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Castelo de Almourol

Visitas

Abertura e horário de encerramento do castelo
Preço de entrada no Castelo – 2,50 €

Abertura
1 de maio a 30 de setembro: 2.ª a domingo
De 1 de outubro de 30 de abril: 3.ª feira a domingo | Encerra – 2.ª feira
(encerra nos dias 24, 25 e 31 de dezembro de 2016 e 2 de janeiro de 2017)
Horário:
1 de novembro a 30 de janeiro: 10h às 13h; 14h30 às 17h
Fevereiro: 10h às 13h; 14h30 às 17h30
1 de março a 31 de outubro: 10h às 13h; 14h30 às 19h30
   
     
Partidas fluviais do cais de Tancos
Passeio fluvial com embarque no Cais D'El Rei, em Tancos, com paragem para visita à ilha e ao castelo, e regresso a Tancos em embarcação com capacidade para 50 pessoas.
Serviço efetuado apenas mediante marcação prévia.
Horário: 3.ª a domingo, com partidas de hora a hora;
1 novembro a 28 fevereiro: 10h às 13h; 14h30 às 17h;
1 março a 31 outubro: 10h às 13h; 14h30 às 19h.
Preços:
• Até 5 pessoas: 4,00 €/pax
• De 5 a 14 pessoas (inclusive): 3,50 €/pax
• A partir de 15 pessoas: 2,50 €/pax
Coordenadas GPS: 08º23'56,552''W – 39º27'31,494''N
 
Contactos, reservas e informações
Junta de Freguesia de Tancos
Tel/Fax: 249712094 | Telm: 962625678
E-mail: Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.
 
 

         

Partidas fluviais do cais junto ao castelo
Acesso à ilha e ao castelo em embarcações com capacidade para 20 pessoas.
Horário: 3.ª feira a domingo; 1 outubro a 28 fevereiro: 10h às 13h; 14h30 às 17h.
Preço: 2,50 €/pax
Coordenadas GPS: 08º23'02,301''W – 39º27'43,126''N

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
Visitas guiadas
Informações e marcação de visitas:
Posto de Turismo
Centro Cultural de Vila Nova da Barquinha
Largo 1º de Dezembro
2260-403 Vila Nova da Barquinha
Tel.: 249 090 405 | Telm.: 915 081 737 | 916 910 739
   

 

História

templarios

O mais belo de Portugal

Situado numa pequena ilha escarpada, no curso médio do rio Tejo, o Castelo de Almourol é um dos monumentos militares medievais mais emblemáticos e cenográficos da Reconquista, sendo, simultaneamente, um dos que melhor evoca a memória dos Templários no nosso país.

As origens da ocupação deste local são bastante antigas e, por isso mesmo, enigmáticas. Alguns autores referiram a possibilidade de aqui se ter instalado um primitivo reduto lusitano, ou pré-romano, posteriormente conquistado por estes, e com vagas de ocupação ao longo de toda a Alta Idade Média. Fosse como fosse, o certo é que em 1129, data da conquista deste ponto pelas tropas portuguesas, o castelo já existia e denominava-se Almorolan.

Entregue aos Templários, que então efectivavam o povoamento entre o Mondego e o Tejo, sendo mesmo os principais responsáveis pela defesa da capital, Coimbra, o castelo foi reedificado e assumiu as características arquitectónicas e artísticas essenciais, que ainda hoje se podem observar. Através de uma epígrafe, colocada sobre a porta principal, sabemos que a conclusão das obras deu-se em 1171, escassos dois anos após a grandiosa obra do Castelo de Tomar, mandada edificar por Gualdim Pais, cuja actividade construtiva à frente da Ordem, nas décadas de 60 e 70 do século XII, foi verdadeiramente surpreendente. São várias as características que unem ambos, numa mesma linha de arquitectura militar templária. Em termos planimétricos, a opção por uma disposição quadrangular dos espaços. Em altura, as altas muralhas, protegidas por nove torres circulares, adossadas, e a torre de menagem, verdadeiro centro nevrálgico de toda a estrutura.

Estas últimas características constituem dois dos elementos inovadores com que os Templários pautaram a sua arquitectura militar no nosso país. Com efeito, como deixou claro Mário Barroca, a torre de menagem é estranha aos castelos pré-românicos, aparecendo apenas no século XII e em Tomar, o principal reduto defensivo templário em Portugal (BARROCA, 2001, p.107). A torre de menagem do castelo de Almourol tinha três pisos e foi bastante modificada ao longo dos tempos, mas mantém ainda importantes vestígios originais, como a sapata, que nos dá a dimensão geral da estrutura. Por outro lado, também as muralhas com torreões adossados, normalmente providas de alambor, foram trazidas para o ocidente peninsular por esta Ordem, e vemo-las também aplicadas em Almourol.

Extinta a Ordem, e afastada a conjuntura reconquistadora que justificou a sua importância nos tempos medievais, o castelo de Almourol foi votado a um progressivo esquecimento, que o Romantismo veio alterar radicalmente. No século XIX, inserido no processo mental de busca e de revalorização da Idade Média, o castelo foi reinventado, à luz de um ideal romântico de medievalidade. Muitas das estruturas primitivas foram sacrificadas, em benefício de uma ideologia que pretendia fazer dos monumentos medievais mais emblemáticos verdadeiras obras-primas, sem paralelos na herança patrimonial. Data, desta altura, o coroamento uniforme de merlões e ameias, bem como numerosos outros elementos de índole essencialmente decorativa e muito pouco prática.

No século XX, o conjunto foi adaptado a Residência Oficial da República Portuguesa, aqui tendo lugar alguns importantes eventos do Estado Novo. O processo reinventivo, iniciado um século antes, foi definitivamente consumado por esta intervenção dos anos 40 e 50, consumando-se, assim, o fascínio que a cenografia de Almourol causou no longo Romantismo cultural e político português.

Fonte: IPPAR

Multimédia

 
 

MP3 icon Audio Roteiro

  • Barco Almourol
  • Castelo de Almourol - barco
  • Castelo de Almourol - cais da ilha
  • Castelo de Almourol - reflexo
  • Castelo de Almourol - vista da torre de menagem
  • Castelo de Almourol - vista de Tancos
  • Castelo de Almourol no inverno
  • Castelo de Almourol por Maria Isabel Clara
  • Castelo de Almourol

Lendas

Lenda de D. Beatriz e o Moiro MP3 icon

Aí pelos séculos IX ou X, era dono do castelo um senhor Godo chamado D. Ramiro, casado e tendo uma filha única de nome Beatriz.
Valoroso soldado era, todavia, rude, orgulhoso e cruel como a maioria dos senhores de sangue gótico. Ao regressar de uma das suas sortidas de guerra e orgulhoso dos seus feitos que em grande parte se cifravam em inúmeras atrocidades encontrou já próximo do Castelo duas moiras, mãe e filha, que embora infiéis reconheceu serem lindas como sua esposa e filha, que deixara em seu solar.
Fatigado da viagem e sedento, D. Ramiro interpelou as moiras para que cedessem a água que a mais jovem transportava na bilha.
Assustada pela figura e tom de voz do feroz cavaleiro, a pequena moira deixou que a bilha se lhe escapasse das mãos e quebrando-se, perdeu o precioso líquido que D. Ramiro tanto desejava.
Encolorizado e cego de raiva, este de pronto enristou a lança e feriu as duas desgraçadas que antes de morrerem, o amaldiçoaram. E porque surgisse entretanto um pequeno moiro de 11 anos, filho e irmão das assassinadas o tornou cativo e trá-lo para o Castelo. Chegado que foi a Almourol o moço viu a mulher e a filha de D. Ramiro e jurou fazer nela a sua vingança.
Passaram anos. A castelã adoece e pouco a pouco se foi definhando até morrer, em resultado do veneno que lhe vinha ministrado o cativo agareno.
O desgosto de evento leva D. Ramiro a procurar na luta contra os infiéis, refrigério para a sua desdita e parte confiando a guarda da sua filha ao jovem mouro, que fizera seu pagem, dada a docilidade e cortesia que o mesmo sempre astuciosamente revelara. Aconteceu, porém, que os dois jovens ignorando as diferenças de condições e de crenças, em breve se enamoraram, paixão contra a qual o mancebo lutou desesperadamente mas em vão, dado que tal amor lhe impedia de consumar a sua vingança.
Mas não há bem que sempre dure e o enlevo e a felicidade dos dois jovens são desfeitos pelo regresso de D. Ramiro que se fazia acompanhar por outro castelão, a quem prometera a mão de sua filha.
O moiro, então alucinado e perdido, contou tudo a Beatriz as crueldades do pai, as promessas de vingança o envenenamento da mãe e a luta que travara entre o amor e o juramento que fizera.
Não se sabe o que se seguiu a esta confissão. Diz entretanto a lenda, que Beatriz e o moiro desapareceram sem que mais houvesse notícias deles. E D. Ramiro, cheio de remorsos e de desgosto morreu, pouco depois, ficando abandonado o Castelo, Conta a lenda que em certas noites de luar se vê o moiro abraçado a D. Beatriz e d: Ramiro a seus pés, a implorar clemência sempre que o moiro solta a palavra “maldição”.
Deste modo o viajante que por ali deambule, não deverá se surpreender se, em certas noites de luar, vir passar por entre as ameias as vestes brancas dos templários com a cruz de sangue sobre o peito de D. Beatriz e o moiro unidos por um abraço eterno. Talvez consiga ouvir mesmo, por entre o rumorejar das águas, os soluços de D. Ramiro.

Lenda de Almorolon MP3 icon

No século XII era senhor de Almorol um emir árabe chamado Almorolon, do qual pretendem alguns que o Castelo tomou o nome.
Nele habitava um moiro com uma filha, formosíssima donzela que adorava.
Quiseram os fados que a bela jovem se enamorasse dum cavaleiro cristão, a tal ponto que a paixão lhe revelou o modo e a arte de o introduzir de noite no Castelo a que se habituara, em repetidas incursões amorosas, franquear a porta deste a companheiros seus que perto embuscados aguardavam.
E assim foi o Castelo traiçoeiramente conquistado. Mas desiludida e triste vitória foi esta, que o emir e sua filha, estreitamente abraçados, lançaram-se das muralhas do castelo ao rio, preferindo tal morte ao cativeiro resultante de tão vi derrota.

Lenda de assalto ao Castelo MP3 icon

Ao Castelo vieram Ter as princesas Miraguarda e Polinarda, com as suas donas e donzelas a que o gigante Palmeirim de Inglaterra deu hospitalidade e as tratou com a maior das atenções ainda que as tivesse suas prisioneiras.
Não tanto pela bela Miraguarda, essa que a natureza fez estremeada de bem parecer e formosura, mas antes pela sua dama Polinarda, Palmeirim tenta raptá-las e salta para a esplanada do castelo.
Mas aì estava o Cavaleiro Triste, vencedor dos maiores campeões daquela época e que era apaixonado por Miraguarda.
Desafiando Palmeirim para um passo de armas, o feriu tendo palmeirim de ser curado das suas feridas em uma vila a 3 Km do Castelo.
Entretanto o Gigante Dramusiando que anteriormente Palmeirim vencera, convertido à fé cristã se fizera seu amigo e companheiro, tendo notícias de grandes forças de Almourol quis medi-las com ele e venceu. Dramusiando ficou então senhor do Castelo e desde então ficou de guarda às princesas, obrando maravilhas de força e valor.

Visita Guiada

Painel 1

ALMOUROL CASTLE

The granite islet on which the castle stands was given to the Templars by Afonso Henriques, in October 1169, as part of Zêzere Castle’s donation to that Militia. It is thought that the grand-master Dom Gualdim Pais had it rebuilt in 1171 from a pre-existing tower or almenara, possibly dating back to Roman times.
The castle occupied a strategic position in the most important waterway in the Portuguese territory, and was a part of the complex defense system of Tomar, seat of the Templar Knights, a system which also included the Zêzere, Cardiga and Pinheiro castles, as well as several isolated watchtowers, which worked as semaphore communication points between the Tagus, Zêzere and Nabão valleys.
After the Templar Order was extinct, the castle came into the possession of the Order of Christ and was, until 1834, a prosperous concession (valued at 440,000 réis, in the 18th century).
It was classified as a National Monument by decree of June 16, 1910.

Painel 2

ALMOUROL CASTLE

Even though the current configuration of Almourol Castle does not entirely correspond to the work designed and built under Dom Gualdim Pais’ plan, it is generally agreed that its primitive outline survives almost intact.
Of all the factors that may have contributed to that relatively pristine state, the following are to be considered:
- not having been the scene of significant war episodes (excepting the Ya'qub al-Mansur invasion, in 1190);
- its isolation and insularity may have saved it from real estate speculation;
- not having been given new uses;
- having undergone judicious maintenance;
- having been kept under military tutelage (presently integrated in the Tancos Polygon).

Painel 3

The place name Almourol is presumed to be derived from the name of a small pego (or mouro = stone), short for Al-mouro, or Almourão, which also occurs in another upstream stretch of the Tagus, in Serra da Vila Velha (Vila Velha de Ródão).
Several renowned researchers, such as Leite de Vasconcelos, Adolfo Schulten or A. Tovar, maintain that the place of Almourol corresponds to the Roman city of Moron, an assumption contested by several others who, relying on Strabo’s writings, place it closer to present-day Santarém instead.
The castle’s old age, which may have originated in a Lusitanian fortification that was later rebuilt under Roman rule (I a. C.) and successively remodeled by Alans, Visigoths and Muslims, namely in its foundations, is evident in the use of spolia (spoils), forming a different constructive unit from the overall stucture.

Painel 4

The Almourol Castle’s perimeter adapts to the accidents and constraints imposed by topography: its irregular plan wisely takes advantage of the difference in elevation of the outcrops on which it stands with two strongholds, reinforced by ten round turrets:
- the outer stronghold, in which South section the Porta da Traição (Gate of Treason) is located (almost camouflaged by one of the turrets);
- the internal stronghold, communicating with the other through a door, with an imposing keep in its center, which takes up almost a quarter of the available area.

Painel 5

ALAMBOR

An architectural approach characterized by the increase in thickness of the lower wall and the tower of a castle (in the form of a ramp), in order to strengthen them, keep siege machines at a distance, help rebound projectiles and reduce blind spots. It was introduced in Portugal by the Templars.
It is seen in the castles of Tomar (in the full perimeter of the outer wall, built between 1160 and 1169, of which it is the most daring example and also the most ancient known in the country), of Pombal (at the base of the keep, built in 1171), of Soure (in the keep, built during the second half of the 13th century, and on the North top of the fortress) and Almourol (only partially).

Painel 6

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Year of 1209 (1209 of Caesar’s era; 1171 of Christ’s era). Master Gualdim, undoubtedly noble by descent, was born in Braga and lived in the time of Afonso, the illustrious King of Portugal, son of Count Henrique and Queen Teresa. After abandoning the secular militia, he would soon shine as the Morning Star. Indeed, he went to Jerusalem as a soldier of the Temple and then he didn’t enjoy idle times for five years, fighting in many skirmishes against the king of Egypt and Syria, along with his master and brothers. After the conquest of Ascalona, he soon travelled to Antioch, where he fought against the forces of the Sultan (the Grand Turk). However, five years later, he returned to the king who had educated and knighted him. Elected procurator of the Order of the Temple in Portugal, he had the following castles built: Pombal, Tomar, Zêzere, Cardiga and this one, called Almourel.

Painel 7

To the Manes gods
The remains of Quinto Cadio Frontonis, who died at the age of 25,
in Rome, are here deposited.
Cadia Tusca, 30 years of age, is here deposited.
Marco Cadio Rufus erected this to his fine
and pious children. Cornelia, daughter of Frontonis,
23 years of age. Albura, mother
of Frontonis, lies here.
Cadia Rufus, his fine wife.

Painel 8

The charter granted to Almourol by Dom Gualdim Pais in 1170 indicates the existence, not only of a military contingent, but also of a permanent settlement.
Since no traces of architectural structures were detected outside the walls, except one in the south edge of the island, which appears to have been a pier, this village can only have existed inside the first fence. In fact, that is where some traces of ancient walls of homes are detected, dating back to the late Middle Ages, as the two mullioned windows in the barbican testify.
The access to this living area would have been made through the main entrance, located to the west, and through the Gate of Treason, facing east.
A chapel, of which no trace remains, seems to have also been built on the lower grounds, ‘about the said castle door’; built in the fifteenth century (1467?), it was dedicated to Santa Maria de Almourol by Friar Rui Velho, then commendator of Almourol.
The way the water supply was run is also unknown, since no traces of any kind of cistern were ever found, with only one obstructed well near the Gate of Treason having been located.

Painel 9

In the year 1209 [1171 a.C.], Master Gualdim,
from Braga, which is head of Galicia, built the castle
of Almourol with the friars his brothers

Painel 10

The Almourol Castle has two autonomous chemins de rondes, the first of which progresses linearly along the battlement of the inferior ground’s outer wall. The second runs the top of the upper walls, and though following the most common model, i. e., a parapet crowned with merlons or crenels, built next to the outer face of the parament, it includes a detail that is unusual in terms of medieval castle building and truly unique in Portugal.
Indeed, the two ends of the battlement, the sections on the outer door of the castle and at the other end of it, respectively, which run along the upper circuit’s quota, both have a double parapet, whose merlon-topped wall is similar to a stucture named couraça, i.e., a two-sided wall or walled path that, standing out from the main wall, provides access to an area beyond it.
Such a design would allow the simultaneous defense, either from the exterior or from within the fortress, in a hypothetical taking of the main stronghold by the enemy.
As for the ten circular, semicircular, or ultrasemicircular turrets that dot the perimeter of the fortress, they were particularly suited for flanked shooting.

Painel 11

About twenty meters high, Almourol’s keep has three floors and a roof terrace. It presents some unique features, such as the corbels in which the beams supporting the various floorings sat, or an orbicular cross (of the Temple), over the window in the eastern end of the building.
The door, the access to which is found 2.8 m above the surrounding courtyard, does not seem to be the primitive one, given the remaining material traces of a previous arc. On the other hand, the first rows of carved stone forming the base of the keep resemble an opus quadratum, presumably Roman.
It is possible that this keep used to be an isolated structure, only later accreted with other wall sections, as suggested by the different stereotomies that are recognizable in the southern section.
Contrary to what happens in many other Templar castles, there is no headstone in the keep.

Painéis 12 – 13 - 14

History of the Castle

1
The names of a few commendator knights of Almourol have been documented, namely: Dom Gil (1188); João Domingos (1201); Brother Beltradus (he signed as a witness in the charter of Ega, in 1231); Gonçalo Fernandes (1302); Friar João Lourenço (1333); Friar Rodrigo (1372); Friar Rui Gonçalves (1374); Bernal Foçim (1383); Friar Martim Gonçalves (1385); Friar Diogo Gonçalves (1390 and 1409); Friar Lopo Dias (1426); Friar Gonçalo Velho (idem); Rui Velho (1467); Simão (son of the former); among others.
King Manuel I's Edict or Ordenação of June 30, 1517, concerning the churches of the Order of Christ, established a perpetual chaplain in Almourol, whose duties included the celebration of a daily Mass (previously delivered every fortnight) and establishing residence in Tancos, in exchange for an annual cash income of 7700 reais.

2
The first major archaeological excavations in Almourol Castle were undertaken at the end of the 19th century (1899).
In the course of those excavations, seven Roman coins and countless Portuguese coins (from Sancho I to João IV) were found, as well as several fragments from harnesses and spurs, and, in particular, twenty-two chest plates, designed to adorn the breastplates or martingales on the harnesses, a testimony of the staging of jousts, or Cortes de Amor, in this section of the river Tagus.

Here is the description of those pieces showing chivalrous scenes:
1) A knight in full armour is seen at the center, with his sword but no helmet; he kneels facing right, with folded hands. Before him stands a lady, hair loosened, wearing a long dress and holding a helmet with both hands to lay it on the knight’s head. Behind him, stuck in the ground, there is a spear with a triangular flag that bears a small cross in the middle. Further back, the head and forequarters of a horse can be seen, and we can clearly make out the reins, the bridle, the noseband and the browband. A tree, whose crown appears over the rider's head, and a smaller one behind the lady, complete the picture. On the edge, a caption reads: + AMO RVOU ME UACO FICA O CORACOM MEU;
2) A lady is seen from the front, taking most of the frame, wearing a lost-sleeved dress, holding in her left hand a flower whose stem and leaves occupy the right side of the circle. Her right hand is on her waist. At her feet, a large lion is lying down. The other side of the circle is occupied by another broad-leaved plant. Floating from the lady’s bosom, a band reads: TENER AMOR.

3
It is understandable that such narrations, extolled by the Romantic movement and combined with the fascination of the place, should spawn revivals of literary and nationalist nature (a dinner offered by the Council Chairman to all the ambassadors in the diplomatic corps, in 1938), stirring the curiosity of antique collectors and the ingenuity of writers and poets.

Painel 15

[Cingulum / Tie of Love]

1
One of the most vehement suggestions as to the existence of a secret doctrine within the peninsular Templars is the sirventês composition by Gil Peres Conde, a Portuguese hidalgo-troubadour in the court of Alfonso X of Castile:
Love is not at the King’s home
for I could not find it there
[...]
I will tell you where I found it:
It was among the Templar friars,
I don’t mean the Hospitaller ones
I will not ask those for any Love.

What kind of Love would that be - spelled with a capital letter – that the troubadour managed to find only among members of the Poor Militia of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Temple of Solomon?
The love in question is none other than the initiatory Love (opposed to libidinous love), the neo-Platonic ‘Gay Wisdom’ of the troubadours, usually with an anti-Vatican bent.
Topics as common as bathing and the washing or purification of hair, garcetas (braids) and immaculate shirts on a fountain, together with the dõas or Laços de Amor (‘Love ties’: straps or buckles, bandages, strings, threads and silkbelfs, loops, knots and ropes) that bind, tie or gird hair and shirts, all acquire unexpected meaning if viewed in light of the accusations brought against the Templars.
Indeed, the Templar Knights were known never to part with certain cords named cíngulos (or atilhos), which they were given when entering the Order, and which had supposedly been in contact with an idol, of whose worship they had been accused.

Painel 17

2
It seems clear that many poetic forms, be it the trobar clus lyrical poems in the Amor and Amigo songbooks, or those in the so-called doce estilo novo or ‘sweet new style’ collected in Garcia de Resende’s anthology Cancioneiro, or the works of Bernardim Ribeiro, Sá de Miranda, Camões, Eloy de Sá Sottomayor, Rodrigues Lobo, Samuel Usque, Fernão Álvares do Oriente, etc., are the outward (exoteric) expression of an exercise aimed at the rebirth into a new life, guided by the inebriating experience of divine Love’s ineffability.
The sufferings of love or coita that drive the troubadour to a state of possession-like state and make him surrender to the Lady, bringing about his desire to die, constitute the primary phase of this exercise, that is, mortification, preparing the subsequent contemplation and leading to a possibleillumination.
The basis for such an exercise came from a tradition of Gnostic inspiration, fueled by a climate of cultural interpenetration with Islamic, Mozarabic and Provencal influences, combined with the Celtism brought by the Matter of Britain.
It is only natural that words should turn into cryptograms.
Besides, did not Camões write, in the vein of the Faithful of Love, that "according to the Love you feel, you shall have the understanding of my lines"?

Painel 19

Mystical-amatory vocabulary of the troubadour’s trobar clus and sweet new style of the Faithful of Love

Amigo [Friend] = initiation
Amante  [Lover] = he who does not die
Amor  [Love] = destroyer of death. Initiatory Order
Braços cruzados  [Folded arms] = way to worship the Holy Wisdom
Chave  [Key] = secret teaching (close your heart with a golden key)
Chorar / suspirar / gemer [Cry / sigh / moan] = to pretend faithfulness to the Church, remaining a sectary of the initiatory Order
Coração [Heart] = seat of active intelligence, or Sofia
Coração gentil [Gentle heart] = pure being, purified from worldly and libidinous passions
Cortes de Amor [Love courts] = meeting places for local members of the initiatory Order
Dama / Dona [Lady] = active Intelligence, or Sofia, but also the beatitude that, once obscured by original sin, is restored to man by Redemption. The Dona is not won until after the hero has triumphed in a series of challenges to his virile qualities and his immaterial faithfulness (poverty)
Flor [Flower] = true doctrine
Fogo [Fire] = Love
Fonte / rio [Fountain / river] = Holy Wisdom, beautiful, flowing and clear
Gaia / gaieza [Gay spirit] = Holy Wisdom or initiatory Order
Gemer [To moan] = the same as chorar and suspirar
Inveja [Envy] = Church. Cold and ice. Opposed to Love
Louco [Mad] = the uninitiated in the Order

Painel 21

Morte [Death] = ordinary life is the death of the soul or the intellect. Death to the world is the true life. The enamored poet is said to have a dead appearance, dead pallor, etc. The true lover or Fiel do Amor pretends to be dead, i. e., a follower of the Church. Those who love are threatened with death
Morte da Dona [Lady’s death] = ecstasy, through which one reaches pure contemplation
Natureza / natureza gentil [Nature / gentle nature] = The True Lover conceals his love for the Holy Wisdom, speaking covertly
Noite [Night] = secrecy
Pedra / coração empedernido [Stone / petrified heart] = the corrupt Church, which monopolizes the Wisdom for its benefit
Razão Razão [Reason] = prudence
Rosa [Rose] = Holy Wisdom
Sapiência santa [Holy wisdom] = initiatory Order
Saúde / salvação [Health / salvation] = provided by the Lady
Selvagem / vilão [Savage / villain] = someone who follows the Church. Opposed to the courteous and gentle
Suspirar [To sigh] = the same as chorar and gemer
Vento / frio / frescura / gelo [Wind / cold / fresh air / ice] = forces opposed to Love
Verde / verdura [Green / vegetation] = the initiatory Order, opposed to obscurity and darkness
Vergonha / envergonhar-se [Shame / to be ashamed] = the state of those who, for fear (of the Church), remain far from the Holy Wisdom and the initiatory Order, despite of being their faithful or sectaries. They fall dead upon definitive separation
Vida [Life] = Whoever enters the initiatory Order starts a new way of being, entering the real life

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Legends

Scarce in military memories, Almourol is, however, shrouded in an aura of mystery and magic. This castle is in fact the most legendary among all the places that have sheltered the Templars in our country.
Depending on the oral tradition of the people in the region, a complex tunnel system used to connect the castle to surrounding locations, the longest of which (c. 12 km) would have communicated with Vila Velha da Atalaia. In another tunnel, allegedly connected with the Franciscan convent of Santa Maria de Almourol, located on the right bank of the Tagus, the ‘Castle treasure’ is said to be hidden, presumably including a ‘gold table laid on top of four globes of the same metal’ (Solomon’s table?).

There are four traditional tales associated with the castle of Almourol:

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1
Giant Almourol’s Legend: this fabled master and keeper of the castle held in it the princesses Polinarda and Miraguarda, whom the famous knight Palmerin of England tried to rescue without success, being left severely mistreated in the duel with the giant; Dramusiando, another giant, jealous of Almourol, challenged and beat him, freeing the princesses under his watch; Almourol had another castle, built by his father, to which he gave his wife’s name, Cardiga; there he lived and raised a son who was also called Almourol;

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2
D. Ramiro’s Legend: Goth lord who welcomed a young Moor in his castle, who, avenging the murder of his mother and sister by Christians, poisoned his host’s wife and seduced Beatriz, his daughter; tradition assures that the young Moor and the Maiden appear on the night of St. John, on the castle’s highest tower, each year renewing the curse that will last until Judgment Day;

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3
Almouro’s Legend: Muslim emir whose daughter fell in love with a Christian knight who betrayed her, opening the fortress’ doors to his comrades in arms; as a result of such act, the emir chose to throw himself into the river embracing his daughter, not to become a captive of the Christians;

4
Legend of the Fisherman and the three Moorish maids.

Landscape Reader

From 1169, the Templars came to own a vast domain that gave them control of a considerable portion of the Tagus Valley, and also one of the busiest medieval transport routes, the one that crosses the ford of the river near Cardiga and passes through Ladeia towards Coimbra, as well as a number of paths that ran from the east to Santarém, along the right bank of the Tagus.
This vast territory was granted by means of the sanction of Tomar’s donation, concomitantly with the extension of the domain up to the river Tagus, by perpetual concession of the castle of Ozezar, or Zêzere.
Aware of the strategic value of the territory in question, Gualdim Pais seems to have immediately launched a construction campaign (1171-1172), most likely planned in advance, during which the castles of Zêzere, Almourol, Cardiga and Pinheiro were built or renovated, together with some semaphoric towers (Atalaia, Santa Maria do Olival, Langalhão, Dornes, etc.), capable of warning, if necessary, the entire region, which included the basins of the Tagus, Zêzere and Nabão (then called River Tomar).

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