Marvao, a well preserved medieval fortress
We continue our trip in Portugal and we find ourselves near Marvao, a well preserved medieval fortress. Those who have never heard of this small but spectacular village will discover with satisfaction that reaching Marvao is quite an adventure. It is located on top of a 900 meters high mountain, Serra de São Mamede, offering tourists a breathtaking view. It is definitely one of the most scenical spots in Portugal and thus, is taken into consideration by UNESCO to be listed among the World Heritage Sites.
Historical point of view
Located only a few kilometers from the border with Spain, Marvao is a wonder of the nature. The first historical references of the village date back to the 9th century, during the Arab occupation, when we have data related to the place where Ibn Marúan, a Moorish warrior, found refuge. The territory was conquered by D. Afonso Henriques, in 1160/1166. Its geographical position and the role played by the mountains as defense walls was recognized by every ruler and thus, strengthened year by year. Inside the walls, you can feel the medieval atmosphere every step of the way, from the cobbled streets to the style of the whitewashed houses. You can notice details of Manuline and Gothic style all over the town, both in the arches of the house and in the iron balconies.
Why is Marvao so special?
This village is without any doubt one of the most well preserved medieval fortress in Portugal, thus, the interest for archeological sites is really high. It is worth starting a trip on foot around the most important sites in the area, there will be many surprises to unveil. Also, the beautiful surroundings cannot pass unnoticed by tourists, offering them a moment of tranquility and reflection. Regarding the main touristic attractions, it is worth visiting Igreja de Santa Maria, Igreja de Santiago, Capela do Espirito Santo or Convento de Nossa Senhora da Estrela. Also, the well preserved castles from the 13th century (such as Castelo de Vide or Castelo de Marvao) are places high on the tourists’ list. Also, in Marvao takes place a very special festival- the Chestnut Festival, a great opportunity for finding out more about the local traditions and of course the traditional foods. This is practically the main event of the year, held on November, when the city becomes a vibrant city full of color.
I invite you to take a closer look at Marvao, a well preserved medieval fortress and discover more than just a small town, to discover a spot full of customs and traditions, a spot where everything has its own rhythm.