Hiking Trail at “Star of Interior” (Almeida)
The village of Almeida, located in Guarda district, would be our “base camp” in the next days discovering the region. Due to its unique characteristics, it is integrated in the Historical Villages of Portugal and this was a great reason to know a little more about the history and peculiarities of Almeida and other localities of the district.
We arrived with a lot of expectation and desire to get “our feet in the way”. We start walking next to the Hotel “Fortaleza de Almeida”, also known as “Pousada Nossa Senhora das Neves”. On the other side of the street we climbed the wall to observe the “Plaza Alta” (Baluarte de Santa Bárbara), the highest point of the whole fortress. It was an important point for the surveillance of the invading troops, dated from the 17th century. It’s still possible to observe the platforms for mortar shooting and the tomb of John Beresford, an English officer who died during the Napoleonic Campaigns.
The cobbled streets lead us through stories from other times, houses emblazoned and the good treatment and cleanliness of all the green spaces show us the pride of the “Almeidenses”.
From this point you can see much of the historic center and fortress in the form of a twelve-pointed star, one of the most impressive european defense systems of the 17th century. The cobbled streets lead us through stories from other times, houses emblazoned and the good treatment and cleanliness of all the green spaces show us the pride of the “Almeidenses”.
We continued the walk counterclockwise and to our right we find Storehouse and Guard House. Further down the path, “Picadeiro d’El Rei” was closed and we couldn’t visit it. We passed by the St. Anthony Doors and always with the wall for company we arrived at the “Quartel das Esquadras”, a baroque building built by the Count of Lippe in the 18th century.
As night approaches, in the St. Anthony Double Doors and next to the Church, we left the historic center of Almeida to comfort our stomach in a nearby restaurant.
The return trip was made through the narrow streets of the village, past the Clock Tower and quickly reached the hotel for a well-deserved rest.
Tomorrow we would go out to see a new Historical Village of Portugal, the beautiful Castelo Rodrigo.
Points of Interest: Historical Center, Fortress, Plaza Alta (Santa Bárbara Bastion), Houses Emblazoned, Picadeiro d’El Rei, St. Anthony Doors, “Quartel das Esquadras”, St. Anthony Double Doors, Church and Clock Tower.
82melevation gain uphill
96melevation gain downhill
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