The castle of Chaves dates back to the 9th century, when it was built by the Moors as a defensive stronghold. Later, in the 12th century, it was conquered by the Christian forces of King Afonso Henriques and was subsequently enlarged and reinforced.
The castle has gone through several restorations over the centuries, but it still retains much of its original medieval architecture and features.
Inside the castle, visitors can explore the various rooms and courtyards, including a cistern used to collect rainwater for the castle’s inhabitants during times of siege.
Santa Maria Maior
Santa Maria Maior is a church located in the center of the city, dating back to the 12th century and is considered one of the most important religious buildings in the region.
The interior is richly decorated with intricate carvings and paintings, including a beautiful altar in gilded wood.
One of the highlights of Santa Maria Maior is the Romanesque baptismal font, also from the 12th century.
The Misericórdia was founded in the 16th century as a charitable organization to help the poor and sick in the local community.
The building is a beautiful example of Renaissance architecture, with a beautiful chapel with a gilded altar, paintings, and a beautiful ceiling decorated with frescoes. It still works as a charitable organization.
The City Hall, located in the main square, is more recent than its neighbors, but also a beautiful building, from the 19th century.
It was designed in the neoclassical style by the architect Jean Colson. On the top floor there’s a small museum, displaying historical artifacts and documents related to the history of the municipality.
The museum is located in a building built in the 15th century, ordered by D. Afonso I, first Duke of Bragança and eighth Count of Barcelos, for his personal residence, and that has been used as military headquarters in the 18thcentury.
In the center of the city we may see some traditional houses – narrow, three-story buildings, often have balconies and ornate façades.
Inaugurated in 1932, The Chaves War Memorial was designed by the Portuguese architect Rogério de Azevedo, as a reminder of the sacrifices made by the soldiers from Chaves during World War I.
The column is made of granite and is topped with a sculpture of an eagle with its wings outstretched. At the base of the column, there is a bronze plaque with the names of the soldiers from Chaves who died in the war.
Hotel Aqua Flaviae
I spent a night in this hotel in my first visit to the city, many years ago. Memories are fading, but I still keep a very good impression of a modern, comfortable and quiet hotel, at walking distance of the main attractions of the city.