It is city of the central region and capital of district. A municipality subdivided into 19 parishes, limited to the north by the municipality of Fundão, to the east by Idanha-a-Nova, to the south by Spain, to the southwest by Vila Velha de Rodão and to the west by Proença-a-Nova and Oleiros.
The city of Castelo Branco is located in the interior of Portugal, approximately 50 km from the border with Spain and is about 100 km from the city of Guarda and 80 km from the city of Portalegre, the nearest district capitals.

Castelo Branco owes its name to the existence of a Portuguese-Roman fort. The city emerged from three distinct population nuclei: one on the hill where the so-called “old city” still stands, another in the triangle between the borders of the Chapels of S. Martinho, Senhora de Santana and Senhora de Mérules, the third core, located in S. Bartolomeu, 4 or 5 km from the city.

Pedro Alvito, Master of the Order of the Temple, granted the charter to the city in the thirteenth century. But in the reign of D. Dinis, with the extinction of the Order of the Temple, and the respective incorporation of his goods into the Order of Christ, created to replace, Castelo Branco became Commendation of the Order of Christ. In the context of the reform of D. Manuel I, in 1510 he was authorized the New Foral. Thus becoming in 1642 the Villa of Castelo Branco.

On August 16, 1858, the Abrantes-Castelo Branco telegraph line was inaugurated. On December 14, 1860, the city inaugurated its public lighting, an important step for the development of the latter, having even been made an Official of the Military Order of Christ to 22 of September of 1931. In fact, the city would come to become capital of the district in 1959.

Concerning the historical and cultural heritage: the Castle of the city was built in the Middle Ages, between 1214 and 1230, a work of the Templars. Later (some 150 years later), during the reign of D. Afonso IV, a wall and a set of towers were built around the village, which had, however, grown on the slope of Mount Cardosa. In 1648, due to the War of the Restoration, the castle suffered enough damages caused by the Spanish offensive and later, in the Peninsular War, returned to be desolated by the French troops led by Jean Junot.

In addition to the Castle there is also the historical patrimony of the city, the Cathedral, Church of S. Miguel, with medieval layout, which has undergone changes over the centuries, currently predominant elements of the Baroque and Rococo.

The Garden of the Episcopal Palace stands out by the conjunction of the green and its statuary in stone. This one, following thematic routes, approaches religious and historical figures and symbologies.

The Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior Museum is also well known in the city of Castelo Branco. Founded in 1910, it holds many pieces identifying the city and region, such as archaeological finds, 16th century tapestries and Portuguese primitive art.

Still on the historical and cultural heritage: Solar dos Cavaleiros, a building from the mid-eighteenth century, in the heart of the historic center, serves as a part of the Cargaleiro Museum, where it is possible to appreciate a remarkable set of works, which are part of the Manuel Cargaleiro Foundation: painting, ceramics, sculpture, tiles, tapestry, inaugurated on April 25, 2004.

There is also the Museum of Sacred Art “Domingos dos Santos Pio”, located in the Graça Convent since November 11, 1984, which houses artifacts of a religious nature.

In the handicraft, one of the typical products of the region are linen quilts embroidered with natural silk thread, known as embroidery of Castelo Branco, which are believed to be of oriental inspiration and which became known from the middle of the 16th century. They are known for their bright colors and the elements they portray normally related to nature, especially the frequent use of trees and birds.

As a natural heritage, it is worth mentioning the Naturtejo Geopark of the Southern Plateau, which has 5 thousand km2 that extends through the area composed of the municipalities of Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova, Nisa, Oleiros, Proença-a- Nova and Vila Velha de Rodão, presenting a vast geomorphological, geological, paleontological and geominal heritage. The Geopark is part of the World Geopaks Network, created in 2004 by UNESCO and joined in 2006. Its aim is to value the sites that act as key testimonies of the history of the earth.
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