1 Assistant Professor, UL-Instituto Superior Técnico, DECivil – ICIST, anapinto@civil.ist.utl.pt

2 MSc Civil Engineering, UL-Instituto Superior Técnico / DECivil – ICIST, bruna.silva@ist.utl.pt

3 MSc Civil Engineering, Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua, S.A, vanessa.ferreira@parquesdesintra.pt

4 Technical Director, Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua, S.A, daniel.silva@parquesdesintra.pt

5 Full Professor, UL-Instituto Superior Técnico/DECivil, alamas@civil.ist.utl.pt

Chairman of the Board, Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua, S.A., antonio.lamas@parquesdesintra.pt


The Moorish Castle is one of the most visited monuments in the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, a World Heritage Site (UNESCO, 1995). It had more than 274,000 visitors in 2013. The overall structural stability of the Castle walls presented no problems and the most frequent anomalies were the lack of mortar in joints and the presence of weeds and roots of climbing vegetation. Occasionally, there were missing stone blocks and lack of filling material.

This paper describes the condition of the Castle walls before the intervention and the methodology and criteria for the conservation project. These were established to ensure physical integrity and aesthetics of the walls through the selection of techniques and materials compatible with existing ones, as well as the reversibility and durability of the intervention.

The design of the intervention was preceded by an Archaeology / Architectural analysis, by the identification and mapping of the existing anomalies and by the characterisation of the materials of the walls. The main actions were the removal of vegetation located in the joints and wall heads, the replacement of missing stone blocks, filling the voids inside the walls with mortar and repointing mortar joints.


Keywords: Moorish Castle; conservation criteria; lime mortars.