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Inside the defence walls of the citadel it’s hard to imagine you are in the heart of a metropolis as Lisbon: small pastel-coloured buildings, cars nearly absent, and with the exception of a few shops, a complete silence .
A walk in the citadel ideally precedes the visit of the São Jorge castle, the splendid and solid monument which towers over the whole city and the river Tejo.
This area has been populated since the early days of human history, witnessing both the Phoenicians and the Romans' passage. The castle dates back to the XI-XII century, when Lisbon was an important Arab port. in 1147 Alfonse Henriques, the first king of Portugal, broke through the fortress and conquered the Moorish town. The castle has also been the residence of the royal family and its court between the XIII century and the beginning of the XVI.
Partly destroyed by the earthquake of 1755, the castle has been subject over the centuries to important restorations to recover its past majesty.
Inside the fortress a Museum collects various props which were found during the archaeological excavations, some of which date from the VII century BC. Beside the museum there are also the Periscope, an archaeological nucleon with ancient finds, the Islamic district of the XI-XII century and the rests of the ancient castle destroyed by the earthquake.
Today the fortress hosts some marvellous gardens and a miradouro with one of the most amazing panoramas on Lisbon.
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Castelo and Museum: 9 am-18 pm (nov-feb.), 9 am-21pm (mar-oct.); last admission 17:30 pm with winter opening time and 20.30 with the summer opening time.
Periscope: 9 am-17 pm; last admission 17:00 pm . Admission to this building is included in the ticket of the Castle, but it is necessary to book in advance since only few persons at a time are admitted. Loja (Casa do Governador): 10 am -18 (nov.-feb.); 10-21 (mar.-oct.).
The castle is open every day all year round .
Full ticket Euro 5,00
Discounted ticket (students, groups, families, Lisboa Card holders) : Euro 2,50
Free admission for kids under 10, adults over 65 and residents.
Toilets, restaurant (open all year round from 12:30 am to 23 pm) and a Cafetaria (9-18 in winter and 9am-21 pm in summer)
How to get:
Eléctricos: 12 and 28
Nearest car parks: Praça da Figueira/Portas do Sol