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Castelo Branco is a city in central Portugal. It is the capital of the Castelo Branco District, which approximately corresponds to the former Beira Baixa province.

All its points of interest can be visited in one day. It is also a good base for visiting the International Tagus Natural Park, the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, and Idanha-a-Nova.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

CP (Portuguese National Railways) offers various daily rail links between Lisbon and Beira Baixa. The Lisbon-Castelo Branco trip time is between 2:40 and 3:15 hours (depending upon class of train). In the Lisbon-Oriente train station there is also a rail link to the south of the country and in the Entroncamento station there is a rail link to the northern reaches, as well as international service to France and Spain. The train is safe, comfortable, and offers the best views of the Tagus River, including the Castle of Almourol and the Portas de Ródão.

By bus[edit]

The cheapest way to travel. Bus lines cover all of Portugal. See Rede Expressos.

Get around[edit]



  • Templar Castle. Built by the Knight Templars between 1214-1230, with alterations in the reign of King Dinis. At present, there are remains of the perimeter wall and the keep of the former commanders' palace. Inside the perimeter of the walls is the Church of Saint Maria of the Castle. The view from the top is impressive - including the city, the surrounding countryside, and (in the distant north) the Estrela and Gardunha mountain ranges.
  • Church of Saint Maria of the Castle. Much changed by renovations over the years. Located in the highest part of the city, near the remains of the castle. Established by the Templars.
  • Garden of the Episcopal Palace. One of the most extraordinary baroque Portuguese gardens and, for you alone, it would justify the visit to the city. Built in the 18th century on the initiative of the first Bishop of Castelo Branco, next to the winter palace which today houses the Museum Junior Tavares Proença. The garden is unique in its originality and elegance. Of baroque inspiration, between his avenues of box trees are numerous granite statues which represent (among other things) the four parts of the world then known (Europe, Asia, Africa and India), the signs of the Zodiac, the stations of the year and his months. From the great lake, where it comes to Moses's waterfall, they break two monumental staircases, that of the Kings and of the Apostles. Notably, among the images of the Kings of Portugal, the representations of the Filipes of the Third Dynasty, as well as that of the Cardinal-King Henry (due to his Castilian sympathies), were sculpted smaller than the rest.
  • Church of Saint Miguel (Cathedral Concatedral). Rebuilt Renaissance style in the 18th century (previously there was another church here, probably built in the 14th or 17th century). It has only one nave, which is separated from the main chapel by a beautiful Renaissance arch, in whose fastening is the coat of arms of arms of D. Martim Afonso de Melo, bishop of Guarda.
  • Chapel of the Lady of the Piety. The inner walls of this church, about which the date of the foundation is not known, are covered of beautiful ceramic tiles of the 18th century, which represent religious subjects: scenes of the life of the Virgin Maria, the Apostles, the Last supper of Jesus, etc.
  • Small church of Our Lady of Mércoles. A church of late Gothic characteristics, connected with one of the most popular worships of the city, of Our Lady of Mércoles. Two square turrets that flank the front, advanced regarding the facade and finish with pyramidal covering, give it a curious aspect. The interior, of a nave, has walls covered in 16th century ceramic tiles.


  • Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior Museum.
  • Museum Cargaleiro.
  • "Domingos dos Santos Pio" Museum of Religious Art. Located in the Graça Convent. Among the museum's collection we find two Crists crucified in ivory from the 16th and 17th centuries, and a Christ in wood painted with oriental forms.




Casa de bifanas near the train station are very good.



  • The Casa de Belgais [dead link] Escalos de Baixo, 6005-105 Castelo Branco.
  • Pousada de Belmonte - Convento de Belmonte, Historic Luxury Hotel, Convento de Belmonte Serra da Esperança 6250-073 Belmonte, +351 275 910 300, fax: +351 275 912 060, . Set on the slopes of the Esperança Mountain, at just over 1 km from the town of Belmonte, the birthplace of Pedro Álvares Cabral, the Pousada Convento de Belmonte results from the renovation of the former Nossa Senhora da Esperança Convent. Inside, the chapel and sacristy have been converted into a lounge and bar a good example of the harmonious blend of historical architecture and modern construction and comfort.
  • Pousada Proença-a-Nova - Amoras , Nature Hotel, Rua Comendador Assis Roda, 25 6150-557 Proença-a-Nova, +351 274 670 210, fax: +351 274 670 219, . The area of Proença is full of pine trees. In the sizzling inland summers, the green sea of pines hardly stirs, the brilliance is dazzling, the light burns and fixes the contrasts between the white of the houses and the walls, stones and flowers.


Go next[edit]

Monsanto, Monfortinho, Idanha, Proenca, Castelo de Vide, Abrantes, Tomar, Marvao,Serta, Guarda,Pinhel, Portalegre.

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