The aim of the Mondego Network of Castles and City Walls is to give credit to the Mondego Defensive Line and to establish an exclusive tourist product based on the historical and cultural heritage.


The castles of Coimbra, Lousã, Miranda do Corvo, Montemor-o-Velho, Penela, Soure, Buarcos fortress and the neighbouring castle of Pombal were all part of the Mondego Defensive Line. This line, bordering two worlds – the Christian and the Muslim worlds – was responsible for some of the most important moments in the history of Portugal.


Characterised by many armed conflicts, instability and danger, but also of coexistence, permeabilities and love, this place has many stories to tell.

Embrace this challenging tour. Immerse yourself in our History! Reconquer these castles!


Mondego Network of Castles

Praça do Município | Penela

GPS: 40.033686, -8.404141

T (+351) 911 051 882


Lousã Castle

Lousã Castle, also known as Arouce Castle, is set on a narrow foothill of the Lousã Mountain. According to historical imagery, it was founded by King Arunce, who lived in Conímbriga in the ancient region of Lusitania and who built it as his hideaway.


GPS40.100966, -8.235617


Miranda do Corvo Bell Tower – Alto do Calvário

Miranda do Corvo’s bell tower and reservoir are the only physical remnants from the old castle, which was once a strategic building in the defense of the Mondego line. One of the literary references to this castle dates back to 998, as its name comes up in an exchange transaction, and in 1116, as per report in Chronica Gothorum, according to which the Muslim army attacked the Coimbra region and marched across Soure, Santa Eulália and Miranda do Corvo.


GPS: 40.092610, -8.335152


Montemor Castle

Although we do find references to this castle in the early Middle Ages, all that remains today is from the 14th century. There are remnants of the old medieval palace within the castle walls, where the death of Inês de Castro was supposedly decided, as well as the Church of Saint Mary of Alcáçova, founded in 1095 but restored in the 16th century.



GPS: 40.175042, -8.683832

T (+351) 239 680 380 (Tourist Office)

Opening Hours:

Summer - Jul to Sept: 10am-6.30pm

Winter - Oct to Jun: 9.30am-5.30pm

Closed: 1 Jan, Easter Sunday and 25 Dec


Penela Castle

Although this castle was built in the 11th century, its remnants date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Its walls houses the Church of Saint Michael, built in 12th century. Besides the Porta da Vila (Town Door), there is another door called the door of Treason or of the Fields, which has a double entryway curved at the bend, set in a tower, showing the influence of Muslim tradition in Portuguese fortresses in the late Middle Ages.


Praça do Município

GPS: 40.031275, -8.389997

T (+351) 239 560 120

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Opening Hours:

Apr to Sept: 8am-9pm

Oct to Mar: 9am-7pm


Germanelo Castle

The castle was built by King Afonso Henriques between 1140 and 1142 and offers a stunning view over the Rabaçal valley, which can be complemented by an illustrating landscape information panel.



GPS: 40.026316, -8.430298


Soure Castle

Donated in 1128 by D. Teresa to the Knights Templar.

Traces of the Arab occupation can still be found in this very important strategic area, for e.g., the Ajimez – twin window consisting of two narrow windows separated by a slim mullion – dating back to the first half of the 11th century. It was used as the lintel of the door leading to the castle keep in reform works after the Christian Reconquest.


GPS: 40.056765, -8.626079


Redondos Castle / Buarcos Fortress

Due to the characteristics of the Buarcos cove and its boarding and unboarding facilities, this area was a prime anchorage site for trade and enemy attacks, which is why this coast has always had a number of defense structures. However, only a corner wall remains from the Redondos Castle. The Buarcos Fortress – a wall section with ramparts – is not as old as the castle. Built in the 16th century, this structure replaces the former military buildings that eventually became obsolete as the war raged on. This fortress defended the region with the supported of the Palheiros Stronghold in Santa Catarina Fortress.


R. 5 de Outubro, 1 | Buarcos | Figueira da Foz

GPS: 40.165866, -8.880972


Coimbra Walls and Towers

The Castle of Coimbra, which no longer exists, was situated in what today is D. Dinis Square. During the reign of D. Sesnando, in the 11th century, the castle was modest in size and of an irregular plan. It survived until the 18th century, when the works carried out in Pombal’s Astronomy Observatory almost destroyed it completely. The castle was used as a hideaway by D. Teresa in 1116 during the siege forced by Ali Bem Yusuf; its keep was built during the reign of King Afonso Henriques. When the new university campus was built in the 1940s, whatever traces remained of the castle were completely destroyed. The city wall was built in the late Roman period and underwent conservation works during Visigoth, Islamic or Christian times. It is 1800 meters long, covers an area of about 22 hectares and used to have five doors and a considerable number of towers, in particular the Almedina Tower.


GPS: 40.208830, -8.428742


For more information about the Mondego Network of Castles and City Walls go to:

Praça do Município | Penela

GPS: 40.033686, -8.404141

T (+351) 911 051 882

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