The Pousada of Palmela is a beautiful and historic hotel which is also luxuriously comfortable and just 40 minutes outside Lisbon. It is always our preferred first stop in Portugal after flying into the airport at Lisbon. We first visited in 2015 but this time intended to stay for three nights, rather than just overnight here.
Views from the Pousada
The Pousada is on top of a hill with astounding views over the Sierra de Arrabida, the Sado Estuary to the south and the Tagus Estuary to the north.
The Castle of Palmela
This high promontory has been settled by the Romans, the Visigoths and then the Moors who occupied the site between the 8th-12th centuries and built the original fortress.The castle was retaken in 1147 by Dom Alfonso Henriques.
Convent of the Order of Santiago
The Castle and town were give to the military Order of Santiago1 in 1186, with other lands in the area. They continued to hold the castle until the 15th century.
The Order was motivated initially by a need to protect pilgrims on the Camino but soon became an instrument to fight the Moors in Portugal until the King seized control of the military orders in the 1500s.
Monks took over from the Order until the 1830s with the state possession of the monasteries after the Portuguese Civil War. After that the castle was used by the military
The Convent and Church of Santiago de Palmela
One year I photographed the church in B&W, with a proper camera. This time I only brought the small Canon Powershot which limits the possibilities. The church dates from the 15th century and of course the Order of Santiago was a monastic order in the beginning.
Inside the Pousada of Palmela
Part of the Convent was converted into the Pousada in 1969-79 and it is now a beautiful and comfortably luxurious hotel.
We enjoyed three wonderfully relaxing nights in the Pousada of Palmela and can heartily recommend it to anyone visiting Portugal.
I have always enjoyed Palmela, and finding the little park this time was a real bonus. The staff were also so friendly and helpful….