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A visit to the Moorish Castle

Whoever goes to the Mountains of Sintra Village, naturally faces a legendary and paradisiacal setting surrounded by walls, cliffs and dense vegetation at the top of the mountain. This fantastic setting is the Moorish Castle, where it was built by the Moorish in medieval times in the 9th-10th centuries.

Early in the morning we have started our visit from Lisbon up to the Moorsih Castle, a distance about twenty seven kilometers.

Map Moorish Castle Sintra Lisbon PortugalLocation map of the Moorish Castle

This fortification went through several phases where it stands out the Muslim population living and of its importance as a regional military strategy of the Western Peninsula of Portugal and Spain until the conquest of the Christians in 1147 for the rein of Portugal.

Studies and archeological remains testify that the Islamic Quarter disappeared with the habitat of Christian populations in Moorish Castle giving way to a medieval Christian village. This lasted until the 15th century when there were no longer clashes between Islamists and Christians.

In the 19th century, the romantic reconstructions of D.Fernando II king of Portugal in the Moorish Castle suggest a change in the towers and walls, which has been a challenge to reconstruct the original layout of these structures, although their location it’s a fact during the Islamic period.

On the way to SintraThe good mood on the way to the Moorish Castle Entrance Moorish Castle PortugalThe entrance to the Moorish Castle
Moorish Castle PortugalThe valley landscape of Sintra Village seen around the Moorish Castle Second waist wall Moorish Castle PortugalFrom the top of the second waist of wall for the protection of the population that settled on the slope

Second waist wall Moorish Castle Sintra PortugalBehind the general view of the second waist of the wall

On the way to House Guard Moorish Castle Sintra On the way to the House Guard
House Guard Moorsih Castle At the House Guard
Boulders Rocks Sintra Moorish Castle PortugalThe boulders around the Moorish Castle
Secrets Moorish Castle Sintra PortugalA secret passage?

Silos Moorish Castle PortugalThe use of Silos dug in the rock was used in the storage of cereals and legumes that was widely introduced in al-Andalus (Portugal and Spain) by Islamic peoples

Islamic Houses Moorish Castle Portugal SintraOne of the locations in the Islamic Quarter. Here were found artefacts of Islamic culture from 10th-12th centuries

Tomb Moorish Castle PortugalMonument (Tomb) erected in the 19th century by D. Fernando II near the Church where the bones found were buried Chruch São Pedro de Canaferrim Moorish Castle Entrance Church of São Pedro de Canaferrim built in the 12th centur. Currently it is the Interpretation Center of the history of the castle
Moorsih Castle History PortugalObjects collected in archaeological excavations Silo Moorish Castle PortugalSilo cover in the Interpretation Center
 necropolis cemetery Moorish Castle PortugalMedieval Christian necropolis at 12th-14th centuries Cistern Moorish CastleView of the Cistern vents for water supply to the population (Islamic project)

Square Arms Moorsih Castle Sintra PortugalArms Square. Broader space in the castle to concentrate the military garrison

North Wall Moorish Castle Sintra PortugalAlong the wall with the three towers in the north side View Moorish Castle PortugalThe Village of Sintra seen from the Castle of Moorish

Circular Tower Moorish CastleView of one of the circular towers

Keep Tower Moorish Castle Sintra PortugalIn Castle Keep in the highest point of the castle. It was the main strategic point of the fortification

Wall Moorish Castle Sintra PortugalOn the way to the Royal Tower in the southern part
Royal Tower Moorish Castle Pena Palace viewThe view at the Royal Tower to the Pena Palace

After visiting the Moorish Castle and concluding this pleasant walk, we went down to the beautiful Village of Sintra where we walked through some of its alleys and cheered a delicious ginjinha.

Ginjinha Sintra Village PortugalCheers to life with ginjinha Village of Sintra PortugalSaying goodbye to our tour in the Village of Sintra

The visit to the Moorish Castle and its relaxing walk between towers and walls going through the time living of peoples who were once antagonistic in the past, it is in the present a space of appreciation of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra that pleased us very much.

We hope that our readers and travel lovers will one day visit this beautiful medieval heritage located in one of the highest points of the Mountains of Sintra.

References Parques de Sintra

Thanks to Manuel Manero for blogging recommendations

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Rui Vasconcelos

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