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Castles of Portugal: Penadono

Penadono (E229) - To the Portuguese, this tiny town will always be associated with the great Álvaro Gonçalves Coutinho, a 15th century knight nicknamed “Magriço,” or “the thin one.”  This roaming knight was immortalized in the masterpiece of Portuguese literatureOs Lusiadas,” by Luis Vaz de Camões.  The tales goes that Magriço was one of 12 knights who responded to a call for help from 12 English ladies, whose honor needed to be defended.  While 11 of the knights travelled by sea to fight the offending English knights, Magriço chose to follow a land route to England.  On the day of the fight for the ladies' honor, the eleven Portuguese prepared to take the field of honor against the twelve Englishmen. Suddenly, Magriço, fresh from all sorts of adventures, appeared on horseback and led his comrades to a resounding victory. 

Penedono (4)

The castle of Penadono belonged to the Coutinhos, and is one of the most magnificent in all of Portugal.  Its reddish towers loom over the small town, rising to fantastic heights.  The castle dates to the 10th century, but fanciful structure that dominates the town of Penadono today is mostly from the 15th century.  The ornate towers, mighty red walls and imposing location guard nothing but an empty space that once was the palace of the Coutinho family and a endless view. 


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