Enjoying the views of Castelo de São Jorge
On the last 31st of July our Portuguese language school organized a walking tour to Castelo de São Jorge.
It was a great opportunity to have a free visit in the castle! Indira Leão, our history teacher guided us during the afternoon.
We went to the castle in the elevator located in Rua dos Fanqueiros. As soon as we arrived at Castelo de São Jorge, the amazing viewpoints to the city surprised us.
Indira started to tell us the Christian reconquest of Castelo de São Jorge to the Muslims in 1147. Despite the negative view of the Muslim presence in Portugal conveyed by some historians, the Muslims magnified Lisbon. To clarify that Lisbon registered a commercial and economic enrichment during the Muslims. However, even after the Christian reconquest of Lisbon with D. Afonso Henriques, the city continued to grow.
Castelo de São Jorge was used as Royal Palace since the 14th century until the 16th century. In the 14th century the king D. João I, officially named the castle São Jorge. This is the patron saint of knights and crusades and metaphorically represents the victory of the Christians against the Muslims.
During the Medieval times, there was more tolerance among Christians and other religious minorities than during the Modern Age. For instance, during the Middle Ages Jews and Muslims could live in the city and maintain their religions under tax payment. Nevertheless, the establishment of the Inquisition in 1536 ended with the religious tolerance. Most importantly, the main purpose of this court was to pursue and condemn all the new-Christians and Jews.
After Indira’s introduction, we could visit the entire castle and the Museum, which has medieval archaeological records.
Below, you can check out our wonderful photos of the walking tour.
A walking tour to Castelo de São Jorge
The Castelo de São Jorge is definitely one of the main symbols of Lisbon. If it’s your first time in Lisbon, this castle should be one of your mandatory visits. Nevertheless, why it’s so important for the History of the city? You’ll find out in our next walking tour on the 31st of July!
Our history teacher, Indira Leão, will guide us in this walking tour. We’ll go to the castle by lift and once there we’ll firstly contemplate the overwhelm views to the city.
Then, Indira will explain us why Castelo de São Jorge is a relevant testimony of the History of Lisbon. All started in 1147 when D. Afonso Henriques, future first king of Portugal reconquered Lisbon to the Muslims. Portugal and Spain were under the control of the Muslims since the 8th century. However, groups of Christians were able to resist in mountainous areas and managed to gradually reconquering the Iberian territory. Most importantly, D. Afonso Henriques, with the help of the French Templars and after siege that lasted almost a year, managed to expel the Muslims from Lisbon.
From the 13th century, the Castelo de São Jorge became the Royal Palace. In other words, was known as Paço da Alcáçova, a palace for the court and a military fortification.
The name of the castle derives from the devotion to Saint George. He’s the patron saint of knights and crusaders, ordered by João I in the 14th century.
Besides, we’ll have the opportunity to visit the museum of the castle. Here, we’ll find archaeological records of the Muslim presence in Lisbon. Furthermore, we’ll meet friendly peacocks in the garden of the castle.