Monsanto e Idanha-a-Velha is a civil parish in the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal. Thanks to its fine collection of ruins, the village of Idanha-a-Velha has some of the country's most important archaeological sites. It stands in a place where a Roman city once lay, the capital of Civitas Igaeditanorum (1st century BC) and later the episcopal seat during occupation by the Suebi and Visigoths.
It was occupied by Muslims in the 8th century and taken back by Christians in the 12th century. It was donated to the Knights Templar in the 13th century and still has traces of different ages that attest to permanent occupation by various civilisations. Perched on a hilltop that oversees all the surrounding horizons, the village of Monsanto has a unique charm that has earned it two titles in the 20th century – the Most Portuguese Village in Portugal in 1938, a title awarded by the Portuguese Secretariat for Propaganda under the Estado Novo regime, and Historical Village in 1995.
Monsanto is one of the region's main tourist attractions and offers visitors a unique experience. It was granted charters by King Afonso Henriques, King Sancho I, King Sancho II and King Manuel. The oldest part is also the highest point, where the Knights Templar built a wall with the donjon.References:
The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is situated in a strategic area on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain, it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German kaiser Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year.
The first records of a castle built by the Hohenstaufens date back to 1147. The fortress changed its name to Koenigsburg (royal castle) around 1157. The castle was handed over to the Tiersteins by the Habsburgs following its destruction in 1462. They rebuilt and enlarged it, installing a defensive system designed to withstand artillery fire.
The fortification work accomplished over the 15th century did not suffice to keep the Swedish artillery at bay during the Thirty Years War, and the defences were overrun.