The castle of Estremoz is a magnificent restored palace built in the early 14th century by King Dinis I for his wife, the saintly Queen Isabel, who died here. This impressive Pousada – which was also home to later kings and queens of Portugal – is decorated with sumptuous velvets and gilt and furnished with beautiful antiques. Many of the bedrooms have antique beds including four-posters, and the Pousada is decorated throughout with 18th and 19th century period pieces, reflecting the historical importance of the castle and its colourful past.
Its position on a hilltop overlooking the Alentejan plain affords stunning views of the historic city of Estremoz, much of it built from the famous local marble. The Pousada has a central courtyard, a charming private garden and a swimming pool surrounded by the splendid castle battlements, and is located in the centre of the town.
The first and foremost aspect of the castle to be constructed was the 'Tower of the Three Crowns', named in honour of the 3 Kings that oversaw the initial building work. King Dinis brought his Queen here in her later life, and the illness caused by that journey (she was not young) led to her death in 1336. Her son departed from here to participate in the final battle against the Moors that ended their reign in the peninsula, and a Coat of Arms hangs here as testimony to this event.
Visited by subsequent Kings and Queens, and the base from which Vasco de Gama set out to India in 1487, the castle plays a constant part in much of Portugal's history from the 15th century onwards, despite being almost completely destroyed by an explosion in its arsenal in 1698. Having been rebuilt in the 18th century, much of the evidence of the history of the castle on display throughout the building is from this period. However in 1808 there was another attempt to destroy part of the fortress by Napoleonic forces as they abandoned it, which fortunately failed to flatten the defences and following years of repairwork and improvement, the castle then passed into the hands of the Pousadas network in the sixties.
In our view, you cannot fail to be impressed by the castle's imposing architecture and by the original pieces of antique furniture still in use in this Pousada, complemented by some discreet modern comforts to make your stay more enjoyable.