Castelo Branco

Castelo Branco

official_name = Castelo Branco
image_coat_of_arms = CTB.png

Region = Centro
Subregion = Beira Interior Sul
District = Castelo Branco
Mayor_name = Joaquim Morão Lopes Dias
Mayor_party = PS
area_total = 1,438.2
population_total = 55,034
population_density = 38
Parishes = 25
coor = 39º50'N 7º28'W
params = 39_50_N_7_28_W
occasion = Second Tuesday After Easter
day =
website =
footnotes =

Castelo Branco (pronounced|kɐʃˈtɛlu ˈbɾɐ̃ku) is a city and a municipality, seat of the district of Castelo Branco, in Centro region, Portugal.

The city of Castelo Branco is made up of one parish with a population of 30,649 [ [ UMA POPULAÇÃO QUE SE URBANIZA, Uma avaliação recente - Cidades, 2004] Nuno Pires Soares, Instituto Geográfico Português (Geographic Institute of Portugal)] and the municipality has a total of 25 parishes and 56,001 people. It is one of the largest municipalities in Portugal with 1,439.94 km² and is bounded in the north by the municipality of Fundão, in the east by Idanha-a-Nova, in the south by Spain, in the southwest by Vila Velha de Ródão, and in the west by Proença-a-Nova and Oleiros.

History and landmarks

Castelo Branco gets its name from the prior existence of a Luso-Roman castro or fortified settlement called Castra Leuca, on the summit of the hill of Colina da Cardosa. The population grew on the slopes of this hill.

Little is known of the history before 1182. There is, nevertheless, a document, from this date, mentioning the donation to the Templars of a piece of land called Vila Franca da Cardosa, by a noble Fernandes Sanches. In 1213 it received its autonomy or foral and the name Castel-Branco appears for the first time. Pope Innocent III confirmed this in 1215 giving it the name of Castelobranco.

It was around this time that the Templars built the walls and the castle.

In 1510 a new foral was conceded by Manuel I and in 1642 the town acquired the status of Vila de Castelo Branco. In 1771 Castelo Branco became a city and Pope Clement XIV created the diocese of Castelo Branco in 1881.

In 1858 a telegraph line was opened between Abrantes and Castelo Branco and in 1860 the city received its first public lighting. In 1959 it became capital of the district of the same name.

The most important monument in Castelo Branco is the Jardim do Paço Episcopal (Garden of the Episcopal Palace). It is one of the most beautiful baroque gardens in Portugal and contains statues of allegories, kings and zodiacal signs, arranged around ponds, terraces and staircases.


The city is home to "Centauro" a company which produces industrial coolers, refrigerators and freezers. The Portuguese subsidiary of Danone has a factory in Castelo Branco which produces Danone's dairy products for the entire Iberian Peninsula. The district of Castelo Branco is also famed for the Castelo Branco cheese.


Castelo Branco is home to the Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, a state-run polytechnic institute of higher education, comprising schools of agriculture, technology, management, education, art and health.



Castelo Branco is located at km. 93 of Beira Baixa Railway Line which runs from Entroncamento to Guarda via Abrantes, Castelo Branco, Fundão and Covilhã. Rail services are operated by "CP - Comboios de Portugal" (Portuguese Trains) and consist of stopping trains (Regionais) to Entroncamento and Lisbon and to Covilhã and Guarda, and fast trains (Intercidades) to Lisbon and to Covilhã.South of Castelo Branco, to Lisbon, services are operated by electric locomotives and trainsets and north, to Covilhã, trains are operated by diesel locomotives and motorcars.


* Alcains
* Almaceda
* Benquerenças
* Cafede
* Castelo Branco
* Cebolais de Cima
* Escalos de Baixo
* Escalos de Cima
* Freixial do Campo
* Juncal do Campo
* Lardosa
* Louriçal do Campo
* Lousa
* Malpica do Tejo
* Mata
* Monforte da Beira
* Ninho do Açor
* Póvoa de Rio de Moinhos
* Retaxo
* Salgueiro do Campo
* Santo André das Tojeiras
* São Vicente da Beira
* Sarzedas
* Sobral do Campo
* Tinalhas

Notable natives

*Amato Lusitano, a physician credited as one of the first discoverers of the circulation of the blood, was born here in 1511.
*Eugénia Lima, famous accordionist of Portugal, was born in Castelo Branco in 1926.


* [ Statistical Information about the Municipality]
* [ Camara Municipal de Castelo Branco]
* [ Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco]
* [ Hospital Amato Lusitano]

ee also

*Centro, Portugal

External links

* [ Municipality official website]
* [ Photos from Castelo Branco]
* [ Article on Castelo Branco from Portugal Travel]
* [ Castelo Branco Virtual] Information on history, culture, demographics etc. (Portuguese)

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