Having a picnic at Castelo de São Jorge

Tue, 17.09.2019

A pleasant afternoon at Castelo de São Jorge

On the last 17th of September, our Portuguese language school organized a picnic at Castelo de São Jorge.

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, accompanied us. We took the free lift located in Rua dos Fanqueiros to get to the castle.

When we got there, the students were dazzled by the amazing landscapes. Then, we started our picnic. We had delicious delicacies: pastéis de nata, humus, sugar-beet pate, crepes, bean cakes, among others… To drink, we had Portuguese white wine and Moscatel, a sweet liquor typical from Setúbal.

While we were eating and socializing, Indira was telling us the History of the castle. Therefore, Castelo de São Jorge was built in the 8th century during the Muslim domination in Lisbon.  In 1147, Afonso Henriques with the help of the French Templars reconquered the castle to the Muslims. Castelo de São Jorge became the Portuguese royal palace in the reign of D. João I in the 14th century. Only in the 15th century, D. Manuel I transferred the royal palace to Praça do Comércio. D. João I gave the name São Jorge to the castle, as a clear tribute to the saint. Centuries after, in 1940, the Portuguese dictator António de Oliveira Salazar made deep changes in the castle that remains until nowadays. His purpose was to convert the castle into a Portuguese symbol related to the Catholic accomplishments.

Overall, it was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the History of the castle, to meet new people and to practice Portuguese.

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See you next time! In the meantime, check out our photos below.


A pleasant picnic in a great company!

Summer days are almost over. How about having a picnic to enjoy the last days of summer? Seems great! So, join us on the next 17th of September. Our Portuguese language school will organize a picnic at Castelo de São Jorge.

Located on the highest hill in Lisbon, the Castelo de São Jorge allows us to take a trip back in time. The Castelo de São Jorge, located in the old medieval citadel, was inhabited by Moors who fortified it for their defence. When D. Afonso Henriques took the castle in 1147, expelled the Muslims and opened the castle doors to Christians. Thus, the king and the court move to São Jorge Castle, later turning it into the Royal Palace. The king D. João I dedicated the castle to Saint George. According to the legend, Saint George defeated the dragon, symbol of the evil.

This will be the perfect time to enjoy different foods and to meet new people. When we have a picnic in Portugal, we usually bring something to eat or to drink. You can participate in this Portuguese tradition by bringing something to share with other students and teachers!

Inside the castle, you can also visit the museum. It has a collection of objects belonging to the different peoples that inhabited the castle area throughout the ages. Noteworthy are the Islamic objects, coming from the strong Muslim occupation before the conquest of D. Afonso Henriques.

Besides, through a darkroom located in one tower of the castle, we discover Lisbon from a new perspective! It is through a periscope that we can observe the city, in real time and with a 360º angle.

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