Leiria Castle to exceed 115,000 visitors in 2023

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More than 115,000 entries were registered at Leiria Castle in the first 11 months of 2023, which represents an increase of more than 6% compared to 2022, the municipality said.

The monument continues to recover from the drop in demand it suffered during the pandemic, but the number of visits is still far from the 186,555 of 2019. In 2020, already under the influence of covid-19, the number of visitors fell to 83,873.

According to the Leiria City Council, 115,684 visits were recorded between the beginning of the year and November 30, which represents “an increase of 6.18% compared to [the whole of] 2022”.

This year there has been an increase in demand from foreign visitors: in the first 11 months of 2023 41% of the more than 115,000 visitors were foreigners, compared to 31% of non-Portuguese visitors in 2022.

“We have seen a large representation of international audiences, but the main nationalities are Brazilian and Spanish,” says the municipality.

Several projects are planned for Leiria Castle for 2024: firstly, one that aims to guarantee the condition of the monument, which will be subject to “monitoring and structural and risk assessment”.

The walled core, the Castle and its surroundings will be analyzed from a structural, geological and geotechnical point of view “to define the intervention methodologies for the type of pathology that is and/or will be identified, as well as the intervention schedule”.

In October of this year, at the presentation of the structural monitoring of the Castle between 2021 and 2022, 19 problem areas were pointed out, some of which needed urgent intervention, the experts said.

According to the municipality of Leiria, “priority will naturally be given to those [areas] that prove to be more risky and complex”, and “the methodology proposal” has been sent to the Regional Directorate of Culture of the Center, which is “awaiting an opinion”.

Next year it is also planned to “carry out the Castle’s museum and interpretation project, as well as the intervention project based on monitoring, which will be based on the results of the aforementioned study and the intervention proposals that will be made, including in the problem areas”.

The intervention project “will rethink the entire space”, says the municipality, which appointed a new coordination team for the Castle in November.

“The new employees who have been hired will make it possible to carry out the projects and programs aimed at renovating the Castle more quickly, but also with regard to diversifying the cultural offer and managing resources more efficiently.”

Also in 2023, the two mechanical accesses that facilitate the ascent to the monument were closed for 25 days due to issues related to “vandalism and ongoing and corrective maintenance”.

“The south elevator [next to the Cathedral] was stopped for ten days following acts of vandalism,” says the municipality.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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