Wednesday, 13 June 2018

sintra: castelo dos mouros

 It's a year since I left Portugal, but I still have a couple of posts from back then to share - from everyone's favourite fairy tale town, Sintra. Even on an overcast (but hot) day, every corner of Sintra was so pretty, and our first stop was at the Castelo dos Mouros. Or the Castle of the Moors.

 The Castelo dos Mouros dates back to the 8-9th centuries when it was built by the "Moors" as most of Iberia was inhabited and controlled by Muslims. But, obviously, through various conquests, trades and transfers, the castle was obtained by Portuguese kings. And during the time of these kings (mainly Sancho I and Ferdinand I) the castle was rebuilt and additions, like a chapel, were made. And the last major remodelling done by Ferdinand II resulted in the castle having a more of a romantic feel with its ruins.

The castle is on top of the Sintra mountains and has the potential to show amazing views of the whole of Sintra and surrounding areas - but, again, it was overcast when I visited. I still loved everything I did see. A mix of natural rock formations and the castle walls that you can walk on and that basically let you walk all around the castle. The place is also full of local and exotic plant-life making it so green. In addition to the walls, you can explore the chapel, different cisterns and little caves and you do get to learn about bits of the castle, the area and Portuguese history. It is a national monument as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site (like basically all of Sintra is), so it is basically as amazing as you'd expect it to be.

Sintra is full of the prettiest houses and places to visit, but on a day trip we prioritized this castle and the Pena Palace (that you can see in the last photo, and that I'll have a post on later in the week). I would be the happiest to return to check out the rest of the palaces and everything else, though. The train journey from Lisbon is only an hour, and going to Sintra (and the Castelo dos Mouros) is 100% worth it. Out of all the places in Portugal I've visited (which is quite a few at this point) Sintra is a favourite.



Anya Dryagina said...

Fantastic place! Beautiful post and photos!

Gail J said...

I've missed the classic castle like this T_T girl I need to go back to UK soon!

Laura Jones said...

Anya Dryagina - it really is! thank you, lovely! xx

Gail J - it's definitely worth seeing if you're ever in that area of portugal! and me too, honey! xx

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