National Palace of Pena & Park
If you are a fairytale romantic and want to fufil your fantastical dreams, Sintra is the place to be! From mythical castles to charming gardens, the quaint town of Sintra is a must-visit for a tranquil escapade. The Moorish Castle in Sintra is one such attraction that takes you back in time to the medieval era with its stoned facade and glorious history that guards its towers.
Visit the Moorish Castle and learn how the ancient structure passed through the age of the Vikings, got influenced by the Romantic era and finally became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in these post-modern times. Book your Moorish Castle tickets and experience the majestic views that the parapet walk to the castle offers and delve into the rich history of the imposing structure. Keep reading to know more about Moorish Castle, tickets, highlights and more.
Moorish Castle is one of the major tourist attractions if you plan to visit Sintra, and it can become an ordeal to get your hands on the tickets without prior arrangements. Book your tickets online in advance and enjoy a hassle-free experience of exploring the ancient ruins of the castle.
Nestled on top of a hilltop, Moorish Castle Sintra has a lot to offer in terms of history and architecture. Here are the top highlights that will make your exploration easier.
After the Moorish Castle was seized by Afonso Henriques, the Portugal king attributed the defence of the castle to the Knights Templar. The conquest led to the restructuring of the place that had existed for ages and built the second line of walls to protect the animals and harvest.
Learn how the people of the castle stored their cereal and leguminous crops in the crater-like pits, a practice long been followed since the pre-historic era. Get to know more about how this technique for storing food grains has been described in various Arabic treatises.
Delve into the history of the castle being a historical Muslim neighbourhood, as various artefacts like fragments of pottery and ceramic recipients have been excavated at the site. Look around to find traces of an Islamic inhabitance in the ruins of home and instruments.
Due to the reconstruction of the castle on the orders commissioned by Ferdinand II, the Christian burial grounds were damaged, which resulted in building of the tomb to house the bones found, which is carved with a lunar crescent and a cross both.
Following the conquest of the Moors, the Church of São Pedro de Canaferrim was built as the first parish church of Sintra. Built out of granite stone masonry, the apse displays Gothic paintings dating back to the 15th century.
Before the conquest by Afonso Henriques, the place was a Muslim neighbourhood back in the 10th century, but after the arrival of the Portugal king, the site was converted into a Christian medieval necropolis, the one we can see today.
Find out what the compartments adjoining the eastern section of the wall were used for, as they are believed to have been used as stables, and later as as spaces for raising and housing domestic animals. Poke around for traces of Islamic inhabitance too, as the ruins tell interesting tales.
The Moorish Castle Cistern represents a considerable strategic advantage for the people who wanted to take refuge during a siege within the castle walls, as the construction allowed for a constant water supply throughout the hideout as well.
The broad open area known as the Arms Square is the place where the castle provided for gatherings of the military garrison. However, after the restructuring in the 19th century, this site was transformed into a place of rest and contemplation.
Located in the most unused and uneven part of the castle, the Door of Betrayal allowed for discreet access to the exterior of the castle in the event of fleeing the gates and could be used by the enemy as access to the interiors as well.
Part of the castle’s Keep Tower, the small stronghold served as the residence of the local authorities. Built at one of the highest points of the castle, it was a strategic and fortified centre for the day-to-day workings of the kingdom.
As the name suggests, this spot served as the leisure place for Ferdinand II and his artistic pursuits. With the Palace of Pena forming the backdrop of the area, the King-Artist would come here for artistic inspiration.
Everyday 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Last ticket admission: 6 PM
Duration of Visit: 60 - 90 minutes recommended
Best time to visit: Weekdays of Spring and Fall
Note: The peak visiting hours are early afternoon, from 12 PM - 2 PM.
Address: 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal
A. Moorish Castle is a medieval castle in the quaint town of Sintra, which is built atop a hill and overlooks a lush green forest and the Atlantic Ocean.
A. The address of Moorish Castle is 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal.
A. The Moorish Castle is open to visitors every day from 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM.
A. As Moorish Castle is a historic attraction that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its ancient architecture and artefacts is a popular attraction, with breathtaking views from the hilltop on which it is located.
A. The best time to visit Moorish Castle Sintra is morning and evening, as the peak visiting hours are early afternoon, from 12 PM - 2 PM. This way you can avoid long queues and heavy crowds.
A. It can take you anywhere between 60 to 90 minutes to go around exploring the castle as it is quite an extensive place to visit.