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An extremely well preserved border town, Almeida is remarkable for its formidable defences in the shape of a twelve-pointed star. These fortresses (built in the style of Vauban, a French military architect) are characteristic of a period (17th and 18th centuries) when wars were fought with massive gun-fire. The stronghold was built in 1641, after the Spanish destroyed the earlier defences which protected the town and its medieval castle.

In 1810, during the French invasion, an explosion in the powder-magazine destroyed the keep and opened great breaches in the walls.

Today, it is possible to visit the casamatas, the undergound soldiers' barracks, and also an armory with artifacts recalling Almeida's military past.

It is also worth admiring the 17th-century parish church and the Miserichord church, the Barca Convent (18th century) and the Town Hall (17th century).

Still in the county, Castelo Mendo presents the ruins of a 13th-century castle, fine 15th and 16th-centuries houses and a parish church with a beautiful Mudejar ceiling.

Beyond this village, the scenic landscape of the river Ca valley, which flows among cliffs and boulders, never ceases to impress.

The village of Vilar Formoso, although of quite recent foundation, has known a great development over the last decades as it is the most used border for those travelling to and from Spain.

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