A Picnic at Saint George’s Castle

Wed, 12.09.2018

A pleasant afternoon with great views and delicious flavours

On the last Wednesday, 12th of September, our Portuguese language school took the students to the castle of Saint George. Inside the castle we had the opportunity to admire the views to the city.

Indira Leão, our history teacher, guided us through the castle’s past. Everything started when Lisbon was occupied by the Muslims (719-1143). During this time the castle was built and hit its highest point. Luxbuna (Arabic name) was developed economically and commercially.

In 1147 the city was conquered by the first Portuguese king, D. Afonso Henriques. The catholic king had the help of the French Templars that were going to the Holy Land to the crusades. With D. Afonso Henriques the castle of Saint George was elected to be the residence of the Portuguese court. Here, intellectuals like Gil Vicente made performances to the royal family. It worked as an important political centre of the country until the 16th century.

Indira told us that the name Saint George was given by the king D. João I. According to the legend of this saint, he defeated the dragon, symbol of the evil. This legend could be a metaphor of the Christian conquest of the monument.

The castle was damaged after the earthquake and the tsunami of 1755. It was reconstructed almost entirely in 1940. Salazar, the Portuguese dictator, used the symbolism of the Cristian conquest of Lisbon to promote his patriotic program.

After the historical contextualization of the place, we had our amazing picnic with good food and a great Portuguese wine!

You can take a look at our photos and joining us in the next tour:

A Walking Tour to the origins of Lisbon

If you still didn’t have the chance to visit one of the Ex-libris of Lisbon, come with us on the 12 of September. Our language school invites you all to visit the Saint George’s Castle. The name was in honor to Saint George that defeated the dragon, which represents the evil. We can associate Saint George to Afonso Henriques, responsible for the Cristian conquest of Lisbon, and the dragon to the Muslims.

As usual, our history teacher, Indira Leão, will guide us in this time travel to Lisbon’s past. According to the archaeological and historical traces, the area of the Castle attracted many tribes along the time. The first fortification was, presumably, built during the Roman period. However, the castle was only built during the Muslim presence in the country (711-1147).

In 1147, Afonso Henriques, first king of Portugal, supported by the French Templars conquered the Castle. Saint George will be the political center of the Portuguese Court until the 16th century.

We will also have the opportunity to verify that the castle is a contemporary creation. In 1755, with the earthquake that destroyed a huge part of the city, the castle was also damaged. Only in 1940 Saint George’s Castle was entire rebuilt to serve a political program of Salazar’s dictatorship.

After the tour we’ll have time to socialize with a picnic inside the castle. When we have a picnic in Portugal, it’s a habit to bring something to eat or to drink. You can participate in this Portuguese custom by bringing something to share with other students and teachers! It will be the perfect moment to contemplate the views and to know new people!

Come with us and stay alert to the School Events section in our website!