Castro Laboreiro Viewing Point

Castro Laboreiro, Melgaço

From this viewpoint there opens out a panoramic view of the valley of Laboreiro and the Serra da Peneda. At the bottom of the valley can be seen several inverneiras located on the right bank of the river, surrounded by water meadows and oak woods. From this viewpoint it is perfectly possible to understand the difference of altitude between the invernerais (between 750 and 850 meters), in relation to the town (permanent settlement at 950 meters of altitude) and, higher still, the brandas, located to the north of the viewpoint, at an altitude between 1000 and 1200 meters.. It is also a strategic point from which to try and identify the mountain peaks rising between the valleys of Laboreiro and Peneda Rivers.

To the east side of the viewpoint stands a large rocky outcrop, where the castle of Castro Laboreiro was constructed, making use of the local morphology. This is a medieval fortification, consisting of a castle and urban defence, possibly built in the XII/XIII century, and of which only the walls remain. The intramural settlement was abandoned in the Middle Ages, the village moving at that time to a lower level.

Of the ancient medieval fortification, there remain the walls and vestiges of the Menage tower as well as an old cistern. The main entrance, called the Gate of the sun, is visible from the eastern side, whilst the gate of betrayal or the frog on the north side give access to the interior.

The history of this site goes back to the Iron Age, after which was built the fortress by the hand of D. Afonso Henriques. After being destroyed by a violent storm, D. Dinis rebuilt the fortress due to its strategic importance in defending the frontier with Spain.



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