Castelo - Portugal - Bragança

History of the Castle of Bragança

The urban growth of this city of Transmontana is closely linked to the Castle of Bragança.

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History of the Castle of Bragança

The urban growth of this city of Transmontana is closely linked to the Castle of Bragança.

The initial perimeter of the brigantine citadel defended the old medieval village, but the urban mesh began to extend beyond the walls, in such a way that Bragança would eventually be elevated to the category of city.

However, the strategic situation of Bragança had already been used for the construction of a castro, which was later metamorphosed into a Roman fortification, where important military road networks were monitored and controlled.

Having been restored the name of "Brigance" after the arrival of the Germanic peoples, this city of Transmontana knew the uncertainties and the conflicts between Arabs and Christians.

Castelo de Bragança (Author: José Antonio Gil Martínez)
Castelo de Bragança (Author: José Antonio Gil Martínez)
It was due to these devastating incursions that the town had to move to the hill of Benquerença, near the river Fervença, which occurred during the reign of D. Afonso Henriques.

From the demolished "Brigancia" was recovered and reused numerous ancient materials, building in the XII century a beautiful castle that would serve to protect the renewed settlement.

However, a few years later, the village of Benquerença would again be devastated by the Muslim armies.

King D. Sancho I of Portugal ordered that they repopulate and rebuild houses and fortress with such success that in 1293 D. Dinis would add to the village a second cloth of protective walls.

The Castle of Bragança would be the target of works of improvement during the reign of D. Fernando, while in the reign of King João I it was enlarged.

Already after the struggles of the Reconquista, Bragança continued to register important military actions against its medieval castle. Several border disputes between Leon and Portugal continued to occur in the thirteenth century, destroying much of the defensive perimeter of Burundi.

In the reign of D. Fernando, the struggles between Castile and Portugal eventually led to the siege and occupation of the citadel of Bragança, which only returned to national hands after the signing of the Treaty of Alcoutim.

Later, with the marriage of D. Afonso, son of D. João I, and of D. Beatriz, daughter of D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, the famous House of Bragança was started and the city would be umbilicalmente attached to this important one Lineage of the Portuguese nobility.

In 1580, during the crisis of succession, Bragança remained faithful to the national cause, supporting the ill-fated D. António, Prior do Crato.
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