Lapa is the upscale neighbourhood in which you will find the Museu da Arte Antiga (see my tip on that museum). Its a bit out of the way, especially if you are coming from Baixa, but I suggest coming here from Estrela, north of Lapa. You have to walk along steep, narrow streets and you eventually emerge onto the Rua das Janelas Verdes, which runs parallel to the river. My particular favourite is the plaza in front of the Museu, which is crammed in between narrow, tall buildings and provides for great picture-taking.
For nostalgics of Brazilian meat!
It is in Janelas Verdes, one of the nicest spots in the center of Lisbon. The restaurant is very small (7-8 tables) and is surrounded by azulejos, the tipical Portugues tiles, which adorn the houses of almost any home in Lisbon. Perfect place for a quiet meal and good food.
This is not a proper steakhouse in U.S. terms. As the name suggests, the main dish is Picanha, the most delicious Brazilian cut of meat. It is cooked on a grill in the little kitchen with is visible from your table. PICANHA, by definition.
It is served with the classical Brazilian items: rice, feijoes, cooked banana, caipirinha, or some brazilian beer.
The formula is ALL YOU CAN EAT, so concentrate on the meat and don't stuff yourselves too much with the rice!
Ancient Art for Modern Taste
I only went once to the Ancient Art Museum of Lisbon. It was a hot summer day, I didn’t want to go home and I thought how nice and fresh would be inside the museum. All I have to say is that the museum deserves much more than just an escape from bad weather conditions. It is true that it is not exactly my cup of tea. Too much religious paintings and artifacts for my taste but still, amazing works of art. Most of the collections of the museum are actually pieces that came from monasteries and churches throughout the country after the religious orders were extinct (1834).
Set in a big XVII century palace, that was property of Marquês de Pombal and not far from Santos District, it is relatively close to a 15E stop (you just have to stop by the big set of stairs and go up). The museum has an excellent collection of portuguese art throughout from the medieval times to the XIX century.
It was opened in 1884 and the name of the street, Janelas Verdes, means litteraly green windows, the colour of the windows of the museum.
I would call a special attention to the panels of São Vicente de Fora, dating back to the XV century and done by Nuno Gonçalves. The paintings were found by luck when the church of São Vicente de Fora was being restored many years ago. Apparently the paintings were used as a board in a scafander. So it was pure luck that they survived. The paintings are amazing because it has a construction rare in the entire world. It has 6 parts that show the faces, dresses and ways of being of the Portuguese society of the XV century including famous names such as Henry the navigator. Some people said that Salazar (the portuguese ditactor of the XX century) done a retouch to the painting adding his face amongst the others. Of course there isn't any evidence of that but still, it is curious the resemblance and it was used as political propaganda. Another curious figure is the presence of a wealthy jew in the painting. Having an extreme influence in Portugal in its first centuries their presence in pictures is not very frequent.
Other amazing painting is the one of Bosch a dutch painter that did these amazing scenes of hell. Lisbon has one of the most famous of all called the Temptations of Saint Anthony.
From the religious pieces you have the famous custódia de belém, the main ceremonial piece of the Jerónimos Monastery, dating from the XVI century and done with 500 coins "given" by the king of Quíloa in Africa. The relic of Madre de Deus Convent (where you have today the tiles museum) is supposed to be a torn of the crown of Christ.
Other important artists present in the collection are Durer, Cronach or Pierro de la Francesca.
Of course a museum about portuguese art has a significant part dedicated to the trips of the portuguese throughout the world. From China porcelan to Japan nanbam art (the art to portraiting the foreigners developed in Japan when the portuguese arrived; in some sort it lives today in the Japanese cartoons, what have I said, art teachers will kill me), a bit of everything is represented (if you enjoy this sort of art check the Oriente Museum, an amazing place).
There are also other arts such as ceramics, gold, jewelry, tapestry, textiles, furniture, etc... There is also a chapel inside.
Another nice thing about the museum is the restaurant/cafeteria. It has a very nice esplanade and garden that has views over the city and serves tasty dishes in a sort of self service way. A plate costs 9€ and is well served.
In front of the main entrance you have another beautiful palace called Palace of Condes de Óbidos. It is closed to the public but can be rented for events (such as weddings, conferences, etc...). If you just want to visit the palace (see some pictures in http://www.cruzvermelha.pt/palacio/galeria_imagens.asp) you can, shh I didn't told you this, just pretend that you want to rent the space and visit it (phone 213 913 931/0). It is the headquarters of the portuguese red cross. I would say renting this will probably cost around 2.000€, just a wild guess.
Close by, in 8, Rua dos Olivais you have another nice place to go called Chá da Lapa. Unfortunately never been there but for what I know is a small hidden coffee, with a nice and old decoration that serves teas and home made cakes. From the Ancient Art Museum to the Chá da Lapa you pass by a beautiful square with a very nice fountain. It is connected with the impressive underground water system dating back to XVII century and that brought water from the mountains through the Aqueduto das Águas Livres.
In the area around there are many beautiful palaces and churches and the Latin American House that does many events.
Other informations about the museum:
Tuesday: 14h00 - 18h00.
Wednesday to Sunday: 10h00 - 18h00
Closed: Monday and holidays of 1st January, Easter Sunday, 1st of May and 25th of December.
Tickets are sold until 17h30.
Free Entry: Sundays and Holidays until 14h00, children until 14 years old.
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
The National Museum of Ancient Art was founded in 1884 under the name of Museu Nacional de Belas-Artes e Arqueologia (National Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology) and was the first large public museum dedicated to the arts to be created in Portugal.
Housed in the former 17th-century palace of the Counts of Alvor, in Ruas das Janelas Verdes, the museum was considerably enlarged in 1940 with an added edifice that was built on the site of the old Carmelite Convent of Santo Alberto of which there remains the baroque church, now an integral part of the visit to the museum. Later building campaigns allowed for fresh enlargements of the exhibition space and support services for visitors.
The historical representativeness of the museum’s collections results first of all from the provenance of most of its 17th C. pieces, namely the huge collection of artistic treasures originating from the monasteries and convents that were suppressed in 1834 with the subsequent nationalization of the Church’s property. Moreover, the museum houses a large collection of furniture and treasures of the country’s cathedrals, Episcopal palaces and Royal palaces after the Proclamation of the Republic in 1910.
Together with Gulbenkian Museum it is the most important collection of art in Lisbon. The convent's chapel was preserved and is a good example of the integration of ornamental arts, with gilded carved wood, glazed tiles, and sculpture of the 17th and 18th C. The museum’s vast collection (currently totaling more than 44000 works of art) is the nation’s most representative group of pieces from its movable artistic heritage, covering the period from the Middle Ages to the early 19th C.
Masterpieces of painting from 14th C. to the 20th C. are on exhibit here, with some of the finest examples of European and Portuguese Art. First among them is the famous polyptych from St. Vincent's monastery attributed to the Portuguese painter of Flemish influence Nuno Gonçalves (1460-70). In this work, the only known example of Nuno Gonçalves that survived to the present day, 60 portraits of important Portuguese people are shown paying homage to Lisbon’s patron saint, S. Vincent. The painting is a true kaleidoscope of outstanding documentary interest and in a vast and partially mysterious pictorial tale (there is much debate among Portuguese historians regarding this painting).
Other outstanding works includes one of the fantastic pictorial narrations of Hieronymus Bosch's (one of my preferred painter of this period) -the triptych called “The Temptation of St. Anthony”. There are also important canvases by Piero della Francesca (my personal “perspective’s hero”), Holbein, Van Dyck, Hans Memling's, Albrecht Dürer's (a great St. Jerome), Velázquez, Poussin, Courbet, and a noteworthy “The 12 Apostles”, by Zurbarán. Unfortunately there is no Vermeer which for my taste is the master of composition :-( Paintings from the 15th through the 19th centuries trace the development of Portuguese art.
The museum also exhibits a remarkable collection of gold and silversmiths' works, both Portuguese and foreign. Among these is the cross from Alcobaça and the monstrance of Belém, constructed with the first gold brought from India by Vasco da Gama possibly by our first play-righter, Gil Vicente.
From Europe, Flemish tapestries, and a rich assemblage of church vestments, Italian polychrome ceramics, and sculptures are also on display.
Taken from far distant lands and cultures, due to the Portuguese expansion overseas, we can see collections originally from Benin and other former Portuguese colonies (chests, boxes and tusks some with inlaid mother of pearl), India (wood and ivory artifacts and furniture), Persia (tapestry), China (many beautiful porcelain artifacts), and Japan, among others. The section on ancient Japan represented, among other things, by the splendid screens of Namban art (southern Japan, influenced by the Portuguese who landed there on the 16th C.) depict the Portuguese relationship with Japan in the 17th century, and is unique in Europe.
You have also a quiet garden and terrace with cafeteria and buffet service from where you can overlook Tejo river just across the street. It is a very pleasant place to rest for a while.
Tues 2-6pm; Wed-Sun 10am-6pm
Admission 3€ , 1.50€ students, free for children under 14. Admission free until 2pm on Sundays and Public Holydays.
Served with trams: 15 or 18 and city buses: 60, 713, 727 (nearby 28, 714, 732)
Tiles in building at Janelas Verdes St. in Lisbon
Romantic hostel in Lisbon
Any of you know of a romantic/ full of character hostel in Lisbon not to be missed? Thanx!
RE: Romantic hostel in Lisbon
Hey Noria, you have this truly magnificent Historic netwoork of hotels in Lisbon called Heritage Lisboa that for me are the most beatiful ones.Check the Janelas verdes Hotel and the Solar do Castelo (inside St George castel walls).
Here is the link http://www.heritage.pt, regarding prices..well dunno but maybe a little expensive but that`s up to u I guess :)...but really romantic/full of character ones!