Probably Serpa was already a fortification by the Roman occupancy period, yet there are only confirmations as from the 8th century, during the Moorish occupancy, as this fortress was conquered during the kingdom of king D. Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese king (1143 to 1185).
After this conquest, the Serpa fortress falls again on the Moorish hands and only in the kingdom of king D. Sancho II, in 1232, it is again brought to the Portuguese domain. Nevertheless all this territory area, over the Guadiana river, was in dispute by the Castile kings that got it until the end of the 13th century.
The problems with Spain returned during the Succession War when serpa fell easily with the attack of the Spanish forces, yet it is signed that in the beginning of the Independence Restoration, this was one of the first Castles to hoist the Portuguese national flag.
In the sequence of the Restoration War, the Fortress benefited of modernization works, yet over the next centuries (as many Portuguese casltes) time and abandon ruined the structures, and in 1870 several collapses in the walls and towers were registered.
Classified as a National Monument since 1954, the Castle has had consolidation and conservation works. The Castle houses the Archaeology Serpa Museum, presenting a very interesting permanent exhibition, with vestiges since the Palaeolithic until the Moorish occupancy period.
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