Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle), Sintra (must see)
In 1375 King Ferdinand I restored the castle and strengthened the fortifications. By the 16th century the military effectiveness of the castle had waned. The inhabitants had abandoned the fortress for the village of Sintra. In 1755 the Lisbon earthquake nearly destroyed the chapel and made the castle unstable.
By 1838 the towers and walls of the castle were in ruins. Then Ferdinand II came to the rescue. He refurbished and improved the castle as he was restoring the neighboring monastery and building the Pena Palace. He consolidated the walls, reforested open areas and restored the chapel.
The castle consists of a double line of crenelated stone walls weaving their way the granite hills of the promontory. The towers are much changed from their original size and appearance. Nonetheless, the layout of the turrets follow the design engravings of Book of Fortresses from 1509.
Nearby the Castle are many other historical sites, including The Garden of Pena, the Estate of Pena Verde, and the Quinte da Regaleira. The Castle now is a Romantic ruin and a tourist magnet, especially for those hearty souls who don't mind a lot of hiking over granite outcroppings.
The chapel has a rectangular nave. lies outside the secondary wall of the fortress, near the entrance. The south wall has an arched doorway with colonnades with fantasy animal motifs. On the north side is a triumphal arch on double columns. There is a cradle vault with vestigial frescoes and a frieze with geometric designs.
The castle is classified as a National Monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Sintra. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle) on Map
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