With medieval characteristics, Caminha castle was built on military foundations of the 4th and 5th centuries. The defences were reinforced and expanded during the Christian Reconquest. During conflicts with Castile, its settlement and defense were encouraged under the reigns of King Afonso III (1248-1279), King Denis (1279-1325) and John I (1385-1433), due to the strategic value that this lindeira town represented for the kingdom.

With the closure of the 1383-85 Portuguese interregnum crisis, the village supported John. The new King John I helped the village and garrisoned by a second line of walls. Under the reign of King Manuel I (1495-1521), the town and its castle are recorded in drawings by Duarte de Armas in his Book of Fortresses, c. 1509.

The current Clock Tower (Torre do Relógio) would be the most important and robust building of the fortified ensemble, originally constituted as the Keep, with a quadrangular shape and an inscription of regal arms stone. Since the beginning of the 17th century it houses the village clock, the bell dating from 1610, and since the Restoration War it bears a stone image of Our Lady of Conception.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Portugal

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