Monday, July 11, 2022

Sintra Portugal: The Castle of the Moor's

The trip to Sinatra, Portugal, is like going to the Biltmore in North Carolina.  Instead of just one large palace, there are 6 stately mansions originally built for Portuguese Royalty.  I wanted to see the Moorish fortifications and Roca Cape, the most western point on the European Continent.  We also got to see some dead Moores too.  Poor guys, it's always sad when a soldier dies so far away from home.  Even if it happened 800 years ago.

We leave Lisbon at the Rossio train station, a short walk from our Airbnb.  After about a 40-minute train ride, we arrive in Sintra.  Once there, we immediately buy tickets for the hop-on-hop-off bus, which stops at the Sintra Train Station.   This is a National Portuguese vacation spot.  There is more to see here than can be accomplished in one day.  So we have a plan to visit the Moorish Fort and the Cape. 

The Castle of the Moors (Portuguese: Castelo dos Mouros) is a hilltop medieval castle located in the central Portuguese civil parish of Santa Maria e São Miguel, in the municipality of Sintra, about 25 km (16 mi) northwest of Lisbon.  It was an important strategic point during the Reconquista, part of the Christian forces' reconquest of the Iberian Penisula.  The Moors built the Castle fortifications in the 8th and 9th centuries.   It was eventually taken by Christian forces after the fall of Lisbon in 1147.  

It's about a half-mile hike to Moors Castle.  Once there, it's an impressive sight; with high stone walls, it commands a view of the ocean and the northern approach to Lisbon.  It's not hard to imagine soldiers standing guard on the lookout for invading forces.   We spend a couple of hours walking to the Castle walls and towers.   We have lunch in the Castle Cafe and snack shop.  Afterward, we return to the Bus stop and are off to the Roca De Cape.  

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