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Monsanto - Historical Village of Portugal
Monsanto is built in granite. The village is considered, since 1938, the most Portuguese village of Portugal.
The village can be sighted in the hillside of a great scarped rise, assigned the Cabeço de Monsanto (Mons Sanctus).
In the highest point its peak reaches the 758 meters.
The human presence in this local date since the paleolithic period. Archaeology tells us that the place was inhabited by the Romans, in the base of the hill. There are also vestiges of the passage of Arabs and Visigods.
The Moors would be defeated by D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal and, in 1165, the place of Monsanto was donated to the Order of the Templar Knights that, under the orientation of D. Gualdim Pais, ordered the construction of the Castle of Monsanto.
Along the years, the castle has been rebuilt a few times, because it suffered important damages caused by the attacks of enemy troops.
The last attack was in the XVIII century. The Duke of Berwik besieges Monsanto, but the Portuguese army commanded by the Marquis of Mina defeats the invader in the difficult scarps that raise to the Castle.
A serious accident in the XIX century destroyed the Medieval Castle, due to the explosion of the ammunition warehouse.
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The reward for the ascent effort is, beyond the extraordinary sight that we can enjoy from the top, the contact, inch by inch, with a very well preserved village, where, sometimes, is difficult to distinguish the houses, walls and roofs from the granitic boulders.