Santiago do Cacém Castle | Portugal Visitor
Santiago do Cacém Castle (Castelo de Santiago do Cacém)
Santiago do Cacém Castle (Castelo de Santiago do Cacém) in Santiago do Cacém in the Alentejo region of Portugal dominates the town from its hilltop location.
The medieval castle was built over an earlier Moorish fortress during the reigns of Afonso Henriques (1112-1185), the first king of Portugal, his son Sancho I and later King Afonso II during the Reconquista period of Portuguese history.
The town of Santiago do Cacém has both Roman (at Miróbriga) and Moorish beginnings. During the Islamic period it was known as Kassen, from which the name Cacém may be derived.
The area fell to Christian forces commanded by Afonso Henriques in 1158 during his campaigns around nearby Alcácer do Sal. Subsequently retaken by the resurgent Almohads, it did not become permanently under the control of the Portuguese monarchs until the time of Afonso II in 1217.
Much of this area of Portugal was given by the throne to the Order of Santiago, the powerful religious and military order founded in 12th century Spain.
The castle is basically rectangular in layout with ten square towers, crenellated, stone walls, and semi-cylindrical turrets, protected by barbicans. The central keep is particularly impressive.
Nearby on Rua do Castelo is the white-washed Igreja Matriz de Santiago do Cacém now classified as a National Monument. It dates originally from the 13th century and was founded and built by the Order of Santiago. The building houses the Museum of Sacred Art of Santiago do Cacém and relief sculptures depicting Santiago fighting the Moors.
Other historic structures close to the castle are a pillory which stands in front of the Antigos Paços do Concelho (Old Town Hall) and the Palácio da Carreira with fine azulejos tiles dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Getting to Santiago do Cacém
Train Travel in Portugal
Santiago do Cacém’s railway station is now no longer connected to the Portuguese rail network and is disused. Bus is the only option to get here by public transport.
Car Travel in Portugal
Santiago do Cacém is approximately an 80-minute drive from Setúbal on the A2 (IP1) and A26 highways.
Setúbal easily connects with Lisbon via the A12/IP1 and A1 motorways and to Faro and the Algarve via IC1 or E1/IP1.
To get from and to Sines take the A26 road. Travel time is around 20 minutes for the 22-km journey.
Beja is 80 km east on the N121 and IP8.
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Bus Travel in Portugal
There are buses from Santiago do Cacém to Lisbon (Sete Rios; 2 hours, 15 minutes), Almada (1 hour, 55 minutes), Setúbal (1 hour, 25 minutes), Beja (2 hours), Grândola (25 minutes), Porto Covo (1 hour) and Sines (40 minutes).
Portugal Hotel & Hostel Accommodation
Recommended hotels and guest houses in Santiago do Cacém include the Casa Santiago, Casas de Miróbriga, close to the Roman ruins at Miróbriga, Residencial Covas, a comfortable and affordable guest house and Quinta de Malmedra, a farm stay a short distance west of the center with pool, garden and games room.
See a listing of all available hotels and guesthouses in Santiago do Cacém.
Featured Hotel in Santiago do Cacém
Hotel Dom Nuno – 2 Star, Avenida D. Nuno Alvares Pereira, Nº90, 7540-103 Santiago do Cacém
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