The medieval castle of the Moors is located at the top of the Serra da Sintra mountain range and offers a breathtaking view of the municipality of Sintra, as well as Mafra and Ericeira. At the foot is a very beautiful park.
The castle is divided into two parts: the Moorish castle in Sintra and the fortification system (walls) that runs along the crest of the mountain. It was a strategic place at the time of the Reconquista, when the Christians of the Iberian Peninsula conquered the land of the Arabs. Today, the castle is classified as a national monument.
The castle was built in the 8th century, during the occupation of the Iberian Peninsula by the Arabs. The castle was at high altitude and a very good location to protect the population. In 1147 after the conquest of Lisbon, the Moorish castle was conquered by Christians led by Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal. The Moors surrendered voluntarily.
The king entrusted the protection of the castle to 30 inhabitants by granting them privileges, which stipulated that the settlers should live in the castle, while striving to ensure the protection of Sintra and to do everything possible for the development of this region.
In the second half of the 12th century a chapel was built inside the castle, which became a place of prayer for parishioners. At the end of the 14th century, repairs were carried out in the Moorish castle, the walls were reinforced.
Over time, the inhabitants of the castle settled in a nearby village. During the Lisbon earthquake, the castle was damaged and the chapel was almost destroyed. The restoration of the castle was only undertaken at the end of the 19th century under the reign of Ferdinando II, King of Portugal.
Visit Lisbon and Sintra