Photos: Duccio Malagamba
Refurbishment of the Trancoso Castle
The origin of the Trancoso Castle dates back to the Roman occupation around the year 301 B.C. albeit the first written reference dates from the year 960 A.D. This first structure – mainly an outpost for observation and defense - was destroyed by successive invasions and reconstructed in the century IX. Until the XII century, it testifies several processes of conquest and regains alternatively by Christians and Muslims ending with the final conquest by Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal. This conquest determined the construction of a fortified perimeter to shelter a local community and to guarantee the visual domain over the surrounding territory and the control over the existing network of roads. During the reign of D. Dinis, the perimeter of the castle was reinforced and expanded into the configuration that practically remained until the present day.
After decades of gradual decay, the castle was classified as National Monument in 2001 leading to a few campaigns to rehabilitate and consolidate the fortified walls which enabled a posterior subtler design approach and, therefore, a silent valuation within the scope of the strict consolidation and enjoyment of the existing structure, providing it with contemporary accesses and visitor support units.
The small and chirurgical interventions – consisting of “installations” rather than buildings - try to avoid mimetic gestures, pastiche or camouflage, assuming a contemporary language albeit pursuing a balanced harmony with the ancient structure.