Mainland Portugal is bounded to the north and east by the Spanish territory, this being one of the oldest borders in Europe.

The border region, commonly known as "raia”, and its history are associated with the reconquest in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, and has its origins in decisive events such as the Zamora Treaty of 1143, which marks the birth of Portugal as an independent kingdom, and the Alcanizes Treaty of 1297, which essentially establishes our country's borders.

The need to ensure defence and vigilance in the border region has materialised in a vast set of fortifications that today bear witness to centuries of history and unique examples of past military architecture.

In this sense, they are a unique heritage of the raia regions, an integral part of their identity, culture and landscape, constituting an endogenous resource which must be valued in favour of the development of their regions and tourism, contributing to the development of the interior and to the economic and social cohesion of the country.

The Border Forts Valuation Programme aims to transform these unique spaces of history and culture into dynamic places to visit and get to know the country, all along the border with Spain.

The starting point is the 62 fortifications designed by Duarte D'Armas, King Manuel's squire, in the Book of Forts, in the 16th century, to which others will be added later, all wisely erected to defend and protect the country, today being spaces of peace that tell the history of Portugal.




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