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Photographer's Note

The region of Monfragüe was inhabited from the prehistoric times, thanks to the river Tagus and the vales of the Ambroz and of the Jerte, by the situation of the saws, by the quantity of wild fruits, the hunting and fishing. Rock paintings exist in the overcoats of the roquedo and decorated burials. From the VIth century B.C. the Celtic tribes of the vetones occupied these grounds and constructed his forts from where later they put resistance to the Romans. These put the name of Monsfragorum that means ' craggy mount '. His traces are some bridges, graves and, possibly, the stone base of the roadway

The Arabs conquered these grounds in the year 713, and called them Al-Mofrag that means ' the abyss '. The Arabs constructed the castle in the year 811. Between the year 1169 and 1180 the Christian reconquest of the castle takes place for the Portuguese Giraldo Simpavor, and the definitive reconquest for Alfonso VIII.

In the castle there survive remains of the wall and a barbican, an Arab cistern and two towers of the Christian stage. The tower best preserved (reconstructed and accessible) has pentagonal form and it was erected in the XVth century. Another tower, very damaged, performs cylindrical form.

Almost attached to one of the towers of the castle one finds a chapel, of more modern construction, which he shelters to the Virgin of Monfragüe, Byzantine height brought in the XIIth century from the doors of Jerusalem, in Palestine, for the crossed gentlemen of the Order of Monte Gaudio, founders of the Order of Monsfrag.

Two WS from the castle.

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Additional Photos by Ros P Osado (Zelanda) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 783 W: 1 N: 1219] (5692)
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