St George’s Castle

St George’s Castle

St George’s Castle sits atop the highest hill in the City of Lisbon. The hill has been the site of a fortified building since as far back as the 6th century. The castle has been added too over the centuries by each nation or race which has captured the site, including the Romans, Visigoths, Moors and finally the Portuguese.

Lisbon city tour

by Maria Eklind

The castle was an important stop over and staging site for Crusaders heading to the Holy Land, and during this period under the reign of King Afonso Henriques it received some major overhauling, leaving it roughly in the shape we find it today. However, the castle was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1755, and was left unrepaired for several decades. Unfortunately this meant that when it was finally renovated, a large part of the original structure had to be replaced as well as extended fortifications added.

The castle has a vibrant history and has at times been used as both the residence for the Portuguese Monarchy and the National Portuguese Archive. In modern times the castle is a monument to medieval Europe, settling within tranquil landscaped gardens. An absolutely must see attraction when visiting Lisbon.

Highlights of St George’s Castle

The undoubted highlight of any visit to St George’s Castle is the fact that it can be explored in its entirety. The castle grounds are landscaped manicured gardens, replete with peacocks roaming wild, a great place to rest. Every tower can be climbed, offering visors a truly panoramic view of the City of Lisbon from every angle. Additionally, up at the top of the Tower of Ulysses is the Câmara Escura. This is a telescope that can be used to view sights around Lisbon.

For something a little different, and something which really is important to the history of the castle, try to locate the statue of Afonso Henríques who was the first King of Portugal. He is an important figure in the history of the castle, as it was during his reign that the castle was first captured from the Moors.

St George’s Castle for Families
It can be hard trying to find historical and cultural attractions which can be enjoyed by young children. Parents often want to visit historical sites but are worried that their offspring will become bored or tired. St George’s Castle is an exception, a fantastic place for families to explore. Children seem to love castles, and this is one of the best in Europe to explore. Don’t hesitate to visit; the entire family will enjoy it.

St George’s Castle Opening Times
From November until February the castle is open daily from 9am until 6pm. From March to October the castle is open from 9am until 9pm.
Getting to St George’s Castle

St George’s Castle is located in the Alfama Historic District.

The hill which the castle has been built upon is quite steep. Many people choose to arrive by taxi to avoid the tiring walk up the hill.

Local bus number 37 and trams number 12 and 28 stop at the bottom of the hill.

Date posted: 3rd November, 2018

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