The Castle of Leiria is open to public and it is in a very good state of conservation. You can visit the Gothic gallery that offers wonderful views of the town and surrounding landscape.
The city of Leiria is historically very rich. It was initially occupied by the Turduli, an ancient Celtiberian tribe of Lusitania. It was later occupied by the Romans who named it Collipo, afterward it was occupied by the Mourish and captured by the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques in 1135. D. Afonso Henriques build a wall and a castle to protect the population from the Mourish incursions.
At first, the population lived inside the castle wall but long the years, more population arrive to Leiria which started to settle on the outside of the walls. The oldest church of Leiria, the Church of Saint Peter was built in Romanesque style on the 12th Century to serve the parish located outside the walls.
Throughout the centuries the Castle progressively started loosing its military value and during the French invasions it got quite damaged. Only in the end of the 19th century new conservation and remodeling works were initiated and already in the 20th century it was classified as National Monument.
The Castle of Leiria has also been the royal residence for long periods of time; you can still see part of the ancient residence from the 14th Century.
In the late 15th Century, King John I built a palace inside the castle walls which made the castle style unique, it is the only castle in Portugal that has been partially converted into a palace. King John I also build the old Church of Our Lady of the Rock, an ancient church built in late Gothic style.