Almourol Hiking Trail (Vila Nova da Barquinha)
Almourol Castle always aroused in me a strong curiosity. Perhaps because of its location or its enigmatic origins, the truth is that for a long time I wanted to visit it. The opportunity has arisen now.
More than a pedestrian trail, this was a family outing.
Located in the municipality of Vila Nova da Barquinha, in the middle of Ribatejo, the Castle stands on a granite outcrop from the waters of the Tagus River. In this islander he seems indifferent to the time that passes and the space around him. Nearby, on the banks of the Tagus, we catch the motor boat that transports us to the small pier of the island. The calming waters that flow in the river lull the boat that surrounds the castle and the rocky walls, giving us some different perspectives of this emblematic military monument.
The probable Roman origins are based on the various findings on the site as well as the “apparatus” of the lower part of the Keep, the northern curtain and the main door. “Almorolan” was its name when the conquest of this point by the portuguese troops in 1129, being later delivered to the Order of the Templars. Today are still visible some elements of its rebuilding that define templar military architecture, such as the quadrangular layout of the spaces, the high walls, protected by nine circular towers and the keep, the neuralgic center of the whole structure.
After landing on the small dock, a T-shaped walkway suspended over the water, the well-defined trail guides us to the entrance of the Castle. We ascend to the towers and by the battlements we admire the riverside landscape of the Tagus that meanders among sand deposits, left behind on the banks by the current, and the native vegetation that takes them.
In an exercise of imagination, I try to revisit other ages and embark on a more distant daily life, where the days were harder to pass and life was severe. Without realizing it’s time to return and our boat is already on the way.
More than a pedestrian trail, this was a family outing. Navigating the Tagus and walking a little on the Almourol islet was an experience that I recommend and it’s within the reach of anyone. For more information visit website of the municipality of Vila Nova da Barquinha.
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