Largo dos Santos Próculo e Hilariao brings visitors to the dramatic entrance of the castle

Largo dos Santos Próculo e Hilariao brings visitors to the dramatic entrance of the castle

Above the entrance door, large chunks of the castle walls are sitting

Above the entrance door, large chunks of the castle walls are sitting

Looking at the side walls and towers of the castle before entering the courtyard

Looking at the side walls and towers of the castle before entering the courtyard

This small door provides access to the central courtyard of the castle

This small door provides access to the central courtyard of the castle

Looking back at the entrance and the street which leads to the castle

Looking back at the entrance and the street which leads to the castle

A cistern sits in the courtyard, probably this was the main source of water in the past

A cistern sits in the courtyard, probably this was the main source of water in the past

Cisterns were an important feature of the castle because they provided water during the sieges

Cisterns were an important feature of the castle because they provided water during the sieges

Looking downwards, while standing at the top of the cistern

Looking downwards, while standing at the top of the cistern

There were few fragments displayed in the courtyard of the castle

There were few fragments displayed in the courtyard of the castle

These medieval finds were discovered at the necropolis of Santa Maria Church

These medieval finds were discovered at the necropolis of Santa Maria Church

This was found at the necropolis if el Salvador Church

This was found at the necropolis if el Salvador Church

A stele with the Maltese Cross to mark the territory

A stele with the Maltese Cross to mark the territory

A spiral staircase goes up to the casle keep

A spiral staircase goes up to the casle keep

Portuguese forces conquered Serpa in 1166, under the command of  King Afonso I

Portuguese forces conquered Serpa in 1166, under the command of King Afonso I

In 1191, Muslim forces of Almohad retook the city and the castle

In 1191, Muslim forces of Almohad retook the city and the castle

The region returned to Portuguese rule under king Sancho II in 1232

The region returned to Portuguese rule under king Sancho II in 1232

Looking at the Church of Santa Maria from the castle keep

Looking at the Church of Santa Maria from the castle keep

The reconstruction of the old Muslim fortress began in 1295

The reconstruction of the old Muslim fortress began in 1295

In 1580, Serpa and its castle fell to the Spanish forces

In 1580, Serpa and its castle fell to the Spanish forces

Later, this castle was neglected in the second half of the 17th century

Later, this castle was neglected in the second half of the 17th century

A powder magazine destroyed one of the towers of the castle after the Spanish withdrawl in 1707

A powder magazine destroyed one of the towers of the castle after the Spanish withdrawl in 1707

Stairs provide access to the ramparts of the castle

Stairs provide access to the ramparts of the castle

Overlooking the town of Serpa from the castle walls

Overlooking the town of Serpa from the castle walls

Here, towers and defensove walls can be seen which stretch from the castle and around the old town

Here, towers and defensove walls can be seen which stretch from the castle and around the old town

In the background, Serpa city walls can be seen

In the background, Serpa city walls can be seen

This castle suffered many setbacks in the past and as a result it was left in ruins

This castle suffered many setbacks in the past and as a result it was left in ruins

In 1954, Serpa walls were classified a National Monument and work began on their repairs

In 1954, Serpa walls were classified a National Monument and work began on their repairs

The work started in 1977 and after it continued till 1988

The work started in 1977 and after it continued till 1988

Castle walls offer great views over the town and the surrounding areas

Castle walls offer great views over the town and the surrounding areas

The wall of the fortress is reinforced by the Keep which is connected with other towers

The wall of the fortress is reinforced by the Keep which is connected with other towers

The castle and its walls are reinforced by turrets and square and semicircular plant towers, topped by merlons prismatic

The castle and its walls are reinforced by turrets and square and semicircular plant towers, topped by merlons prismatic

Lands beyond Serpa, seen from the castle walls

Lands beyond Serpa, seen from the castle walls

This Clock Tower is of square plan, was once part of the castle defense system

This Clock Tower is of square plan, was once part of the castle defense system

Now, it is topped by the bells and often called the bell-tower

Now, it is topped by the bells and often called the bell-tower

Door of the Clock-Tower of Serpa Castle

Door of the Clock-Tower of Serpa Castle