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Algoso: from powerful clans, to many goats and donkeys

Once part of the Order of Malta and home to one of the most powerful clans in Portugal, today home to many goats and donkeys


Former County that once has 20 villages in its border, this tiny town of 280 people is a shadow of its past glory. One of the first references to the village date from 1230, when the Order of Malta and the Knights Templar signed a concordat that list the place as “Ylgoso.” The town grew important under the Oder of Malta’s protection. By 1480, Algoso has received its first charter from King Afonso V, followed by a new town charter of D. Manuel in 1510. This status remained until 1855 when Algoso was made part of Vimioso.

The town’s pillory, 16th century Manueline, stands in front of the old town hall, on a path to the castle. There are several ancient churches and chapels and ruined manor houses from the town’s once great past. This was the home to the powerful Távora family, who were accused of plotting to kill King D. José I in 1758. The first minister, Sebastião de Melo, Marquis of Pombal, crushed the family. With the fall of the Távoras, Algoso declined too.

Algoso Castle is set on an amazing location: a promontory at the top of Cabeço da Penenciada set some 681m high. It is surrounded by a deep valley of Angueira and Maçãs rivers that join the Douro. From the high setting of the ruined walls you can see along the Trás-os-Montes plateau all the way to Vimioso and Outeiro, in the north, or Pena Roias and Mogadouro, to the south.

The exact construction date of the castle is unknown, but it is said to have been built under Mendo Rufino in the 12th century. Today, the stark and haunting ruined walls and atower encircle the foundation of a barrack, a viewpoints over Spain.

 How to get there?
5 hours from Lisbon by car. 480 KM. Take the A1 north to the A23 to Guarda, and then the IP2 North to Bragança, and local roads to Algoso










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