Sao Jorge Castle
By Ana Torres |
For over 10 centuries, travelers who arrive in Lisbon can enjoy the ocean view from the medieval towers of St. George’s Castle.
ST. GEORGE’S CASTLE IN LISBON
The Islamic tradition that can be found in Lisbon and that is different from that of other European capitals is not only evident in its decorative motifs. On this occasion DINKtravelers invites you to visit one of the most famous national monuments in the continent, popular for its history and originality. We refer to St. George’s Castle.
HISTORY OF ST. GEORGE’S CASTLE
The Arabs who inhabited the territory built it in the eleventh century, and its purpose was mainly defensive, so it was given a privileged location. If you arrive at the port by sea you’ll be able to spot it from over 10 km away!
For over 100 years this castle was inhabited by military troops, but when Alfonso Henriques –first king of Portugal– expelled the Muslims, the castle became home to the royalty. It was then that its golden years began thanks to the presence of the royal court.
Nowadays St. George’s Castle still shows the cultural contributions of the Eastern and Western heritage that make it a unique monument. So, if you want to see the port of Lisbon from great heights, embrace the local culture and try typical Portuguese food, this is the right place for you.
HOW TO GET TO ST. GEORGE’S CASTLE
From downtown Lisbon take tram 12 and after a short ride on this typical yellow transport, you’ll arrive at the castle.
Once on top of the hill your only alternative will be to enter the gigantic rock fortress before you. The first thing you’ll see is its huge wide-open wooden door and soon after you’ll find the overlook. From that point, the Atlantic seems like a challenge for even the best landscape photographer. There, you’ll be able to try a few panoramic shots of the marine horizon ahead.
ST. GEORGE’S CASTLE MUSEUM
Following the route, you’ll walk across the narrow halls that lead to the towers. We suggest visiting the permanent exhibit at the museum where you’ll be able to admire the beauty of Portuguese glazed tile. Also, you’ll have the chance to enter the Dark Chamber –a room where visitors can see through a 360º lens and observe what’s happening in the city in real time.
If that’s not enough, on your way out you’ll find a small archaeological site where they have reconstructed the former Islamic residential area. In the evening, quench your hunger with a delicious cod dish and a glass of red wine at the complex’s restaurant.
Before saying good-bye to this unforgettable touristic attraction, go back to the overlook. The sunset light above the ocean will leave you speechless! Finally, don’t forget to buy a souvenir. There are a wide variety of them at the site’s store so you can take a piece of Lisbon with you.