São Julião da Barra Fort

são Julião da Barra - Oeiras

Information

São Julião da Barra Fort is considered to be the bigger existing construction of maritime defense in Portugal. The Fort began to be built in the 16th century with prestigious military architects of that time working on the project, such as Miguel de Arruda and Leonardo Turriano.
The Fort was extended for two centuries since its strategic position was considered of high importance for the defense of the Tagus River entrance.
The History of the Fort does not register big deeds in the military field, despite of its good army conditions. In fact, the only time the Fort was attacked was by land, which was its more vulnerable side, and so the Fort did not resist long time to the invasion.
In 1807 the Fort was taken by the French forces commanded by Junot, having been regained by the allied English forces in September 1808. A year later, the S. Julião da Barra Fort was returned to the Portuguese administration.
The Fortress was also utilized as a political prison. Even nowadays the awful conditions that the prisoners had at that time can be observed in the inhumanity of its cells.
As military building, it is of the most imposing works that can be visited, although only a part of it is open to the public, as the Fort is nowadays propriety of the Portuguese Defense Department.

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