The Moorish Castle is a fortification built in around the 10th century by the North African Moors, during their conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. They choose a strategic military location, high in the mountains between two rings of granite walls, that run irregularly around the peaks of the steep cliff faces.
Besides its strategic location, definitely we must admire the breathtaking views. From one side hill, lays the wonderful Pena Palace and on the valley, the oldest palace in Portugal, the National Palace of Sintra. Stunning landscapes includes, when the weather permits, the view of the Atlantic Ocean, Cabo da Roca, National Palace of Mafra and the fairytale town of Sintra.
The Moorish Castle is today a reclassified monument, that continues to be improved and really worth a visit. There are 450 meters perimeter surrounded by walls and towers, full of steps that goes downhill and uphill, a cistern, a chapel, a permanent exhibition of archaeological discoveries and historical facts, very well documented and also a cafe, among other useful support services. The Moorish Castle is classified as a National Monument since 1910 and together with the “Serra de Sintra” was considered Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1995.
Inside the perimeter, archaeological works had reveal the human presence during the Neolithic period (5,000 BC), though the first village related to the Castle, was dated from the eighth century, when the Muslim invasion happen in the Iberian Peninsula. These facts are also part of the exhibition open to the public, which begins just before the main entrance into the walls.
A little bit more of history tells us, that the St. Peter of Canaferrim Church, which is right next to the Castle of the Moors, was built by D. Afonso Henriques, after the conquest of Lisbon to the Moors in 1147.
Open every day from 09:00 to 20:00 (summer time) and from 10:00 to 18:00 (winter).