Little things to notice in Lisbon, Lisbon
As everywhere, there are lots of little things to see in Lisbon which are so easily missed. Make sure you look up.
You may find old carvings above doorways (from the time when people could not read....'the house with the cockerel' was a good way to find an address), balconies and flowers and washing, older buildings, smiling lions (or fierce ones), beautiful architecture and tiling.......
Here are a few 'looking-up' things I spotted.
In 2008 a memorial was created in Largo Sao Domingos, a small square off the Praca Dom Pedro lV (Rossio).
It commemorates the 1506 massacre of 3000 Jews, burned alive at two stakes in Rossio and Ribiera.
Those massacred were 'New Christians'.........those Jews who remained after their expulsion from Portugal in 1497. Some were full converts, some practised Christian religion publicly and maintained their Jewish religion in private.
There is a Star of David memorial, a wall panel and a pavement statement.
Yes, fossils.....not really what one expects to find in a city.
But some of the stone used for the ancient walls, particularly in the Alfama district, is sandstone..........and a type of sandstone stuffed with shell fossils.
A little thing indeed, but it pleased me to see it. It may please you as well, should you spot them.
I did like the various bits and pieces of modern artwork I noticed dotted about the city.
The rather insect-like red things are in the Praca do Municipio.
The wonderful rag-doll attached to scaffolding on a building being renovated is (I think) at the Cais do Sodre end of Rua do Alecrim.
I saw lots more bits and pieces as I wandered.....permanent and temporary........and they really do add to the city 'feel'.
Keep your eyes open.......
........because, if you are from the UK, they will make you feel very much at home.
I was really surprised at the colour and shape of the Lisbon postboxes. They are so very much like those in the UK.
I wonder if that is where the Portuguese got the idea? :-)
We saw these fountains while walking around Oriente Station.Julz(barbskie) was so amused that we had to wait til' the fountain "erupted" again and again and again...if you're just walking without knowing that the fountain will suddenly "erupt" ,you'll get a fright;) and probably get wet! But it was amusing!
Everyone visits and photographs with Pessoa's statue outside the famous cafe "A Brasileira", at Rua de Garett. But those who adore him, like I do, might want to see where he actually lived and the little restaurant he frequented...It is in Rua dos Douradores, down Praca Figuiera
Lisbon's tropical garden is easy to miss, hidden behind a gate to the right of Jeronimos Monastery. Most visitors must be too busy taking a look at and snapping pictures of the monastery, that they overlook the tall plam trees behind that gate. But it is a very nice place not only to rest for a while, but also to see some exotic trees and plants from around the world. They are all labeled so it is also a good learning experience. Most of them come from the former Portuguese colonies on the 5 continents. There are also little ponds a fowl wandering around.
tBtw, this is my first time of riding a cable Car! Shame on me.
But, its worth the experience..you could see the city very clearly, and most of the beautiful pictures I took of the city came from the height inside the cable car.
I paid about eight euros for a double trip.
(soon in English)
Gli azulejos erano infiammati e resi roventi dal sole. Venne la sera e la cappa di afa si mantenne serrata su Lisbona come una minaccia di morte. Uscii dall'albergo nella notte in cerca di fresco.
L' Avenida da Libertade era ancora ingombra di passanti e chioschi, saltimbanchi e perditempo che frusciavano lenti tra le pallide luci che presto si sarebbero spente, mentre le sempre piu' rare auto sfrecciavano veloci verso il Parque.
Si respirava il sollievo della fine del caldo diurno, e la citta' ritrovava la sua forza interiore in quella leggera brezza che arrivava dal Tago e dall'oceano, e che sapeva di terre lontane, di conquiste trasformate in capitolazioni, di un declino lento e inesorabile.
La stessa aria di lento abbandono che si respira in altre citta' di mare, a Trieste come a Brest, a Mombasa come a Buenos Aires.
Infilai una lunga serie di vicoli laterali, dove si intravedevano nel buio spietato sagome di mozambicani e tossicodipendenti, prostitute e grotteschi travestiti. Quasi che queste figure non fossero altro che i resti dolorosi e imbarazzanti del naufragio coloniale portoghese.
Tra le poche fonti di luce, la lampadina fioca di un lustrascarpe austero e l'insegna al neon di un cupo ristorante angolano che pubblicizzava rognone di cavallo come specialita' della casa.
Tutti sembravano muoversi furtivi come se le tenebre fossero dei complici, tra gli odori pungenti di carni avariate e lo stridore sinistro di grida e richiami. C'era un'aria concreta di pericolo, come in una jungla nella quale, improvvisa, arriva la notte equatoriale, come un manto scuro e inquietante che nascondeva la grazia poderosa e forte dei palazzi manuelini.
Tornai sulla strada principale con un certo sollievo, e la mia avventura notturna a Lisbona fini' ad uno chiosco, sorseggiando un'aranciata da un bicchiere che odorava di rigovernatura, mentre i camerieri giravano le sedie per l'ultima pulizia.
The city's pelourinho is located right in the middle of Praça do Municipio in front of the City Hall.
National monument, the pillory is, as it is all over the country, a symbol of the municipality's authorithy. This pillory, built by the end of the 18th century, is one of the most beautiful in Portugal. Nevertheless it doesn't mean that the city's authonomy is from so later times...
The old pelourinho, with unknown aspect, during the manuelin period, knew its end with the earthquake of 1755.
This small shop is located in São Domingos Square (Largo de São Domingos) close to Rossio. They sell this sweet drink that nobody should miss when visiting Lisbon. I'm just gonna write here what is written at the entrance and it's possible to see in the picture:
"A Ginjinha do Largo de São Domingos, owned by a Galician, named Espinheira, was the first shop in Lisboa to sell the beverage after which it is named and soon became one of the city's ex-libris. Advised by a friar of the Church of Santo Antonio, Espinheira made the experiment of letting cherries ferment in brandy, adding sugar, water and cinnamon. Success was immediate, both because it was sweet and it was inexpensive, and the Ginjinha became the typical beverage of Lisboa"
Just don't miss it!!!
Yes I know. Alfama is not a "off the beaten path" area. It is noticed in all the tourist guides.
Alfama is the only area which was spared by the earthquake of 1755. So it has kept its narrow streets which snake at the bottom of the Castle Sao Jorge.
All the area needs to be remodeled because the premises are crumbling.
It is a pity to see the coloured hugly signs put for the tourists information.
The outskirts around the Alfama area has houses so closely packed together that the residents must hardly see any daylight. Before our visit in 1992 we read the Rough Guide which described the area as somewhere that you could eat at local prices. Some time after our return we saw a TV program about the drugs problem. It explained that the place is full of crack dens. Apparently the locals know one of the alleyways as “death alley”, because if a tourist wanders down it they are highly likely to be mugged. I wonder how this has changed now that Portugal has removed criminal penalties for drug users? Probably best to give the back streets of the area a miss, if you find yourself wandering into a street that looks exceptionally poor perhaps you should make your way back.
The 'Aguas Livres' aqueduct is a unique Renaissance building that most people don't even see. Even those that live in the city often pass by without noticing. The aqueduct itself can't be visited, but the water reservoir that it feds is a marvel to see.
It's not that well served by transports however (maybe that's what keeps people away). Take the metro to 'Rato'. From there climb the narrow street of Amoreiras until you find it... not that hard to.
Just to see it from the base, take the metro to 'Praça de Espanha' and then any bus that passes through Alcantara. Once you see the aqueduct, maybe a kilometer ahead, get off the bus for a better look. The road will pass under the aqueduct, the arch which the bus passes under is the biggest stone arch in the world (a 6 lanes-wide road) crosses it.