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Fortaleza de Peniche

Discover the dramatic history of this 16th-century fortification, which was transformed into a political prison in the Estado Novo period and now houses a museum.

Fortaleza de Peniche (Peniche Fort) is a remarkable structure and an icon of the city. Constructed by Dom João III in the 1500s in a bid to protect the portside city from seafaring invaders and marauding pirates, the fort is an imposing military complex and a landmark on the peninsula’s coastline. Learn about the region’s fascinating history when you visit the Peniche City Museum (Peniche Museu Municipal) situated within the fort walls. Find out about the fort’s extraordinary stories of political prisoners and jailbreaks.

The fort rises up from the jagged cliffs, merging seamlessly with the coastline. Admire the imposing star-shaped architecture of the 16th-century ramparts, hewn from local stone. Spot the Santa Bárbara Chapel and the Sentinel Tower within the fort complex. Built during the same time as the forts at Consolação Beach and the S. João Baptista fort on the Berlenga Islands, Fortaleza de Peniche protected the old walled city from sea attack.

Enter the fort complex to find the Peniche City Museum. Inside, there is a series of exhibitions that detail a twist in the fort’s history. During the Estado Novo (New State) period, Fortaleza de Peniche was used to detain political prisoners who rebelled against the dictatorial regime. 

In 1960, the fort set the scene for one of the most dramatic jailbreaks in Portuguese history. Learn about how a group of political prisoners made their escape. One of the escapees was Álvaro Cunhal, the communist revolutionary and major opponent of the Estado Novo. Explore the solitary confinement cells and the prison yards of the old jail. Continue exploring the museum to find exhibitions dedicated to the Peniche peninsula region.

Fortaleza de Peniche is located on the southern side of the Peniche peninsula, near the mouth of the city’s harbor. It is less than a 5-minute drive from the city center. The fort complex is closed on Mondays.


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 146 Hotels near Fortaleza
£41
Hotel Soleil Peniche

Hotel Soleil Peniche

Estrada do Boleal, Peniche
3.9
of 5, from 107 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Nestled on the beach, this Peniche hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Peniche Beach, Consolation Beach and Fortaleza. Baleal Beach and Cabo Carvoeiro are also within 3 miles (5 km).

£73
MH Peniche

MH Peniche

Avenida Monsenhor Bastos, Peniche
4.6
of 5, from 65 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Peniche hotel is located on the riverwalk, within 1 mi (2 km) of Consolation Beach, Peniche Beach and Fortaleza. Baleal Beach and Cabo Carvoeiro are also within 3 miles (5 km).

£36
Sea Garden Residência

Sea Garden Residência

Rua Alexandre Herculano, 76, Peniche
4.5
of 5, from 2 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Peniche, this bed & breakfast is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Fortaleza, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Cabo Carvoeiro and Peniche Beach.

Peniche Surf Lodge - Hostel

Peniche Surf Lodge - Hostel

Rua Casal do Viola, 6, Peniche
4.0
of 5, from 1 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Peniche, this hostel is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Fortaleza and within 3 miles (5 km) of Peniche Beach and Consolation Beach. Cabo Carvoeiro is 2 mi (3.3 km) away.

£22
Katekero II

Katekero II

Av. do Mar 72,, PENICHE
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Peniche, this apartment is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Fortaleza and within 3 miles (5 km) of Peniche Beach and Cabo Carvoeiro. Consolation Beach is 1.9 mi (3 km) away.

Apartments Do Mar

Apartments Do Mar

Avenida do Mar,72, PENICHE
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Peniche, this aparthotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Fortaleza, Peniche Beach and Consolation Beach. Cabo Carvoeiro is 1.9 mi (3 km) away.

The Most Beautiful Apartment in Peniche

The Most Beautiful Apartment in Peniche

56 R. José Estevão, Peniche
5.0
of 5, from 1 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Peniche, this property is within 2 miles (3 km) of Fortaleza, Cabo Carvoeiro and Peniche Beach. Consolation Beach is 1.8 mi (3 km) away.

£49
Saudade Peniche Apartment

Saudade Peniche Apartment

Rua da Saudade, 1, Peniche
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this apartment is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Fortaleza and within 3 miles (5 km) of Cabo Carvoeiro and Peniche Beach. Consolation Beach is 2 mi (3.2 km) away.