Fort of Saint Anthony of Barra in Estoril parish, located in Cascais, was one of the most monumental buildings that we saw in Cascais. The previous summer residence of António de Oliveira Salazar, was just recently renovated and opened to the public.
There was one day that we woke up and had a crazy idea to walk along the Tagus shore from Lisbon Belem to Cascais. The hike took us most of the day and was absolutely spectacular and no doubt we would definitely repeat it. In the end however, after more than 20 kilometres, we were sunburned, dead tired and just wanted to take a taxi home. When we saw the castle-like fortress on the horizon whilst approaching Cascais, we had to visit – we just couldn’t help it.
Forte de Santo António da Barra came to be a star-shaped fortress, dating back to 16th century, when King Philip I of Portugal decided to strengthen the defence system along the Tagus river before Lisbon. Later, the Forte de Santo António da Barra became famous because it was a summer residence of the Prime Minister of Portugal, António de Oliveira Salazar, during the dictatorship period.
From interesting facts: Salazar happened to have had an accident during one of his stays in the fortress – he fell out of a chair and suffered a cerebral bleed. This accident led to the end of his career as the Prime Minister.
The fort was opened to the public in 2018, so we were very lucky to see it at the beginning of 2019. There are many installations with explanation of the history of the Fort of Saint Anthony of Barra, its function and display and how it was used by Antonio Salazar. It was very intriguing to discover the fortress and to take those extra thousands of steps to explore it.
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