Who doesn't want to be a knight? Póvoa de Lanhoso!
Do you also want to become a knight in Portugal?
The knights are not gone yet!
What child doesn't dream of becoming a knight or a virgin? I think everyone has had one of those phases. I certainly did. Unfortunately, I had to settle for the ruins of Bergen and Castle Radbout in Medemblik, although the latter was and is definitely worth a visit. In my fantasy, I fought the Kwaaie pier and saved the inhabitants of West Friesland. But, of course, that was a long time ago. Now we live and work in northern Portugal, discovering new objects, restaurants and nature worth visiting.
It was in Guimerães that Portugal was born and where its first king, King Afonso, was crowned in 1112. This brought some family troubles. After a world-famous battle, the king imprisoned his mother in Lanhoso castle. Far from Guimerães, near the village of Povóa de Lanhoso. Povóa freely translated means "founded settlement". People were forced by the rulers to live there to work the land, but mostly to guard and feed it. At that time, just after 1200 AD, it must have been quite a walk from Guimerães to Povóa de Lanhoso. Nowadays we can do it by car in half an hour, but back then there was no motorway. The motorway was still many years away. Anyway, I wanted to see the castle up close and imagine myself a knight again.
Atop the largest granite stone in the Iberian Peninsula, called Monte do Pilar, the Lanhoso castle is built. The name Lanhoso is derived from Roman and, again freely translated, it means "stone". You can see the castle from afar. During the last few kilometres, it becomes clear that this is an extremely strategically chosen spot with clear views all around. It is an old castle, given the way it was built. No ornaments, a real defensive work. Nor is it gigantic. No, it is gigantic solid. All the stones are marked with ornaments, the purpose of which was to enable restoration in case of destruction. And it has been destroyed several times, but fortunately restored to its former glory each time [including electricity]. The castle has archaeological finds on display, the oldest of which is dated to 3000 BC. Roman gold jewellery is also on display. This makes it clear that even before the castle was built, this place was important. Of course, there is the Infanta, the king's mother: a mannequin with replica clothes of. Courageously, I climbed the steps and battlements and felt like a child again.
Nearby, within walking distance, you can visit excavations of Celtic villages. Rugged hiking trails take you there. There are several marked walks. The sporting challenge is in the climb up. The walks take you past water, vistas, livestock and of course you see
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