Perched on a Hilltop – Monsanto

North from Lisbon, Portugal, there is a unique village, perched on a hilltop.  It oversees all the surrounding horizons with old-world charm that has earned the title in the 20th century –  that of the Most Portuguese Village in Portugal.  This village started at the highest point of the mountain with a castle and the castle walls.  Outside the walls, the original settlement around the St. Miguel Chapel is also protected by a low wall.  All around you see rock ruins of places used to worship God.   Due to its name – Monsanto – meaning Holy Mountain…you will see many chapels, crosses and churches throughout the village.  The village itself has incorporated itself among the rocks, using them for walls of homes, even roofs.  It was a fascinating place to visit, one that I would love to re-visit during the flowers blooming.  Enjoy a bit of Portuguese color as you explore with me the village of Monsanto.  Perhaps I will add another themed post that will have scenes of Monsanto in it.

Sintra Castle – Inside and Out

One thing on my “visit-list” was Sintra Castle.  We traveled there one day, the same day that we visited the Moorish Castle, since they were close by each other.  It was a photographers paradise, for sure.  It is a World Heritage site, established on the top of the Sintra hills.  The castle was created by King Ferdinand II, and is an example of 19th century Romanticism.  It truly was “art on a hill” in every way.  Enjoy peeking inside and out through my lens.

Moorish Castle, Portugal

Castelo dos Mouros, as it is called in Portugal was about half hour north of Lisboa, just outside of Sintra.  It is a popular tourist destination, full of history about this area of Portugal.  This site was once an important military fortification and speaks of the Islamic presence in this region.  It was probably built between the 8th and 9th centuries.  Overlooking Sintra, it acted as a watchtower to protect Lisbon and the surrounding area. It was a pretty windy day the day we visited.  We actually visited several places on this day.  The Frys and the Feehans were not letting any place go undiscovered!  Though, the Frys had already been there several times while they lived in Portugal, it was fun just to see it together and of course click pictures.