The resort town of Sintra is 17 miles west of Lisbon and sits in the foothills of its namesake mountain range. Scholars believe that it's name is derived from the medieval "Suntria", meaning "bright star" or "sun." Famous for being part of the Portuguese Riviera, the town, for a long time, was a place of royal sanctuary. Archeological evidence has indicated that human habitation of the area may have dated back to the early Paleolithic era (perhaps as far back as 2.6 million years ago). Ceramics, dating back as as far as the 5th century B.C., were discovered in Sintra excavation sites. During the Roman occupation, this region was part of the commercial center known as "Olisipio". Excavations have discovered Roman artifacts dated between the first century B.C. and the fifth century A.D. With the death of King Henry in 1580, Philip II of Spain inherited the Kingdom of Portugal. It reverted back to the monarchy of Portugal by 1640. Between the 17th and 18th centuries, Sintra became a center for religious orders. Much of the town was destroyed during the 1755 earthquake, but was soon rebuilt. Because we'd heard so much about this region from locals, we decided to spend three days exploring Sintra. What a great decision this was.
Overlooking the town, is the Castle of The Moors...well...just the walls and the five fortified turrets remain.