Early in the 12th century, the Lord of Almorolan was an Arab emir. The emir’s daughter fell in love with a Christian knight. She began sneaking him into the castle each and every knight, so they could spend time together.
The knight was just using the girl, and he opened the castle gates, so his fellow knights could gain access, without spilling blood, and capture the Castle.
Almorolan, and his heart-broken daughter embraced each other, and threw themselves from the castle’s parapets into the river below.
The Donna Beatriz Legend:
Donna Beatriz, daughter of Dom Romiro, a 9th/10th century Visigoth warrior. It is said he killed a Moorish woman and her daughter over a cup of water. He took an eleven-year-old boy prisoner. Dom Ramiro had no idea who this young boy was; the son of the woman he had murdered. The boy became page to Dom Ramiro at Almourol, where he lived with his wife and daughter.
The boy wanted revenge for the murder of his mother. With revenge in his heart, he poisoned Dom Ramiro’s wife, and watched over her, until she was dead.
Dom Ramiro was off fighting, and his daughter Beatrix and his page fell in love, as revenge turned to desire.
However, Dom Ramiro returned, bringing with him a fellow knight, to whom he had promised Beatriz’s hand in marriage.
The Moorish boy told Beatriz of her father’s cruelty, and admitted his murder of her mother. She was not fazed by the events, and the young couple vanished, destination unknown.
Dom Ramiro died of remorse… It is said, each and every year, on the day of St. John. Beatriz and the Moorish page would appear on the castle keep, which rises above the river. It is here, they will renew their curse, which will hang over the castle until Judgement Day!
The Castle of Amourol; situated on an island in the middle of River Tagus. Together with the castles of Tomar – Zezere – and Cardiga they formed the so-called Tagus Line. The defensive line of fortifications along the river, controlled by the Knights Templar.
Little remains of the original structure, which consisted of three levels, which has under gone many alterations over the centuries.
The castle adopted the innovative design of the time; the watchtowers and keep, appearing in the 12th century after the Castle of Tomar, principle defensive redoubt of the Templars of Portugal. The high walls were protected by nine circular watchtowers. They have irregular shapes, due to uneven terrain. Inside stone gates connect to different castle parts.
It is believed the castle was built on the site of a primitive castro lusitamo, and conquered by Romans during the 1st century BC. Exact construction dates unknown, yet Castle Almourol existed prior to the beginning of the Kingdom of Portugal. Rebuilt by Alans, Visigoths and Moors. The castle was seized from the Moors in 1129, by Portuguese forces. Alfonso Henriques the 1st King of Portugal gifted it to Hualdim Pais, Master of the Templars, and reconstruction commenced in 1171.
The castle lost its role as the “Order of the Knights Templar” was dissolved, and it was abandoned and fell into ruins.