Built by decree of D. João III in 1557 and finished in 1645, it was considered by D. João III the main marine entrance to the Portuguese Kingdom.
The Peniche Fortress has important features:
– not only the typical star shaped form, but also the rounded bastion
– the first fortification built in the Peniche peninsula
– the Sentinel Tower and the Santa Bárbara Chapel
This stronghold has seen its grounds used in many different ways, according to the needs a historical changes of each period.
A military stronghold of vital strategic importance until 1897, it has been a shelter to the Boer refugees from South Africa in the early twentieth century, a residence for the German and Austrian war prisoners during the First World War, a political prison for the Estado Novo between 1934 and 1974, a temporary lodging for Portuguese families coming from the former overseas colonies in 1974, and from 1984 on it receives the Municipal Museum.
The Peniche Fortress has special relevance as an important historical
witness to the national and local character.