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Castro do Monte Castêlo (Castro de Guifões)

Located very close to the mouth of the river Leça, in an area that, before the construction of the Port of Leixões was still an estuary, Monte Castêlo stands on the left bank of that river course. And, although it is not the closest elevation to the coast, its strategic conditions associated with the plateau characteristics of its top, from very early on made it a chosen place for the settlement of human communities. This archaeological station, also commonly known by the name of Castro de Guifões, is one of the most important stations from the Iron Age/Romanization period in northern Portugal. The archaeological materials already collected indicate, on the one hand, an origin around the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. they also reveal a long duration in Roman times. Due to its location close to the sea, on an elevation of great strategic importance, it must have favored, from an early age, commercial activity. At the base of this potential is the fact that the Leça estuary has always been a natural harbor and is navigable, at least, up to the foot of Monte Castêlo. Still in the century In the 16th century we find documentary references to the navigability of the Leça estuary up to the Guifões Bridge, at the foot of Monte Castêlo. The richness and abundance of exogenous materials already found confirm this theory. The presence of large amounts of amphorae confirms the idea that from the 2nd century BC onwards. the castro de Guifões maintained regular commercial contacts with the south of the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean world.

Monte Castêlo was abandoned after the 19th century. V although we do not have elements to better specify the date and reasons for its abandonment. A few centuries later, already in the centuries. IX – X, this place is mentioned in the documentation, like other old forts in this region, such as Castelo. A small fortification, probably made of wood, was built at this time on the top of the hill. This occupation is also evidenced by gray ceramic fragments dating from the High Middle Ages. Classified as a Monument of Public Interest in 1971 (Decree 516/71 DG 274 of 22 November) and, with the publication of the Municipal Master Plan in 1991, its protection area was defined.

Address: Rua Ponte de Guifões 1199, Guifões


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