Dornes is one of the many interesting villages in Central Portugal, born and built on a peninsula of the Zêzere river bordering the castelo do Bode lake.
Dornes has a very rich past. it’s origins go back to the time of the Romans when it was most likely a Roman settlement of Sertorius, a roman general who lived rougly 120 year bc. and was murdered 72bc.
What is left for us to see mostly today of its amazing past are the narrow medieval streets, the church and the templar tower.
The Templar tower rises high above the village and would have functioned as a strategic defense tower on the once very mighty Zêzere river (before damming). It was possibly built to replace another older Roman tower.
The tower was connected to the defense stronghold of the Castelo do Almourol.
The church was ordered by the saint queen Isabel who lived from 1271 to 1336, and it was built in the 14th century. Queen Isabel was a much loved queen, who did many things for the poorer communities in Portugal and many still talk of her with great affection to this day.
Queen Isabel has left many ‘humble’ but impressive marks on the Portuguese landscape and the church has some very interesting historical and architectural references that we are researching and will publish soon.
The town, once was the head of the county, is now it’s just a historically beautiful and tranquil place surrounded by water, boating and swimming.
The beach is long and has stony and sandy parts. It’s unexpectedly quite, peaceful and unspoilt.
The day we visited was in the height of the season but they where only a handful of people there spread out over an area of at least 1km.
Dornes is a beautiful mix of man made and natural influence, concluding in historical aesthetics set in an awe inspiring natural environment.
For swimming there is no stream or dangerous river movement, the waters are a little colder than deeper into the Castelo do Bode lake but warmer than river water, More on Dornes soon……….
See related: Activities Castelo do Bode | Castelo do bode | Zezere River
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