Leiria Castle

Leiria

Information

The construction of the Leiria Castle was ordered by the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, as way of establish a defensive line against the Moors, yet the wars with Galicia gave some advantage to the Moors and, for two times, they were able to take over Leiria.

In 1142, after re-conquering definetly Leiria, D. Afonso Henriques ordered the reinforcement of the Castle’s defences and the king D. Sancho I, around the year 1195, ordered the construction of the city walls.

The importance of the town developed soon becoming the stage to some important events, such as the first reunion of the courts, and was residence to King D. Dinis and Queen Saint Isabel, and also to the marriage of king’s D. João I son (D. Afonso).

Throughout the centuries the Castle progressively started loosing its military value and during the French invasions it got quite damaged. Only in the end of the 19th century new conservation and remodelling works were initiated and already in the 20th century it was classified as National Monument.

The Castle was built over a irregular polygonal plan, with solid walls and towers and houses in its interior the Royal Palace, the Santa Maria da Pena Church and the Donjon.

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