Three things catch your eye on the approach to Belmonte. The first two, the ancient castle and the church, represent the past; the third, an ugly water tower, symbolizes the new industry of the town, now a major clothing-manufacturing center. Belmonte's importance can be traced back to Roman times, when it was a key outpost on the road between Mérida, the Lusitanian capital, and Guarda. Elements of this road are still visible.
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