purpose: the knowledge and promotion of the historical, cultural and environmental heritage of Portugal, so that in the end our guests will have lots of stories to tell. In each new journey through some of the most beautiful and remotest places in mainland Portugal, we discover a unique, authentic and truly surprising country with a sense of adventure and discovery that enriches us as human beings. Our offer is based on a personalised service with tailor-made trips meeting the personal interests of our guests. We are constantly exploring and spending countless days on the ground in contact with the local people and organisations in search for the best places of interest and the best routes. As a result of this research, we have acquired a deep knowledge of the whole country which allows us to give our guests a renewed level of novelty and differentiation in each event. During our events we privilege the contact with nature in a legal and responsible manner, with the aim to reduce the impact of our passage, by working with official entities and other environmental organisations. Every year we plant many autoctonous trees in an effort to make Dream Overland a carbon-neutral company, an action that our customers can support and partake in. With our trips we contribute to the social cohesion and economic sustainability of local communities, through the knowledge and promotion of their traditions, handicrafts, produce and local heritage.
Beltour – Turismo e Eventos
Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking
Powered since 2006 by your passion for travel, Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking was created to offer you authentic experiences and unforgettable memories in the most exclusive places in Portugal, taking you to the most historic places and wild landscapes. The perfect example of this is our holidays in the Historical Villages. Each one more surprising than the one before, prepare to cross mesmerizing landscapes, going through some of the most impressive Portuguese natural regions like the Côa Valley, with their cave paintings, the Estrela Mountain Range, with the highest peak in continental Portugal, or Faia Brava, the first private conservation area in Portugal. And at the end of each day, explore another village, each with a different story to discover, between castles and walls, between taverns and gourmet restaurants, between centuries-old traditions and the latest inspirations. Dare yourself to wear the shoes of the great conquerors who fought for the oldest European border while restoring your body and mind with pure air and breathtaking views.
The Travel Corner
The Travel Corner develops, promotes and sells short/long tourism programs, with accommodations and activities, in the Centre of Portugal Region. The tourism offer focus on culture and heritage, with gastronomy, nature and well-being experiences enriching the whole program and making it memorable. Considering the different inflows, and the added-value to the Centre of Portugal Programs, TTC also offers touring programs with other regions of Portugal, namely Porto and Northern Portugal.