Built in the mid-11th century, during the Moorish period, this fortification is situated in the area most difficult to access at the top of the hill, making use of the natural slopes to the north and west. The purpose of the castle was to house military troops and in case of siege, the elite who lived in the alcáçova (citadel). Unlike most European castles it was not meant as a residence. It still retains eleven towers, the most outstanding being the Torre de Menagem (Tower of the Keep), Torre do Haver ou do Tombo(Tower of Riches or Trumbling Tower), Torre do Paço (Tower of the Palace), Torre da Cisterna (Tower of the Cistern) and the Torre de São Lourenço (Tower of St. Lawrence) located on the hillside. Ruins of older structures and a cistern still remain in a second courtyard. Also found here is a small door on the northern wall called the Door of Treason which allowed secret messengers to enter or exit when needed.
Open 7 days a week, Castelo de S. Jorge is now a place where you can enjoy our heritage, get to know a little about Lisboa’s History at the Permanent Exhibition, explore the traces of the Moorish neighbourhood dating back from the 11th century at the Archaeological Site, discover yet unseen sights over the city on the Camera Obscura, stroll across the gardens and the belvederes, take a break at the Café do Castelo, participate of the guided tours or other didactical activities, or simply be enchanted by music, theatre, dancing and the talk shops on heritage that liven up your days at this remarkable Monument in Lisboa.