Favorite thing Once upon a time, I lived in Lisbon, when the cultural references for most of our citizens were those maniac that seven or eight centuries ago went east and south to cut Muslim's throats.
The dictatorship times were gone, and it's a pleasure to meet another Lisbon, where tolerance and multicultural coexistence is appreciated.
More than a worship building, this is a monument to the cultural progress of our country.
Favorite thing Now it's about time to start learning some Portuguese:
"Direita" is a Portuguese word that means either right or straight. Each city uses to have its "Direita" street that, by coincidence is generally one of the least straight of them. Don't try to understand - that's Portuguese logic.
King José statue in Praça do Comércio is the subject to a traditional game that all the children visiting it must face:
- Which one is the "direita" leg of King José's horse?
Wrong! It's the other one.
If they answer "the right one" they will be correct - the straight one is the left. If they answer "the left"... well... the right is the other one.
With this innocent joke no child will ever forget that statue.
Favorite thing The Portuguese are proud of "their" exclusive style - Manueline. It's a Gothic style, with nautical elements, celebrating the discoveries.
This style is present in many monuments, as their original concept or in later adding. Jeronimos in Lisbon is among the best examples but Batalha doesn't stay behind and a window in Tomar is considered the most precious detail of that s
Favorite thing The Praca da Figueira seems like the centre of all life in Lisbon. As the city's main square it indeed is. It is a great place for people watching as both tourists and locals crowd about. At the centre of the Praca da Figueira are some fine statues and fountains. Otherwise, except for Praca's central location and buzz, is unremarkable for it's architecture is rather uninteresting. It is best to use the square a place to get your barings straight.
Favorite thing Take a walk, hike, or ride up to the Castelo de Sao Jorge in the Alfama district of Lisbon, it gives you a beautiful panoramic view over the Tagus River and the Alfama, Baxia and the Bairro Alto areas.
You can see various landmarks, such as Igreja do Carmo, Elevador de Santa Justa, Ponte 25 de Abril bridge, Parque Eduardo VII and others.
Fondest memory For More information:
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Rua de Sta Cruz
Favorite thing There is a very well maintained path that leads you from the observation deck area around the castle grounds and affords many great views both inside the castle area and also into the surrounding city of Lisbon.
Telephone: +351 218 800 620
November 1 to Feburary 28th: 09:00 to 18:00
March 1 to October 31: 09:00 to 21:00
Favorite thing Lisbon is full of beautiful squares. I have listed a few worth seeing squares in my "Things to do" tips, but there are many more to discover:
Praca da Figueria: Located just east from Rossio square, Praca da Figueira is home to a bronze statue of King Joao I. It is lined with shops and cafes and offers a nice view to the castle.
Praca do Municipio: With the neo-classical city hall, the small Praca do Municipio is one of the finest squares in Lisbon. It is situated just west of the huge Praca do Comercio.
Praca Marques de Pombal: One of the busiest roundabouts in Lisbon. It is marked by a central statue of Marquis de Pombal who was in charge of Lisbon's reconstruction after the 1755 earthquake. Praca Marques de Pombal can be found at the end of the Avenida da Liberdade.
Favorite thing Although Lisbon was devasted by an earthquake in 1755, it is still rich in architecture.
Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque or Post-Modern constructions can be found all over the city. A special Portuguese architectural style is the Manueline which represents Portugal's discovery years (15th/16th century).
So just keep your eyes open when wandering around Lisbon, there is loads to see.
Favorite thing Quoting the local tourist info from the sign at the Arco do Bandeira gate:
Linking the Rossio and the Rua dos Sapateiros, the Arco do Bandeira was built in the late 18th century, according to a design by Manuel Reinando dos Santos. Financed by Pires Bandeira, from whom it reveived its name, the Arch was intended as a copy of another one excisting across the square, where nowadays the Teatro Nacional is located. With its ornamental motives, it is considered one of the finest pieces of Pombaline architecture.
Favorite thing Lisbon's Padrao dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries, or maybe Discoverers), is an outstanding landmark in this city. Dedicated to those brave explorers (yes before there was VT to help guide them) who made the Portugese name known throughout the world. You can go to the link below and there is an English PDF file that you can use to identify all the people represented there, I am SURE you will recognize many.
The last photo shows the world map, done in marble, found at the entrance to the monument. You can see Hansi and Lori "visiting" Canada....
Fondest memory http://www.padraodescobrimentos.egeac.pt/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=2&tabid=27
Favorite thing Located in Belem, on the banks of the River Tagus MONUMENT TO THE DISCOVERIES or Padrao dos Descobrimentos was inaugurated in 1960 to celebrate the 500 year anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator. Designed in the shape of a ship's bow, showing Henry at the prow holding a small replica of a ship. Immediately behind Henry are Manuel I and the poet Luis de Camoes. As well, many other heroes of Portuguese history are depicted - Vasco da Gama - Pedro Alvares Cabral - Fernao Magalhaes and many others.
The massive monument is impressive with its over 50 meters height. You can access the top by the elevator located inside the monument. The front entrance is shaped like a huge sword.
On the pavement in front of the monument is a large mosaic world map.
Favorite thing This military masterpiece, was built in the early 16th century in the Manueline style. TORRE DE BELEM is a fortified tower located in the Belem District of Lisbon. The Tower, constructed between 1515 and 1521, was built as part of a defensive system at the entrance to the River Tagus.
Moorish influence can be seen in the decorations - the arched windows, the balconies and the ribbed cupolas of the watchtowers. Originally, the Tower stood on a little island near the right bank of the River Tagus. With the progressive creep of the shoreline over the years, the Tower is now on the bank itself.
I must say that the Belem Tower is my absolute favourite Lisbon structure. It's just so beautiful and in such lovely surroundings.
Belem Tower became a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE in 1983.
Located on Praca da Torre de Sao Vicente, Belem