Classified as a National Monument on June 16, 1910, the Castle of Sesimbra is the last of the Castles on the sea, which arrived, well preserved, until our days.
The Castle of Sesimbra is the last of the Portuguese castles on the sea to maintain the medieval moth. It was classified as National Monument on June 16, 1910 and within its walls brings together various reasons of interest. Its walls have a unique view over the village and the sea. Inside there are two permanent exhibits on its history, heritage interpretation center, church, a disabled cemetery. It also offers a museum circuit that allows the visitor, autonomously, to enjoy the various points of interest of the Property. Visitors can walk through the walls and enjoy a privileged view of the village of Sesimbra and the region. The cafeteria with terrace offers some local products. It stands out in the landscape by its imposing.
The origins of the Castle of Sesimbra go back to the IX century, period of the Muslim occupation of the territory. In 1165 is conquered by D. Afonso Henriques, and in 1191 is lost to the Almohads. Its definitive reconquest takes place on the initiative of D. Sancho I, in 1199, monarch who attributes the first charter to the village of Sesimbra, then based inside the monument.
Throughout the Middle Ages, and given its strategic importance in defense of the maritime and land borders of the kingdom, the Castle is the target of numerous enlargements.
From the fifteenth century, with the development of maritime activities such as fishing or shipbuilding, in Póvoa Ribeirinha, the population is progressively being located by the bay. In 1516, the year of the Visitation of D. Jorge de Lencastre, Master of the Order of Santiago, there were already evident signs of abandonment, which were accentuated throughout the following centuries. The advanced state of ruin of the monument ends up being fought between 1933 and 1945, with the works of conservation promoted by the General Direction of Buildings and National Monuments.
Plan and structure
It presents irregular plant, occupying the whole top of the slope. The nascent side consists of the alcáçova with the keep and the turrets, while the remaining perimeter includes the villainous fence, protected in the doors by turrets and at its west end by a tower.
Tips for the tourist
The Interpretation center offers a visitor referral service to the main cultural and natural points of interest in the county.
- A pedestrian route of about 600 meters connects the area of Valparaíso, in the upper part of the village of Sesimbra, to the Gate of the Sun, one of the entrances to the Castle.
- By car, the distance between the village of Sesimbra and the Castle is about 2.5 kilometers.
- Within the walls there is free parking, for light vehicles and buses, wi-fi and coffee shop.
- In about an hour and a half it is possible to visit and get to know the whole monument.
- The Interpretation center offers a visitor referral service to the main cultural and natural points of interest in the county.
In addition to the points of interest the visitor can walk through the medieval adarve, which allows to contemplate the whole landscape around the monument.