Castelo de Belver - Belver, Portugal
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member tmob
N 39° 29.632 W 007° 57.654
29S E 589349 N 4372099
Quick Description: The Castle of Belver was declared as a National Monument in 1910
Location: Portalegre, Portugal
Date Posted: 1/30/2012 9:08:17 AM
Waymark Code: WMDMAT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member razalas
Views: 2

Long Description:
«Belver was the first castle and most important to be constructed by the Hospitalers in Portugal during the Middle Ages. It was built in order to defend the access-way along the Tagus River, and donate by Sancho I under the condition that a castle be constructed.

In 1194, King Sancho conceded this region of the Northern Tagus River, then known asGuidintesta, or Guidi in testa (or still of Costa), to Afonso Paes, prior of the Order of the Hospitallers. By so doing, the King hoped to stabilize the Christian-Muslim frontier along the Tagus River, leaving the Templar to almost monopolize their power along the frontier lands. The King began referring to the construction of the Castle and the surrounding as Belver. In his later testament, King Sancho transferred the title of the Castle to the Hospitalers.

By 1210, construction was far enough advanced to allow the permanent occupation and defence. The testament while identifying its existence, also made it clear that the Castle was one of the six repositories of the nation's wealth, thusby providing ample proof of the Castle's defences, albeit located in a frontier outpost. The final construction was completed in 1212.

Between 1336 and 1341, Belver fell under the most important command of the Hospitallers, while still not seat nor official House, which continued to reside in the town of Leça do Balio. Even as the head of the Order transferred his rule to the parish of Flor da Rosa, in the municipality of Crato, creating the priorship of Crato, the Castle of Belver (and its community) did not progress more than a provincial stronghold.

The fortress remained intact over the following centuries, preserving many of the primitive Romanesque military motifs of the period. In fact, the castle was systematically adapted to military conditions of the time, while garrison accommodations were improved. After becoming King, John I of Portugal renewed the Castle's important military role, and in the face of Castilian conflicts, had the Castle's defenses expanded and rehabilitated, under the direction of Nuno Alvares Pereira (in 1390). In the 16th century, the Chapel of São Brás, was completed. Similar renovations occurred in the 17th century, by Cosmander.

By the 19th century, the Castle, apart from its imposing form above the parish of Belver, was completely forgotten, becoming a shelter for the settlement's cemetery in 1846.

The 1909 earthquake caused major damage to the fortifications, but only resulted in major re-construction between 1939 and 1946, when the DGEMN- Direcção Geral dos Edifícios e Monumentos Nacionais also continued to work on the Castle grounds annually, rehabilitate, demolish and erect major facets of the Castle. Similarly, in 1976, the walls and roof were repaired, while the door to the chapel and alter were renovated, and in 1986, while lighting was updated on the grounds, the roof was repaired once more. In 1987-1988, repairs to the donjon (plaster, masonry and pavement) were completed.

On 1 June 1992, the property was transferred to the IPPAR Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico, under decree-law 106F/92. The institution, before being subborned into the IGESPAR was responsible for a complete restoration and conservation of the Castle.»

-- Source

Designação (Name): Castelo de Belver

Categoria de protecção (Classification): Classificado como MN - Monumento Nacional

Categoria/Tipologia (Type of heritage): Arquitectura Militar / Castelo

Concelho (City): Gavião

Página do Património na base de dados do IGESPAR (Page of the Heritage at the IGESPAR database): [Web Link]

Wikipedia: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
[PT]
- Por favor forneça pelo menos uma foto tirada durante a sua visita.
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[ENG]
- Please provide at least a photo you have taken during your visit.
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Daniel C visited Castelo de Belver - Belver, Portugal 7/7/2012 Daniel C visited it