The São Jorge Castle in Lisbon is one of the best-known monuments in the capital of Portugal. The castle stands on the top of the hill of San Jorge, the highest in the entire city, and you can enjoy its view both day and night.
Getting to the Castle of San Jorge is not easy at all since you will have to climb some steep slopes to the top of the hill.
But for a few years there has been an elevator that leaves you near the top and makes the climb more bearable.
History of the São Jorge Castle in Lisbon
Some archaeological sites date back to Roman times and some date back to the 5th century, during the reign of the Visigoths.
But it was thanks to the Arabs with the foundation of the castle during the 11th century for the Islamic elites to occupy the area as their residence.
However, the period of greatest splendor was when the kings of Portugal settled in it thanks to the conquest of Alfonso Enríquez, the first king of Portugal, who liberated the city from the Arab troops on October 25, 1147, thus endowing of greater importance to fortification.
During the reign of the kings, the most illustrious people, both national and foreign nobles, were received in the castle.
All the Arab buildings were adapted and enlarged to be able to receive the entire court of the king, the courtiers and the bishop.
Thus, from being a military fortification, it became a palace in which it became important not only for the nobles who hosted important figures of the time, but also for the parties, banquets and proclamations of the kings who would govern the city. ancient Portugal.
At the end of the 16th century, in 1580, the integration of Portugal into the Spanish Crown took place and it was decided that the famous palace for three centuries would abandon the residential and court side to be a military barracks.
In this way the castle was once again remodeled and enlarged. That was its function until the beginning of the 20th century.
Due to the powerful earthquake in 1755, the oldest parts of the building were hidden by the extensions and the newer parts became a total military barracks, covering any remains of the castle and the palace.
However, when major restorations were carried out in the mid-20th century, the old castle and royal palace came to light again. Therefore, it once again had a golden age for the public due to its great historical value.
What to see in São Jorge Castle
The Castle of San Jorge can be visited every day of the year and you can participate in various activities such as guided tours, walk through the gardens, see the city from the Ulysses Tower, or the viewpoint.
And also enjoy one of the most important historical heritages of the Iberian Peninsula and learn the interesting history that surrounds the walls of the Castle of São Jorge and extends throughout the city of Lisbon.
It is undoubtedly one of the Portuguese monuments with the greatest heritage and historical value in the country.
And after visiting the castle, something that will take you several hours if you want to get to know it well, you can take a walk through the Castelo neighborhood, which surrounds the castle.
If you want to find more information you can visit the official page of the Castle of San Jorge.