The Sanctuary of Lisbon’s St. George’s Castle
May 24, 2021 by Lynn Pilgrim
One of my favorite places in Lisbon is the Castle of Saint George (Castelo de Sao Jorge). Humans have occupied the hill area since the 8th century B.C. and fortifications followed in the First century B.C. The hill has played an important role in Lisbon’s history and has been occupied by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, and the Moors. The Siege of Lisbon of 1147 marked the domination of the castle’s rulers with the Portuguese taking control.
Every time I climb up the steep, cobblestone streets that lead to the top and the castle, I am gaspingly reminded that Lisbon was built on Seven Hills that view the Tagus River. The castle sits as a quiet refuge above the hum of the city and I always feel at peace there. So few people visit this place when I did that I feel it’s all mine!
When I finally descend after hours of daydreaming and contemplating the world from my perch, I have to go slowly down the hill to ease into today’s life again. But I always remember the echoing silence of Sao Jorge’s Castle, knowing that the peace of that place will draw me in again whenever I am close by.