The Fortress of Almeida
July - August 1810.
After the Combat on the Coa, the French invested the fortress and started preparing their siege artillery positions.
The fortress was garrisoned by about 4,000 Portugeuse troops. Wellington regarded it's fall as inevitable and didn't want to lose any of his British troops in its defense.
The French artillery opened up on 26th August.
Unfortunately for Wellington's plans, a lucky shot, probably asided by some spilled gunpowder, led to an explosion in the main powder magazine in the old castle the following day. About 150,000 pounds (68,000 kg) of gunpowder exploded, over 800 of the garrison were killed, the castle and adjacent cathedral were demolished and the town and fortifications were severely damaged. So great was the explosion that rocks went so far that 40 French were killed in their siege lines.
The garrison surrendered on 28th August.
The model of the fortress in the museum. North is top left.
The main entrance is bottom right.
The old castle occupied the space on the left with a ditch around it.
The large rectangular building at the top of the photo is the hotel we stayed in.
The fortress of Almeida.
This is the castle area. It was never re-built.
This is a cannon that was caught in the explosion.
This was the view from our hotel bedroom.