Sights of Portugal: the Castle of the Moors in Sintra

You may be lost in the beauty of Pena Palace while you explore its grounds, trying to absorb every single detail, romanticising about the times when Kings and Queens stepped on the same grounds and potentially admired the same sights.

But while you walk through its verandas and terraces, your eyes will eventually turn and fall in the marvellous sight of the Castle of the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros).

Contrasting with all the exuberance of Pena, the castle may seem underwhelming, with its grey walls, not at all inviting. It is though a remarkable construction dating back to the 8th century, built by the moors for, of course, defensive purposes. The moors, coming from North Africa and looking to gain permanent access to Iberian Peninsula, were ecstatic with Sintra – the land was fertile, and the hills made the potential (and unavoidable) of a reconquest by the crusades a lot harder.

So, in this stony hill, they built this immense fortress, offering a panoramic view of the entire town of Sintra and even of Lisbon is fog isn’t a problem.

I didn’t get a chance to visit the Castle in my last visit to Sintra, but I would next time I get a chance.



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