Picnic at Castelo de São Jorge

Wed, 25.07.2018

Discovering Lisbon’s past

Last wednesday, on the 25th of July, we went with our students to the Castle of São Jorge. Once we got there, we felt mesmerized with the stunning view to Lisbon’s main streets and to the river. The Medieval details of the castle took us in a travel to the past..

Indira Leão, our history teacher, told to us that the human presence in the castle’s area is ancestral. The first fortification was, presumably, built in 48 B.C., when Lisbon was classified as a Roman municipium. Its territorial characteristics allowed a more efficient military defense against rival groups. That’s why this area attracted many other tribes, such as the Phoenicians or the Greeks. However, it was only during the Muslim presence in Lisbon that São Jorge’s castle was built.

In 1147, Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, conquered Lisbon to the Muslims with the help of the French Templars. With Afonso Henriques, until the 16th century, the court was established in the castle. During this time, São Jorge’s castle represented the political and cultural Portuguese power. The name of the castle was dedicated to Saint George by the king John I. According to the legend, Saint George defeated the dragon, symbol of the evil. We also learned that the castle isn’t entirely original. In 1940, during the dictatorship of Salazar, the castle was reconstructed to serve the political ideology of Patriotism.

We visited the entire castle, including the museum with Islamic and medieval artefacts discovered in archaeological excavations.

After all the amazing historical contextualization, we organized our picnic inside the castle. Thanks to everyone’s contribution, we ended up perfectly in good company and interesting conversations.

Take a look at the photos taken during the event!


An amazing afternoon surrounded by history and friends

The good weather has come to stay! So how about exploring Lisbon History and enjoying a picnic on the same day? Our Portuguese Language School invites you to join us in the Castelo de São Jorge on the 25th of July. It will be the perfect opportunity to travel in time and learn more about the history of one of the most important monuments in Lisbon.

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, will guide us through the highest hill in Lisbon’s city centre. The tour will begin with historical facts about the Castelo de São Jorge, starting with its construction in the middle of the 11th century during the Muslim domination.

Later, we will discuss the Christian conquestof the city, lead in 1147 by Afonso I. From the 12th century until the 16th century, this castle was the political centre of the Portuguese Court.

After the tour we’ll have time to socialize with a picnic inside the castle. This is the perfect time to enjoy different foods and to have a good conversation with new people. 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!

During the tour, our history teacher Indira Leão will speak in Portuguese and English. You will learn more about historical and political places in Lisbon, while exercising your knowledge of Portuguese.

Join the tour and check out the School Events section in our website to learn more about our weekly events.