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Historical Route of the Lines of Torres

At the start of the 19th century, Portugal was about to be invaded for the third time by the military forces of Napoleon Bonaparte. Arthur Wellesley, later to become the 1st Duke of Wellington and commander of the Anglo-Portuguese army, engineered a plan that would prevent the entry of the Napoleonic army and which, in case of defeat, would provide a safe escape to the retreating British forces. The strategy thus involved the construction of a series of fortifications at the periphery of Lisbon, which came to be known as the Lines of Torres Vedras.

It was on 20 October 1809 that Wellington drafted the memorandum with instructions for the architecture and engineering of the defensive buildings. The sketch was handed over to lieutenant colonel Fletcher, in charge of the construction of the fortifications supported on four lines.

152 structures (strongholds) were constructed, as well as military highways and natural barriers, the most advanced position of which was in the city of Torres Vedras. The construction lasted until the middle of 1812, having in Mafra one of its base points in the defence of the Portuguese capital.

The Historical Route of the Lines of Torres, which involves a journey through the most important strategic points of these military defences, covers the municipalities of Arruda dos Vinhos, Loures, Mafra, Sobral de Monte Agraço, Torres Vedras and Vila Franca de Xira.

Find more:

Along the Lines of Torres Vedras

Guide - Lines of Torres Vedras Historical Trail

Circuit

Forts

 

 

Forte da Rota Histórica das Linhas de Torres - Fotogaleria