This week, I’m taking you for a wander in Lisbon, meandering from one Moorish viewpoint to another. We will start at the Largo das Portas do Sol, the original location of the Moorish gate known as Porta do Sol, Sadly, it was one of the many losses in the massive earthquake of 1755, but we are still left with great views over the rooftops of the Alfama district and down to the Rio Tejo.
To get to this starting point, you can walk up (about a 15 minute walk from Praça do Comércio as long as you don’t get distracted and are happy with the Lisbon hills) or take bus 737 or the no. 28 tram.
It may take a while, but once you have taken in the views, head to the back of the square and take the stepped path (Beco do Maldonado) up and round to your right, enjoying the street art on your way.
This path then takes a turn to the left – go with it and wander through the dilapidated ruins, with murals, graffiti and some recycling-cum-art.
Now just follow the path, through the grounds of Palacio Belmont, going gently upwards and now being joined by more people as the castle draws near. I strongly suggest doing this walk early in the day, to avoid both the intense Lisbon heat and the crowds.
Now it is time to form an orderly queue, get your ticket and head into the castle. And yes, it really is worth the wait.
Once inside, I can assure you that you will not feel in a hurry, just wander, sit, relax and absorb the views.
Castelo de Sao Jorge was built in the 11th century, during the Moorish period. The purpose of the castle was not residential; it was intended to house the military and to act as temporary emergency shelter during an attack. It still flaunts eleven towers, giving plenty of opportunity to explore Lisbon’s heritage and enjoy the views at the same time. In the Ulysses Tower, sits a camera obscura offering a unique 360-degree angle on Lisbon. The castle also offers an archaeological area with remains from the 11th century, and the restaurant occupies the remains of a royal palace that dates back to 14th-16th centuries, but was yet another victim of the 1755 earthquake.
I’m off to wander and take some more photos… Enjoy!
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 22 May 2017
Posted as part of Monday Walks