Lisbon: Sāo Jorge Castle and More

A view from the terrace in front of Sāo Jorge Castle
A view from the terrace in front of Sāo Jorge Castle

Built in the 11th century, the Sāo Jorge Castle sits on top of a hill in Lisbon. We walked there this morning. That is to say, we walked most of the way, but we took two free, public elevators as parts of the journey. If you think taking elevators is cheating, you’re probably younger than my brother and I are. Wait until you’re our age and see if you still say the same thing thing then.

These days, the Sāo Jorge Castle is mostly just some imposing walls: Castle walls and outer walls. There may not be much of the castle left standing today, but I shouldn’t complain about that much. I doubt there’ll be much of me left standing after a millennium either.

Remnants of Sāo Jorge Castle
Remnants of Sāo Jorge Castle

Because it is on top of a hill, we were able to take in some spectacular views from a castle terrace and from those of the remaining walls on which we were able to walk around atop. This page offers a couple of unspectacular pictures of the spectacular views.

Sorry if I mislead you. Depending on how you read it, the preceding paragraph might have sounded as if, in addition to a couple of unspectacular pictures, the page also includes some spectacular pictures of the spectacular views. Nope. My pictures are all unspectacular. And I’ve included only two photos of the views.

A view from he remnants of the Sāo Jorge Castle
A view from he remnants of the Sāo Jorge Castle

Sāo Jorge Castle Town

A street in the castle town
A street in the castle town

Outside the Sāo Jorge Castle, but within the fortifying walls that the Moors built around it, the streets mostly maintain the original street plan. Consequently, the castle town is a collection of higgledy-piggledy quiet streets with small, charming, old buildings. Close to the castle entrance they house kitschy tourist shops on the ground floor. Walk a piece away from the entrance and they are mostly residential.

We had a lovely stroll through the neighbourhood. It was a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be …

Oh, damn. Stop that!

I don’ think I ever saw a full episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood“. And I didn’t see the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” But all of a sudden I’m flashing back to Mister Rogers? How the heck does that happen? Is that an old age thing? I hope not, because I want no part of it.

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah. It was a beautiful neighbourhood.

Fado Museum

View from Largo Santa Luzia
View from Largo Santa Luzia

After leaving the castle town, we walked around the Alfama district of Lisbon some more. It is an attractive neighbourhood, with nice buildings and some quaint old trams plying a couple of the streets. There is also a public square, Largo Santa Luzia, that offers another great view of the Tagus River and the bit of the city between the square and the river.

Another street in he Aflama district
Another street in he Aflama district
A street in he Aflama district
A street in he Aflama district
Musical instruments in the Fado Museum
Musical instruments in the Fado Museum

We then visited the smallish Fado Museum. Fado is a style of music that originated in Lisbon in the early 1800s. The museum tells its story through paintings, videos, recordings, text, displays of instruments, and a rather finicky audioguide.

After the Fado Museum, we had lunch. But you’re probably not interested in that seeing as though I already talked about food, not once, but twice yesterday. Enough is enough.

After lunch we did a lot more strolling, including down by the river and then up to the top of the ridge behind our hotel.

A nice park in which two old guys can rest their feet. The also allow young people in.
A nice park in which two old guys can rest their feet. The also allow young people in.

I can report that Lisbon has some very nice, human-scale streets and attractive, small public parks. And, if I did report that, I wouldn’t be lying.

At least one of those small parks has a number of small restaurants around its periphery, is well-treed, and has a small water feature that looks like a largish bird bath. I think there was fountain in the centre of the birdbath-like feature, but if so, it was turned off. So, I’m not sure it was a fountain or just a doodad in the middle of the water feature.

I can report with absolute certainty that that particular park is a very relaxing place for two old guys to rest their feet while sitting on a shaded bench for a while.

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