Castelo de São Jorge
(Castle of St. George)

The dramatic remains of the Castle of St. George on the highest point in Lisbon offer 360 degree views of the city. Over the course of 2,000 years, the site has been inhabited by Iron Age people, Moorish rulers, and Portuguese kings.


Lisbon has seen its share of conquerors and kings, and they have all made their market on the hill where the Castle of St. George sits. The remains visible today provide important insight to the history of Portugal, from the Moorish fortifications of the royal residence to the later expansion to the Portuguese royal palace. After years of neglect–and the Great Earthquake of 1755–little remains of the original buildings but the walls and towers still stand.

Modern Context

Underground chambers–the only remains of the castle’s medieval period–today house a museum that chronicles the history of the site. Nearby excavations have revealed human settlement artifacts dating back to the 6th century B.C. The walls and towers of the castle are all the remains today–still an impressive structure overlooking the city.


In the Tower of Ulysses is the Camera Obscura, a modern addition based on ideas of Leonardo da Vinci. A series of lens and mirrors focused on a single wide plate show real-time images of the streets and buildings of the city. Olissipónia, a multi-media show about the history of Lisbon, is featured daily in one of the restored rooms of the castle.


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