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St George’s Castle - Historical Building Lisbon - Portugal

St George’s Castle (Castelo São Jorge) is a Lisbon landmark, occupying the symbolic heart and the highest hill of the city. Because of its strategic location, the hill has always been fortified, dating back to Roman days. The castle dates back to the pre-reconquest days: there was a legendary battle there between Christians and Moors, and the castle was eventually very important to holding Portugal from further Moorish incursions.

In the fourteenth century, new fortifications were built, and the castle saw extensive fighting in the following centuries. The castle was dedicated to St. George in the fourteenth century by Portuguese King John I, who had recently married a British princess. 

The castle has also functioned as home for the Portuguese Royal family, and the national archive was housed there for a long while.  The castle was severely damaged in the 1755 earthquake, and fell into a long period of decline until the 1940’s, when an extensive restoration project took place.

  Today, the castle is a very popular tourist destination in Lisbon, particularly among the many-tourists-in-a-big-bus set. There is a pleasant outdoor café on the grounds, and some splendid views of the city. Many visitors like to climb the walls and walk around on the battlements, exploring the small towers. There are exhibits in one of the rooms as well.

Lisbon, Portugal

Historical Building

Getting There
You can't miss the castle: it's right there on the tallest hill in the city. Take a taxi, or bus 37 or tram 12 or 28.

Travel Tips: Look for the statue of Afonso Henríques, first King of Portugal, who captured the castle from the Moors.

There is no parking anywhere near the castle: take a cab or tram to get there.

A typical visit to the castle should take about an hour.

It is possible to walk to the castle, but the hill to get there from the river level is quite steep!

Price Description: €5 General admission

Reduced rates for seniors, students, kids and groups.  If you have a Lisboa card, you'll save money as well.

Relative price: Mid-Range

Open Hours from:Daily, 9-6 November-February, 9-9 the rest of the year.

Contact Information:
Phone: 351 218 800 620
Fax: 351 218 875 695
E-mail: castelodesaojorge(at)remove-this.egeac.pt
URL: www.castelosaojorge.egeac.pt

Here are other activities in and around Lisbon that may be of interest: Sé de Lisboa, Queluz Palace and Torre de Belém.

20 Sep 2007

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