Castle of Santa Cruz + Castle Belvedere

Arcos de Valdevez

Deeply attached to the genesis of “Valdevez” lands, the Romanesque castle of Santa Cruz, in “Vila Fonche”, assumes a quite particular interest in local history.

Until the 12th century, “Valdevez” was likely the leading area of “Ribeira-Lima”. It rapidly assumed a strategic position of real support to a defensive line bordering Galicia an axis-based on “Monção-Lindoso”. It represented the castles of Monção, Melgaço and Castro Laboreiro, backline defence. The “Arcos de Valdevez” with the Castle of Santa Cruz, as its primitive head; a physical entity supporting the defences, the security and simultaneously encouraging the population settlement.

The new reinforced regal support strategy and dynamic defence are based on border castles, launched back in the 13th century, with more complex structures, now not only defence oriented but also destined to attack, condemning the ancient castles in such a way, so that the Inquiries of 1258 Santa Cruz already abandoned them. Currently it is possible to discern at the place occupied by the huge granite block, general traits of the past defensive structure, with remnants of a former rudimentary low fence, as well as the keep’s foundations, located at the highest level of the stony outcrop.

Location: Arcos de Valdevez
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