Built on the northwest slope of Serra da Estrela, the town of Linhares da Beira rises amidst a wonderful landscape.Because of its location, which enables an effective defence, this town might have been occupied since the Iron Age during which an old castle was built. During the Roman occupation, the town was included in the transport rout between Guarda and Conímbriga. It was then occupied by Visigoths and Arabs and was reconquered by King Afonso Henriques who granted it the charter and promoted its repopulation. It is known that during the reign of King Sancho I, Linhares already had a fortification and it was during this time that some of the most memorable stories of the town occurred. Stories like the one of Rodrigo Mendes, the Mayor who went to defend his brother Gonçalo, Mayor of Celorico, when he was surrounded by Castilians and was able to get a great victory over his enemy neighbours which was celebrated by building a chapel.
The castle which now rises majestically over an enormous granite massif dates back to the time of King D. Dinis. It was also this King who ordered the building of a fortress which is considered one of the most important of the Interior Beira.
The town grew around its walls, full of narrow streets and granite houses with Manueline gargoyles, doors and windows, the old medieval Jewry and the manor houses in Baroque style. The town tells its History through the stones of its buildings.
In Linhares, you should visit:
- The castle
- The Matriz and Misericórdia church
- The Manueline houses and the old inn
- The pelourinho and the old town hall
- The Corte Real manor e o Brandão e Melo manor