In Part One we looked at a little slice of Castelo de S. Jorge’s history, the panoramic views that aided former defenders and now appeal to tourists as well as the main courtyard that greets you as you arrive. In Part Two we will go into the heart of the castle and explore its inner courtyards.
Fro the main courtyard and its shaded concourse the Lover’s Garden awaits; a small but beautifully cultivated tropical garden complete with statues of nude figures, water features, palms and various other exotic plants. Birds buzz around as you pass through the heavily shaded gardens and the place has an energy that you can’t escape.
As you emerge from the Lover’s Gardens you are confronted by the imposing and equally impressive towers and parapets of the castle’s inner keep, a wooden bridge crossing a once filled moat through a high archway above which castle defenders would have once kept guard.
From here you have a couple of options, a right turn will take you round the inner walls towards the archaeological museum, the stairs to your left take you up onto the ramparts and the corridor ahead leads to a large courtyard where a projector blasts films onto the high inner walls.
The archaeological museum at Castelo de S. Jorge is an interesting site of dug up Roman remains which are sectioned off creating a path through the middle where wells, small reservoirs and structures once stood. The archaeological team are slowly piecing the place together and collating the history of the site as they go.
Another fine feature of Castelo de S. Jorge is the periscope; a convex lens that gives 360 degree views of Lisbon and the surrounding landscape. The periscope is included in the entry price to the castle and tours run every hour in various languages. Minimum group sizes are of ten people and the guides are extremely helpful and friendly.
Further exploration of tower tops presents you with terrific views but be careful on the way down as a lot of the staircases are narrow and slippery.
Castelo de S. Jorge is a great place to spend a few hours immersing yourself in the historical heart of Lisbon and well worth the 7.50 euros for the ticket.
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