Sao Jorge Castle – This Castle Majestically Stands Above Central Lisbon

Sao Jorge Castle – This Castle Majestically Stands Above Central Lisbon

Portuguese history has always been one that has not only intrigued a number of anthropologists but even globetrotters to whom study and visiting places with a  rich cultural history is the perfect way to spend their time off. In the Portugal capital of Lisbon is a fortified architectural wonder, the Sao Jorge Castle. This castle majestically stands above central Lisbon, overlooking the river Tagus and was the ancient seat of power for Portugal for almost 400 years.

Fortified at one time by the Romans, Visigoths and eventually the Moors, the oldest parts of this medieval period citadel can be dated to almost early as the 6th Century. Until 1147, when the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques captured this castle with the help of European crusaders, it served as the residence of the Royal Moors. It was then dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of England, commemorating the Anglo-Portuguese pact dating from 1371, and became the royal palace until another one (that was destroyed in the Great Earthquake) was built in today’s Comercio Square.

Sao Jorge Castle
Sao Jorge Castle

Although much of the castle was destroyed during the earthquake of 1755, what remains are long extensions of the walls and 18 towers that makes this a major tourist attraction, pulling people from all across the globe to bask in its glorious history.
BEYOND THE HISTORIC WALLS
When you visit this historic site, now an oasis of peace, just as you enter you will be able to see the statue of King Afonso Henriques and also a display of cannons that serve as reminders for tourists about the original purpose of this castle. Much of the present castle dates from the 1920s when a significant restoration project was undertaken but this does not detract from the allure of the castle.

Sao Jorge Castle
Sao Jorge Castle

You could also visit the small archaeological museum in three underground chambers, including the one where Vasco da Gama was once received by King Manuel.
If you are one of those that would love to see the city of Lisbon from a top millennium old walls, a visit to the Sao Jorge Castle is a must. With some of the most breathtaking views from the castle, the city of Lisbon has been regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Visitors can climb the towers and walk along the ramparts or relax in the gardens where peacocks, geese and ducks strut around. One of the castle’s inner towers, the Tower of Ulysses, holds the CâmaraEscura, a periscope that projects sights from around the city.
The castle is open every day from 09:00 to 21:00 (peak season) and 09:00 to 18:00 (low season). You could either take a metro to reach here, which will involve a 20 min walk to the main entrance of the castle or you could take the mini bus right upto the main gate.
Don’t forget your bottle of water folks!

Sao Jorge Castle
Sao Jorge Castle

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