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Moorish Castle, Sesimbra

The Moorish castle of Sesimbra stands high above the pretty fishing village and has guarded the town since its early founding. The castle was one of the first victories for the Christian conquest of Portugal over the Moors in the 12th century and its strategic positioning was important for the defence of early Portugal. For visitors the who make the 230m climb up to the castle will be rewarded of stunning panoramic views over Sesimbra and the surrounding coastline. Inside the castle there are extensive battlements, a pretty church but most visitors simply come for the views.

Sesimbra Castle Tourist Information

The castle is open every day from 7:00 until 20:00 (summer season) or 7:00 until 19:00 (winter season). There is no entrance fee for the castle and generally most visitors spend less than 30 minutes in the complex.

Sesimbra castle

Sesimbra castle provides wonderful views over the town

History of the Sesimbra Moorish Castle

The castle of Sesimbra was the last of the irregular shaped hill forts constructed by the Moors prior to the invasion by the Christians in the 12th century. The castle walls extended the perimeter of the old village and are heavily defended on the south eastern side with turrets and a fortified keep.

This side of the castle was exposed to the beach and most likely route of attack. The sea was the direction that Afonso Henriques, with the help of Frank Crusaders, stormed and captured the castle in 1165. During the early years of Portugal the fortifications were strengthened but even with the strategic vantage point the castle never saw battle again. Much of the present day castle was repaired during a the 1930 in a drive to restore many of Portugal's national treasures.

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