Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graça : fortress Our Lady of Grace
Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graça : fortress Our Lady of Grace

Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graça : fortress Our Lady of Grace

Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graça : fortress Our Lady of Grace

UNESCO heritage abandonment

Elvas, Portugal

Located in the parish of Alcazaba about one kilometer from the town of Elvas in Portugal, the fortress Our Lady of Grace, better known by the Portuguese as the Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graça or Forte Conde de Lippe, this is a imposing building dedicated to the protection of the country. While the Spanish border is only a stone's throw at the east of the city, King Joseph ordered its construction in 1763 on the Mount Grace hill, where stood the ancient chapel of Our Lady of Grace. This is the perfect place, as this hill is the highest point in the region. Its construction will last nearly thirty years and thousands of men will be mobilized to build this fortress. But their work was not in vain, because the fortress will be the privileged witness of many battles that will take place.

Composed of three lines of defense and considered as a masterpiece of military architecture of the eighteenth century, it will withstand the onslaught of Spanish troops during the War of the Oranges (1801), the French bombardment of General Soult during the Peninsular War (1811) and many more.

It was also used as a military prison for several years. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fortress requires more work to maintain its original charm. The site is now abandoned for several years.


Here is a video made by Richard Moura about the fortress of Our Lady of Grace.

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