the small mediaeval town of Ourém

The small medieval town of Ourém, located at 11 kms from Fátima

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Castle of Ourém

The two towers flanking the entrance are located in the front right, with the ruins of the large palace of Count Afonso just behind them. The oldest portions of the castle are located in the back left of the image.

curiosities at the old town

parking place

a strange object from an old olive oil factory.

an ancient symbol of justice.

a charming little garden

the mediaeval town of Ourém

After reaching its peak in the 15th century, the town entered a period of relative decadence. The town and castle were greatly damaged by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and the Napoleonic Invasions.

The Castle of Ourém

Afonso Henriques captured the initial castle from the Moors in 1136. But the current triangular-shaped castle was built in 1178.

Formed by three towers in a triangular perimeter, the centre of the square contains an enormous ogival tank, fed by a spring.

The tower on the north-west side is called the "tower of D. Mécia", in memory of the queen of the same name, the wife of King D. Sancho II.

The north side of the castle contains the "Terreiro de S. Tiago" gardens, the centre of which is home to the statue of

D. Nuno Alvares Pereira, the 3rd Count of Ourem, who apparently set out from the castle during the famous Battle of Aljubarrota.

On the south side, facing the castle, the Palace of Count D. Alfonso can be found, followed by two imposing towers. The architecture of the palace and the towers is reminiscent of Venetian architecture, combining a Palatine usage with a military usage.

To cope with the growing population, the walls had to be extended so as to protect the town; today, you can still see the city gates and those of Santarém.

Count D. Alfonso, grandson of King D. João I, is credited with transforming the castle into a residential palace. He also built the Gothic stone fountain with its coat of arms at the entrance to the town.

Nuno Alvares Pereira

Nuno Alvares Pereira
Winner comandant of wars against Castilla