Palmela Castle

Situated in a strategic area between the Rivers Sado and Tagus, Palmela Castle was founded by the Moors. The first fortification here was put up around the 11th century, after the conquest of the region from the Visigoths. Portugal’s first king, Dom Afonso Henriques, first took it in 1147. But only in 1190 was it firmly under Portuguese control. During the reign of Dom João I, the castle was reinforced and extended, and the Convent and Church of Santiago (Saint James) added. In 1443 it became the seat of the Military Order of Santiago until the order’s extinction in 1834. In 1670 Dom Pedro II adapted the castle to the use of modern artillery, but the structure was damaged by the 1755 Earthquake. At the start of the 20th century it was declared a national monument; the Convent of Santiago was later transformed into a Pousada (luxury hotel). Panoramic views of the Sado estuary and of the beaches at Tróia can be admired in our Wine & Arrábida tour.