Welcome to Idanha-a-Velha

It was founded by the Romans in the 1st century BC and grew to become an important ancient city (Civitas Igaeditannorum or Egitania) – hence the surviving Roman ramparts. It subsequently flourished under the Visigoths, who built a cathedral and made it their regional capital. According to local legend the Visigoth King Wamba was born here. After a period of Muslim occupation in the 8th century, the Knights Templar arrived in the late 1100s. Later a 15th-century plague is said to have devastated the town, driving survivors to found Idanha-a-Nova about 20km to the southwest. Today a small population of shepherds and farmers live amid the Roman, Visigothic and medieval ruins.

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