Thursday, November 26, 2015

St George's Castle, Lisbon

On my last day in Lisbon, I headed to enjoy St. George's Castle. In Portuguese it is known as Castelo de São Jorge. The moorish castle looks out over the city and Tagus River. The view from it took my breath away. I was falling in love with Lisbon more and more. I hated the idea of leaving it.

Enjoying the stone garden of the castle grounds, I took in the city below, the rooftops, the man singing with his two little dogs, the fountain in a person's patio covered with seashells. A hidden treasure. Canons surrounded the walls, finding a seat, I enjoyed the last of my pastel de nata as I admired all that was around me.

Walking through the ruins of what was once an impressive castle, well it still is impressive. The castle dates from a medieval period, the first fortifications of the hill in which it rests date to the 2nd century! The 2nd!

I have only been to a few castles but St George's has to be my favourite. The beautiful ruins drew me in, I felt like I could envision what the castle would have looked like in its full glory. It was also nice that there were not people crawling over every inch of it. For most sections I was alone, sometimes another person or a couple would appear but they just added to the feeling of how big this castle really was. 

I found the main section of the castle. Walking along its walls to explore the areas where they were excavating it and discovery more about its history. Climbing up and up along stairs, I stared down upon the ground below. It would be quite a fall and I was not about to be that unfortunate.

Wandering across its walls, I came across a sign advertising the camera obscura. I had only seen one camera obscura before and that was in Jerez, Spain. Not one to pass by seeing a good optical trick, I lined up outside of the building to wait. Luckily I was one of the few able to go in and see the English tour. I happily watched as the guide showed us the city of Lisbon from her screen. Using pullies to direct the mirrors and change the view and sharpness of the image. If you ever have a chance to see one I recommend it.

After climbing over the walls and exploring more of the amazing castle. I said goodbye to the delightful peacock that was parading around and left the castle in search of the amazing gelato I knew to be nearby.

The castle is open 1 November - 28 February (Closed - December 24, 25 and 31 and January 1) from 9 am to 6 pm and from 1 March - 31 October (Closed - May 1) 9 am to 9 pm. Prices for adults are €8.50 which I think is a really good price for the castle. I really enjoyed my visit.

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