Fortaleza

Fortaleza showing rocky coastline and a beach

Fortaleza

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.

Top Trending Hotels Near Fortaleza

Rimavier Residence
Rimavier Residence
2 out of 5
Largo Castilho, Peniche, Leiria, 2520-302
The price is Rs2,705 per night from 24 May to 25 May
Stay at this guesthouse in Peniche. Enjoy free WiFi, room service and a 24-hour front desk. Popular attractions Church of São Pedro and Museu da Renda de Bilros ...
5/5 Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Lovely place!
"We stayed the weekend with a group of friends. Very comfortable, cozy place, sparkling clean and centrally located. The owner was extremely helpful. We very much enjoyed our stay and can really recommend this lovely guesthouse."

Reviewed on 27 Jun 2020

Rimavier Residence
WOT Peniche
WOT Peniche
2 out of 5
Alexandre Herculano Street, 12, Peniche, Leiria, 2520-
The price is Rs3,087 per night from 3 Jun to 4 Jun
Stay at this hostel in Peniche. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi and a 24-hour front desk. Popular attractions Church of São Pedro and Museu da Renda de Bilros ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (3 reviews)
COOL LAID BACK HOSTEL TO MEET PEOPLE
"Crazy hostel with a huge open space communal area and a kitchen straight out of an IKEA catalogue! Nice beach house style rooms and nice staff."

Reviewed on 5 Feb 2022

WOT Peniche
Best Houses 4 - Loft Heart of Peniche
Best Houses 4 - Loft Heart of Peniche
Avenida do Mar, 96 - 1 andar, Peniche, 2520-326
The price is Rs3,921 per night from 24 May to 25 May
Stay at this apartment in Peniche. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and 2 beach bars. Our guests praise the WiFi in their reviews. Popular attractions Church of ...
2.5/5 (2 reviews)
Cute city apartment
"Apartment was nice. Marianne was helpful with checking us in and going over the apartment with us. Lots of restaurants in the area. This is definitely a city apartment. So there is noise from the restaurants and road. Good TV and WiFi. Nice kitchen and lots of hot water."

Reviewed on 7 May 2019

Best Houses 4 - Loft Heart of Peniche
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Fortaleza


Top Hotel Deals

Rimavier Residence
Rimavier Residence
2 out of 5
Largo Castilho, Peniche, Leiria, 2520-302
The price is Rs2,705 per night from 24 May to 25 May
Rimavier Residence
WOT Peniche
WOT Peniche
2 out of 5
Alexandre Herculano Street, 12, Peniche, Leiria, 2520-
The price is Rs3,087 per night from 3 Jun to 4 Jun
WOT Peniche
Best Houses 4 - Loft Heart of Peniche
Best Houses 4 - Loft Heart of Peniche
Avenida do Mar, 96 - 1 andar, Peniche, 2520-326
The price is Rs3,921 per night from 24 May to 25 May
Best Houses 4 - Loft Heart of Peniche
Residencial Maciel
Residencial Maciel
3 out of 5
R. José Estevão, Peniche, Leiria, 2520-464
Residencial Maciel
D Wan Guest House
D Wan Guest House
2 out of 5
Rua das Amoreiras, 28e 30, Peniche, 4990-635
D Wan Guest House
Friendly Peniche Apartment
Friendly Peniche Apartment
3 out of 5
Rua António Maria Oliveira, 27, Peniche, Leiria, 2520-288
The price is Rs6,182 per night from 26 May to 27 May
Friendly Peniche Apartment
BEST HOUSES 17 - CHARMING NEW GREAT LOC
BEST HOUSES 17 - CHARMING NEW GREAT LOC
3 out of 5
Travessa Nossa Senhora da Conceição 20, 1 andar - RELAX, Peniche, 2520-294
BEST HOUSES 17 - CHARMING NEW GREAT LOC
Saudade Peniche Apartment
Saudade Peniche Apartment
3 out of 5
Rua da Saudade, 1, Peniche, 2520-333
The price is Rs5,409 per night from 25 May to 26 May
Saudade Peniche Apartment
Deck Lodge
Deck Lodge
2 out of 5
R. dos Hermínios 4, Peniche, Leiria, 2520-205
Deck Lodge
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.