◇ Sintra ◇
The Castle of the Moors is a hilltop medieval castle located in Sintra, about 25 km northwest of Lisbon. Built by the Berbers (Moors) in the 8th and 9th centuries, it was an important strategic point during the Reconquista, and was taken by Christian forces after the fall of Lisbon in 1147. It is classified as a National Monument, part of the Sintra Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The castle was constructed during the 8th and 9th centuries, during the period of Muslim Iberia, as the central place in a territory that was primarily agricultural, and which was necessary to protect its population.
In 1375 King Ferdinand I of Portugal, under the counsel of João Annes de Almada, ordered the rebuilding of the castle.
While the structure was well fortified by 1383, its military importance was progressively diminishing as, more and more, the inhabitants were abandoning the castle for the old village of Sintra.
By 1838 the towers were already in ruins, when in 1840 Ferdinand II of Portugal took up the task of conserving and improving the condition of the castle, in which he committed 240 réis annually. He consolidated the walls, reforested the spaces, created nooks and manicured spaces and conserved the chapel. Along the south flank of the chapel he built a monument to collect the bones discovered during the public works, planting a tree in the central nave of the chapel. These reforms in the enclosure were overseen by Baron von Eschewege, but likely made the archaeological exploration of the territory considerably difficult.
Of course the weather wasn't good, low clouds and foggy and misty cold...but still it has been a magical adventure to climb the walls and going up and down those ancient steps, like Moors used to do ages ago!
Hope you had a nice start of week! ~ Gio
Quote of the day: "There's no such a thing as a small act of kindness - even the tiniest gesture had a ripple effect." (From "Kindness - the little things that matters the most" by Jaime Thurston)