A Portuguese riff off a Brazilian classic
Parks of the Centro de Portugal Region

The Death of a Statesman

Alexandre Herculano, (1810-1877) wrote many an inspiring and powerful tales about his nation, but the most moving may have been the haunting story of a father, a son, and a castle. Few Portuguese school children escape without reading Herculano's "Tale of Honor," which takes place at Faria Castle. In the 14th century, Castilians put a siege to the castle, under the command of Gonçalo Nunes. And, they held his father, Nuno Gonçalves, captive. The Castilians threatened to kill Nuno Gonçalves if his son did not surrender. But, the old man shouted to his son to fight to the end.

The Castilian commander was not amused and killed Nuno Gonçalves on the spot. But the Portuguese resisted with great value and after a terrible siege, the Castilians were defeated.

Today, in nearby Barcelos (Northern Portugal), a statue of the father and son stands in the center of the town, united in an embrace, their swords still ready to meet the enemy. The ruined Faria castle, still stands, about 3 miles southwest of Barcelos. Excavations have confirmed habitation in the Bronze and Iron ages, the Roman era and the Middle Ages. The ruins include walls from the reign of D. Afonso Henriques (1139-1185) and the castle keep, plus other defensive structures from the reign of King Fernando (1367-1383). A further keep dates from the reign of King Dinis (1279-1325).



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