Fodor's Expert Review Castelo de Sortelha
Above the village of Sortelha are the ruins of a small yet imposing castle. The present configuration dates back mainly to a late-12th-century reconstruction, done on Moorish foundations; further alterations were made in the 16th century. Note the Manueline coat of arms at the entrance. Wear sturdy shoes so that you can walk along the walls, taking in views of Spain to the east and the Serra da Estrela mountains to the west. The three holes in the balcony projecting over the main entrance were used to pour boiling pitch on intruders. Just to the right of the north gate are two linear indentations in the stone wall. One is exactly a meter (roughly a yard) long, and the shorter of the two is a côvado (66 centimeters, or 26 inches). In the Middle Ages, traveling cloth merchants used these markings to ensure an honest measure.