The site has been occupied since the antiquity. It was a primitive
lusitanian redoubt and is known to have been populated from Roman
times until the late Middle Ages. In 1129, when Portuguese troops
conquered the land, the castle already existed and known as Almorolan.
The site was given to the Knights Templar, who built a settlement
between the Mondego and the Tagus rivers. At the time, the Knights
Templar were responsible for the defence of the capital, then Coimbra.
The castle has been rebuilt, but it is believed that the architectural
characteristics remain largely the same today.
Through an epigraph, placed on the main gate, we know that the
reconstruction ended in 1171, two years after the building of the
Castle of Tomar.
After the Order of the Knights Templar was eradicated in 1307,
and the Portuguese reconquista ended, there was no longer any need
for the stronghold, and the Almourol Castle was abandoned. In the
19th century the castle was popularized as an example of chivalric
and romantic ideals of the Middle Ages. Many of the original structures
were destroyed in a failed attempt to recreate the grand medieval
monument, without remaining true to its heritage.
the 16th of June 1910, by Royal Edit, the castle was classified
as a national monument and, a few decades later it was adapted to
be an Official Residence of the Portuguese Republic. Additional
renovations took place during the 1940s and 1950s and some important
events of the dictatorship period were held within its walls. Most
of these renovations which had started in the 19th century were
influenced by the 19th century romantic ideals and its conception
of life in the Middle Ages, which lead to many of the castles primitive
structures being sacrificed and several decorative elements added.
Nowadays the castle is the property of the Portuguese Army and
is currently located inside a designated military area.
The castle is a Portuguese National Monument.