Castle of Sao Jorge


Nestled on a hilltop overlooking central Lisbon and the Tejo River, the São Jorge Castle is a fortified Moorish citadel from the Middle Ages. Though oldest parts of the castle date from the 6th century when it was fortified by the Romans, Visigoths and the Moors, the fortification was mainly built by the Moors in the mid 11th century. It was enlarged and renovated after Afonso Henriques conquered Lisbon in 1147, and was used as the royal palace from the 13th to 16th centuries till King Manuel I built the Ribeira Palace.

Laid out on a square plan, the castle complex has the fortification walls with 12 gates, main castle, ruins of the royal palace which was destroyed in an earthquake, other administrative buildings, towers, gardens, and a large terraced square with great views of the city. The South Gate on Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo is the main entrance, featuring the coat-of-arms of Portugal, and inscribed with the name of Queen Maria II and the year 1846. It leads to the Praça de Armas, which has a bronze statue of Afonso Henriques and few old cannons. To one side is the Paco Real da Alcacova, the ruins of the royal palace in which the Casa Ogival presents the Olissiponia, a multimedia show on the history of Lisbon through important events such as the Inquisition, the great earthquake of 1755, and restoration in the 20th century. The Permanent Exhibition presents archaeological finds from the site. The Castle Gallery showcases exhibitions on Portuguese history and culture.

The main Castle lies to the west, with 11 remaining towers. Here the Tower of Ulysses, once home to the Royal Treasure of the Torre de Tombo, now has a Camara Escura (Periscope) in the Dark Room which offers 360 degree views of Lisbon. The Torre de Menagem (Tower of the Keep), Torre do Paço (Tower of the Palace), Torre da Cisterna (Tower of the Cistern), and the Torre de São Lourenço (Tower of Saint Lawrence) are also of note.

At the north end is the Moorish Quarter which is an archaeological area. Excavated finds from the site date as far back as the 7th century BC, and throw light on the history of settlements in the area.

About Castle of Sao Jorge

 Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal

 +351 21 880 0620

Castle of Sao Jorge and Nearby Attractions on Map

Nearby Attractions km / mile
Museu do Azulejo

Museu do Azulejo(2.1 km)
One of the most important national museums, for its singular collection, Azulejo, an artistic expression which differentiates Portuguese culture, and for the unique building where it is installed, former Madre de Deus Convent, founded in 1509 by Queen Dona Leonor.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum(3.3 km)
Created from the personal collection of Calouste Gulbenkian, an Armenian who longed to see all his treasures displayed in a museum.

Gloria Funicular

Gloria Funicular(0.7 km)
Inaugurated on 24 October 1885, this funicular was the second to be placed in Lisbon.

Bica Funicular

Bica Funicular(1.1 km)
This funicular was inaugurated on 28 June 1892 and its route is known as the most typical of the city.

Lavra Funicular

Lavra Funicular(0.8 km)
The oldest funicular of Lisbon was inaugurated on 19 April 1884 and on that day it worked for 16 consecutive hours, carrying more than 3,000 passengers free.

Rua Augusta Arch

Rua Augusta Arch(0.7 km)

Feira da Ladra

Feira da Ladra(0.7 km)
Bustling flea market with antique stores.

Lisbon Botanical Gardens

Lisbon Botanical Gardens(1.4 km)
A hidden gem.

48 Castle of Sao Jorge Tickets and Tours in Lisbon

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