Forte de São João

Forte de São João Baptista - Vila do Conde
Forte de São João Baptista
Jose Goncalves | BY-SA

Vila do Conde Fort

Also known more simply as Vila do Conde Castle, Forte de São João (Baptista) was first constructed in the 1570s. Standing at the mouth of the River Ave, it is named in honour of Saint John the Baptist, the city's patron saint. However, it was originally named for the Virgin Mary.

Built in order to protect this important trading port from attack, the fort comprises five individual bastions, facing coast, river, and inland too. It would once have been akin to a small village, complete with its own water source, chapel, kitchens, dungeons and weapons store, so that it could survive a siege. Today much of this history has been lost, although its ancient walls can now be enjoyed as part of a variety of special events, while dining at the restaurant, or when staying the night in the boutique hotel that occupies part of the structure.

Other attractions near Forte de São João

Vila do Conde

Vila do Conde travel guide »

The coastal town of Vila do Conde lies at the mouth of the River Ave around 30 km north of Porto. This is a town with two contrasting characters; there is the modern beach town with its apartment blocks and vilas that merges into...