The Ródão Castle and the Nossa Senhora do Castle Chapel, also known as King Wamba’s Castle, is situated at about 2km distance from the centre of Vila Velha do Ródão, in the Central region of Portugal.
Situated in a place of great natural beauty, over the wide Tagus river, that offers astonishing landscapes, the origin of the Castle is probably from the Moorish occupation period, although locals associate it to King Wamba, the last of the Visigoths kings in the Iberian Peninsula.
The set is composed by a Watch tower, in a square shape, probably built by the Templars between the 12th and 13th centuries, surrounded by the wall.
At about 150 meters is situated the rustic Temple of Nossa Senhora do Castelo, nowadays quite destroyed, mainly in the interior, because of all the robberies and degradation all over the centuries.
This structure would have been re-built in the 12th century, while the Portuguese Nationality was being formed, and probably afterwards suffered other restoration works, mostly during the modern and contemporary epochs, and during the French invasions.
This set was classified as a Public Interest Building in 1990.
King Wamba’s Legend
It is said that in this region lived Wamba, the last Visigoth king in Hispania (Iberian Peninsula) that reigned from 672 to 680, and fought the Moors.
One day, Wamba’s wife fell in love with the Moorish king that decided to abduct her from Wamba’s power. For that he tried to built a tunnel that would go underneath the river Tagus. However, he misjudged the calculations. As Wamba discovered the Moorish king plans, and realizing the love his wife felt for the other King, he decided to offer her as a present, yet tied to a millstone, which made her roll down the slopes right until the Tagus river. On the places where the millstone passed through, no vegetation grew up again, as it is still visible nowadays.