This is one of the fortified defence points lying between the Spanish and Portuguese border and a fine example of defensive architecture set amidst stunning natural scenery. The proximity of the border led Denis of Portugal to build a castle here, which later became a Castilian residence for several royal personages, including Leonor of Aragón, the grandmother of Ferdinand the Catholic.

It was also a strategic location during the Portuguese War of Independence in the 17th century, and the site of several skirmishes.

The Catholic Monarchs gave the town to the Duke of Alba, who levied the Noveno tax whereby the locals were forced to hand over a ninth part of their produce. This town has welcomed many illustrious visitors, including members of the nobility and royalty.