Sao Jorge Castle

Sao Jorge Castle is a Moorish castle occupying the hilltop in central Lisbon, overlooking the city and the Tagus River. This castle reflects the medieval period of Portuguese history, symbolized by the strongly fortified citadels surrounding it. It is believed that the first fortification goes back to 48 BC when the city was classified as a Roman municipality. In 1147 the castle and city of Lisbon were freed from Moorish rule by the Christian Reconquista. When Lisbon became the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal in 1255, the castle served as the fortified residence for King Afonso III for his role as Governor, and those thereafter. Portugal was then ruled by the Spanish from the early 17th century for sixty years and the castle was used for military barracks and a prison.

After Portugal regained its independence in 1668, the government took over the castle, and it went through several restorations and renovations, particularly after the severe damage from the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Today its stands proud as a national monument that symbolizes the country and the city’s long and rich history. From the castle, you can see the beautiful view of Lisbon and the nearby coast.