Soure Castle and the Knights Templar

Soure Castle and the Knights Templar

Soure Castle in Portugal was the first Portuguese castle of the Knights Templar. With the area still threatened by the recently defeated Caliphate armies, the site was fortified by the Templars as soon as they took control of it in March 1128.


The Templars made Soure the most important place in this large region. The strategic importance of this castle rested on the fact that it is situated around a major access road to the north, the old Roman road that connected Olissipo ( Lisbon) to Bracara Augusta (Braga).

D. Gualdim Pais, master of the Temple Order since 1156, was responsible for one of the most important stages of construction of Soure Castle. In fact, in addition to providing the structure with two square towers, located face to face in the south facing wall (only one of which survives), between 1171 and 1175 he built a very strong keep with a ramped base confirming his vast experience in the wars with Islam in the Holy Land. That experience allowed him to introduce a large number of key innovations to the kingdom’s military architectural development.

What we see today of Soure Castle is enough to reveal the rectangular plan. There are just two surviving towers: the keep, partially ruined The otheris in the opposite corner accessed by a door with a religious decorative stone from the first half of the XI century and obviously reused from another building.