By Chris King • 19 December 2021 • 2:49
Just across the Spanish border, where Salamanca joins Portugal, you will find the stunning charismatic, medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo. This hilltop location overlooks the plain that stretches into Spain to the east, and to the deep Douro Valley in the north.
According to tradition, this village was founded by Afonso IX of Leon, to donate it to Count Rodrigo Gonzalez de Giron, who repopulated it and gave it this name. The Castelo Rodrigo was incorporated into the Kingdom of Portugal in 1297 with the Treaty of Alcañices between King Denis of Portugal and King Fernando IV of Castile.
The municipality is located within the Route of the Historic Villages, and from it, you can see the incredible landscape that goes from the Coa river to the Agueda river.
Along this route, you can witness the mountains of Francia and Bejar, as well as the peaks that border the Duero river. Another essential sight worth seeing is the Cristobal de Moura Palace. This palace, built in the 16th century on the remains of the old fortress, is one of the most significant historical remains of the place.
Visit Castelo Rodrigo’s Manueline pillory, and also the somewhat touching statue of Santiago Matamouros, housed in the Church of Our Lady of Rocamador. This place of worship was founded in the 13th century by a congregation of friars that gave asylum to the pilgrims who made the Portuguese Camino de Santiago. Legend has it that none other than St. Francis of Assisi spent the night here on his pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James.
If you continue a tour of this fascinating medieval town, you will be able to reach the Cistern Well. Located on Calle Sinagoga, you will find the cistern that was part of the town’s synagogue, ordered to be built in the 13th century.
To get to Castelo Rodrigo from Salamanca, you must take the A-62, reaching this wonderful town in approximately 90 minutes. If you are traveling from the capital of Madrid, the distance between Castelo Rodrigo and Madrid is 364km. You need to take first the A-6, then the A-50, and finally, the A-62 as reported by 20minutos.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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