Royal Palace & Torre das Três Coroas
Capela de Santa Isabel
This richly adorned chapel behind the keep was built in 1659. The narrow stairway up to the chapel, and the chapel itself, are lined...
This museum is housed in a beautiful 17th-century almshouse near the former palace. Pretty hand-painted furniture sits alongside...
This big barnlike space with a vaulted ceiling is where Estremoz youth kick up their heels. Live bands play most Friday nights. In...
Unlock your purses at this place, housed in the former judicial jail, which dates from the 16th century; the two storeys of the...
Royal Palace & Torre das Três Coroas information
At the top of the upper town is the stark, glowing-white, fortress-like former royal palace, now the Pousada de Santa Rainha Isabel. Dom Dinis built the palace in the 13th century for his new wife, Isabel of Aragon.
After her death in 1336 (Dinis had died 11 years earlier) it was used as an ammunition dump. An inevitable explosion, in 1698, destroyed most of the palace and the surrounding castle, though in the 18th century João V restored the palace for use as an armoury. The 27m-high keep, the Torre das Três Coroas (Tower of the Three Crowns), survived and is still the dominant feature. It’s so called because it was apparently built by three kings: Sancho II, Afonso III and Dinis.
Visitors are welcome to view the public areas of the pousada and climb the keep, which offers a superb panorama of the old town and surrounding plains. The holes at the keep’s edges were channels for boiling oil – a good way of getting rid of uninvited guests.