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Forte de São Jorge de Oitavos (Fort of São Jorge de Oitavos)



In the Forte de São Jorge de Oitavos (Fort of São Jorge de Oitavos), visitors will have a broader perception of aspects related to the construction of the fort and its role as a military device, inserted in the set of the many military fortifications of advanced defence of the Tagus bar, built from 1640. It also addresses issues related to the development of artillery and uniforms, resorting to replicas of uniforms and antique prints, as well as the instruments that were used in the former bunker and which serviced the cannons.
 
Of a rectangular plan, supported on the cliff, the Forte de São Jorge de Oitavos (Fort of São Jorge de Oitavos) was built between 1642 and 1648 and was intended to house small garrisons, especially artillery, with the objective of commanding the coast between Guincho and Guia, and avoid landings in the local area. The fortification was fitted with four pieces of artillery and its normal manning was 1 corporal, 3 gunners and 18 soldiers. Classified as a Property of Public Interest, the building was transferred to the Câmara Municipal de Cascais (Municipal Council of Cascais) by the Direção-Geral do Património do Estado (General Directorate of State Assets) in 1999 with the objective of it being turned into a museum.
 
After major works which brought back its original layout, the cultural space opened for the first time on the 1st of March 2001. The museum project included the recovery of its interior, enriching it with a reconstitution of the era, based on a drawing dated 1796.
 
In September 2005, the Fort was closed for new restoration and recovery work in order to resolve some issues which had been identified in its structure in the meantime. This intervention consisted of the repair and restoration of its interior space, as well as the renovation of the encircling walls, affected by a number of harmful diseases in plastering. After the completion of the architectural and specialties projects, and a review of the contents of its exhibition area, the Forte de São Jorge de Oitavos (Fort of São Jorge de Oitavos) reopened to the public on the 28th of February 2009.
 
In this project, the full respect of the vernacular characteristics of the 17th century architecture was safeguarded. The set rests on the cliff and watches over the sea with arrogance which is very specific of a military building, whose construction was due to the need to protect the people of the land from the enemies who were approaching by sea, pirates or invading troops, who found, on this stretch of coastline indented in the Cascais coast, a point for a possible landing.
 
The first two rooms of this interpretive centre bring back, through its expository speech, memories of several events which occurred over time and indelibly marked the lives of those who lived here and who were in the service of defending the coastline in times of war or peace. The third room is used for temporary exhibitions, focusing on topics relating to the history and experiences of the Fort of S. Jorge Oitavos, or the story of Cascais.
 
Timetable
 Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
 Closed on Mondays and public holidays

 


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