The Curutelo Castle is a well-preserved medieval castle located in the civil parish of Ardegão, in the municipality of Ponte de Lima. 

There are many interpretations as to the construction of the palace of Curutelo. Félix Machado, in his notes on the nobility of the Count of São Pedro, stated that the structure existed during the time of Ferdinand I of León who conquered Coimbra from the Moors, and gave it to Nuno Nudiz. João Salgado de Araújo, Abbey of Perre, indicates that it was constructed by the Asturian nobleman Alarico (powerful descendant of the Goths) around 800. The building remained in the inheritance of his descendants until D. Urraca Landufes, who married Nuno Nudiz. Figueiredo Guerra indicates that the building was erected in 1532, by João Rodrigues do Lago, and that there was no castle at the time that Nuno Viegas and his wife, Inês Dias, instituting the Majorat, which was later confirmed by D. João I on 14 December 1395. Figueiredo da Guerra suggests that the estate palace was built in the first half of the 16th century, and followed a typology inspired by the medieval tower-residence.

During the stewardship of the 5th Majorat of Coucieiro, around 1532, the lands were sold to Duke D. Jaime, becoming the owner of the residence, tower, castle and estate of Curutelo. He eventually called on the nobleman João Rodrigues de Lago (son of Rui Gomes) to render services and conquer Azamar, resulting in the estate becoming the possession of his descendant in the following centuries.

Following the marriage of D. Maria de Felgueiras Gajo with Dr. Rodrigo Augusto Cerqueira Velozo (a Barcelos lawyer) in 1867, work was begun on modernizing the tower, that included opening spaces for new windows and doors. Yet, not having any heirs, before her death, D. Maria Felgueiras Gajo, named her husband as benefactor, resulting in litigation in the courts, that ultimately sided with Dr. Rodrigo Velozo.


The structure is situated in a harmonious, rural landscape, half-way up the mount of São Cristóvão dos Milagres, also known as São Cristóvão do Curutelo, overlooking a small valley covered in forest. It is encircled by a high wall, with ivy-covered, rectangular gated access alongside the roadway.

Similar to many of the manor-houses in the Alto Minho constructed in the 16th century, the palace of Curutelo combines the symmetry and regularity of the civil architecture associated with the Renaissance, with medieval keep tower, which at the time had a defensive function, symbolizing the nobility and power of property-owners. Its plan focuses on a single-story rectangular section, that includes a central, elevated square tower. The main body of the building is crowned by pyramidal merlons, with gargoyles situated along regular spaces on the facade. In comparison, the frontispiece is austere, with a few regular guillotine-style windows and doors with simple frames.

In the courtyard of the estate is a chapel dedicated to Santo Amaro, with a simple typology similar to the manor-house. It has a simple facade, divided into two registers by friezes, with simple rectangular frame surmounted by window, and accompanied by a truncated, rectangular bell-tower. The interior of this single-nave church includes a high-choir and presbytery in gilded woodwork.


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Founded: 16th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Portugal


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User Reviews

Álvaro Lira (10 months ago)
Atracção turística, que se vê bem da estrada, e merece ser conhcida. Espaço tipicamente minhoto, com uma vinha bem cuidada.
Francisco Basto (2 years ago)
O Paço de Curutêlo, também referido como Castelo do Curutêlo, localiza-se na freguesia de Freixo, concelho de Ponte de Lima, distrito de Viana do Castelo, em Portugal. Paço de feição Acastelada implantado em área rural, ergue-se a meia encosta do monte de São Cristóvão dos Milagres ou do Curutêlo, sobranceiro a um pequeno Vale, sendo envolvido por árvores. Paço de planta retangular composta de um pavimento e integrado ao centro de uma torre quadrada mais elevada. Volumes escalonados com cobertura de telhas a quatro águas. Os alçados são coroados por merlões piramidais. Frontespício com porta de verga recta e janela de guilhotina, nos corpos laterais e janelas largas de jambas decoradas e encimada por uma outra mais estreita, na torre ao nível do primeiro piso. Regularmente dispoēm-se gárgulas circulares. Fachadas laterais rasgadas por três janelas e a posterior por duas enquadrando porta simples, na torre uma janela. É cercado por alta muralha coberta de hera com portão de acesso de verga recta junto à estrada. Encostada ao muro que cerca o solar, mas num plano mais baixo, ergue-se Capela retangular parcialmente coberta de hera e dedicada a Santo Amaro. Frontespício rasgado por porta de simples verga recta ladeada por duas frestas e encimada por janela, termina em empena truncada por pequena sineira. No interior coro alto e retábulo de talha.
jose catarino (3 years ago)
E pena estar perdido no tempo
Luís Valério (3 years ago)
Manuel Baptista (5 years ago)
Muito bom
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