Castle of Arnoia - Rota do Românico


This Romanesque Castle, formerly located in Terra de Basto, fits in the castling movement that marked Europe between the 10th and 12th centuries.

Highlighting its structure, positioned on top of a hill, are four defensive elements: the watchtower (whose rooftop and set of battlements were reconstructed in the 20th century), the quadrangular tower, a single door and the tank.

Archaeological remains relating to the occupation of the fort between the 14th and 16th centuries were identified.

This is now the time of decay of the structure that, in peacetime, was a mere symbol of administrative power and lordly power that patronized the territory.

The abandonment definitely occurred from 1717, when elites left the small village of Basto, moving the seat of the county to the parish of Britelo, where today is located Celorico de Basto.

The memory of the small village of Basto still persists along the branch route that originated it and that linked the old road of Lixa to the major route of Amarante-Arco de Baúlhe, identified as the present-day village of Castelo.

The pillory, the house of hearings and the chemist's are reminiscent of the busy street along which the village developed.

Type: Castle

Classification: National Monument - 1946

Route: Tâmega Valley

10th century (2nd half) - Edification of the Castle of Arnoia, according to tradition;

1064 - First documented reference regarding the fortification;

1092 - A document mentions the properties of Celorico and Terra de Basto;

12th-13th centuries - Second occupation period of the Castle and edification of the Castle of Arnoia's Romanesque structure ;

1717 - The parish seat is transferred from Vila de Basto to the parish of Britelo;

1726 - The Terra de Basto was by then divided into two municipalities, Celorico and Cabeceiras de Basto. The Castle of Arnoia's keep still showed its crenellation crown;

1758 - The Castle of Arnoia was already presenting some traces of ruin;

1946 - It is classified as a National Monument by Decree no. 35,532 (Governmental Gazette no. 55, from March 15th);

1960-1963 - Period of restoration works in the Castle of Arnoia, under the responsibility of the DGEMN – Direção Geral dos Edifícios e Monumentos Nacionais [General Directorate for Buildings and National Monuments];

1985 - The Castle of Arnoia is attached to the IPPC – Instituto Português do Património Cultural [Portuguese Institute of the Cultural Patrimony];

1992 - The Castle of Arnoia's jurisdiction is transferred to the IPPAR - Instituto Português do Património Arquitetónico [Portuguese Institute of the Architectonic Patrimony];

2002 - Archaeological surveys were carried out inside the fortification;

2004 - Installation of the Interpretive Centre of the Castle of Arnoia;

2005 - The Castle of Arnoia is reallocated to the IGESPAR – [Portuguese Institute for Management of Architectural and Archaeological Heritage];

2010 - Integration of the Castle of Arnoia in the Route of the Romanesque;

2014 - Improvements to the surroundings of the Castle of Arnoia, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque;

2015 - Intervention for the conservation and protection of the inside and outside of the Castle, under the scope of the Route of the Romanesque;

2020 - The Portuguese State transfers the responsibility of management, promotion and conservation of the Castle of Arnoia to the Municipality of Celorico de Basto;

2024 - Conservation work on the Castle and its surroundings promoted by the Municipality of Celorico de Basto.



Tourist Information Centre of the Route of the Romanesque
By appointment: T +351 255 323 100;

Monument not accessible to visitors with reduced mobility.

+351 255 810 706

+351 918 116 488

How to get here:

41.363536, -8.051996

Lugar do Castelo, Arnoia, Celorico de Basto, Braga

Northern Portugal: A28/A3/A7/A24/A11 » A4 (Vila Real) » Amarante Oeste » Celorico de Basto » Rota Românico/Castelo de Arnoia.

Porto: A4 (Vila Real) » Amarante Oeste» Celorico de Basto » Rota Românico/Castelo de Arnoia.

Central/Southern Portugal: A1 (Porto)/ A29 (V.N. Gaia) » A41 CREP » A4 (Vila Real) » Amarante Oeste » Celorico de Basto » Rota Românico/Castelo de Arnoia.

Celorico de Basto: Rota Românico/Castelo de Arnoia.

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