"Castelo de São Jorge" Castelo de São Jorge Tip by Willettsworld

Castelo de São Jorge, Lisbon: 129 reviews and 292 photos

Built by the Moors in the 11th century and located atop the highest hill in the historic centre of the city, this castle is one of the main historical and touristic sites of Lisbon. Although the first fortifications on this Lisbon hilltop are known to be no older than the second century BC, archaeological research has shown that humans have occupied the site since the sixth century BC, and possibly earlier. The hill was employed in early times by indigenous Celtic tribes, and others, probably Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians, have also left their cultural footprints there. Afterwards, Roman, Suebic, Visigothic, and Moorish settlers lived where the castle now stands.

The castle didn't actually remain in Moorish hands for very long as it was captured by King Afonso Henriques with the help of northern-European crusaders associated with the Second Crusade during the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. Ownership of the castle helped Lisbon to protect itself against the Moors during the last years of the twelfth century. When Lisbon became the capital of the kingdom, in 1255, the castle became the royal palace, the Alcáçova. It was extensively renovated around 1300 by King Dinis I.

Between 1373 and 1375, a new city wall was built around Lisbon by King Ferdinand I, of which some remnants survive. This wall, which partially replaced the old Moorish walls, was designed to encircle previously-unprotected parts of the city. It had 77 towers and a perimeter of 5400 metres, and it was completed in only two years. The castle and the city resisted the Castilian army several times during the 14th century, notably in 1373 and in 1383?4. The great 1755 Lisbon earthquake severely damaged the castle and contributed to its degradation.

The main castle area features some superb views over the city which can be seen from walking along the castle's ramparts and climbing its towers. There's also a museum (see next tip) but it is a little expensive to visit at ?7.00. Has to be visited though...

Open: 9am-9pm. Admission: ?7.00

Address: Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa
Directions: At the highest point of the city.
Phone: +351 21 880 0620
Website: http://castelodesaojorge.pt/

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 5, 2010
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