Built on top of a hill exposed to the rocks of Serra da Gardunha, the village of Castelo Novo is related to the first years of the Portuguese independence. In 1208, during the reign of King Sancho I, Pedro Guterres gave this land, which belonged to him, in his will to the Knights Templar and it is assumed that, around this time, the castle was already being built. A few decades later, King D. Dinis ordered its structure to be renewed and it was because of this that the fortress at Castelo Novo gained its gothic style which still exists today.
Like many other raia beirã towns, Castelo Novo grew around its walls with narrow streets which go around the slope until they reach the keep. At its centre, the Town Hall stands out with its arcades above the terrace on the noble floor. At its centre, and embedded into the town hall’s façade, there is a monumental and imposing John V fountain which the monarch himself ordered to be built. In front of it there is a Manueline pelourinho which marks the centre of the plaza and, further on, you will find the church dedicated to Our Lady of the Grace in which the white walls contrast with the Baroque shape of its windows and granite doors.
All over the village, when you walk through its winding streets, you’ll discover architectural details, small marks which tell the story of its inhabitants.
In Castelo Novo you should visit:
- The castle
- The Bica and the D. João V fountains
- The Matriz and Misericórdia churches
- The manor houses
- The old gallows
- The Castelo Novo Museum Centre
- The Alardo Park