We set off from Flor da Rosa on a bright, cold morning to visit Castelo de Vide, an extraordinary small town in east Portugal, close to the Spanish border. The countryside was covered in dew – beautiful – but very difficult to photograph with an impatient companion!
Castelo de Vide was founded by the Romans in 44BC, taken and destroyed by the Vandals in 4C, and retaken and rebuilt by the Moors in the 7C. In 1148 the town was retaken by the Portuguese. We parked near this beautiful fountain which, on a previous visit, had been surrounded by pink paeonies.
The Castle and its walls were built in the 13C-14C and during the 14C the town started expanding slowly outside the old walls, necessitating new walls to extend protection for the inhabitants.
Inside the castle walls are many interesting buildings, including the 16C Church of Nossa Senhora da Alegria; the Matos House where King Dinis received the Spanish Ambassadors to confirm his marriage to Princess Isabella of Aragon; the original Town Hall of the 14C and 15C; and a synagogue in the Jewish Quarter which was probably established in 12C-13C, before the Jews were expelled from Spain in the 1400s.
The Town Fountain at the lower end of the Jewish Quarter dates from 16C. On the right is one of the town gates and nearby a house with an interesting doorway, one of many in the town.
In the expanded town there are many interesting sights such as the new Town Hall of the 16C; the Fountain of San Tiago; the Casa Amarela, tourist accommodation in a reconstructed Manor House; and the Church of Santa Maria da Devesa, the parish church. This is a town for wandering, and then enjoying coffee and pasteis de nata.
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