A Travellerspoint blog

Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal.

December 2011.

Portuguese tiles in Alfama area. - Lisbon

Portuguese tiles in Alfama area. - Lisbon

Lisbon.

This was our first ever visit to Portugal. We only had two full days in Lisbon which gave us a chance to have a quick look and left us eager to go back and spend more time there. Lisbon has many wonderful and interesting sights and the people came across as down to earth and friendly. And if that is not enough, there are also the world famous egg tarts to tempt you to go there.

Getting there.

We flew to Lisbon from Madrid. We were booked on an Air Iberia flight, but despite the fact we were able to check in online and print off our boarding passes the night before, we turned up at the airport to find our flight did not feature on the departure board. When we inquired about this, we were told, "Oh yes, this flight has been cancelled." To cut a long story short we eventually got to Lisbon on the Portuguese Airline TAP after having to race from terminal 4 to terminal 2 of Madrid Airport and all this after a 4am start to the day!

Sights.

However, Lisbon proved well worth the effort involved in getting there and more than made up for such a bad start. We spent our few hours of daylight on day one investigating King Edward VII Park. Day two was devoted to the old town area of Alfama and its lovely castle. Day three was mainly devoted to Belem and day four saw us flying back to Madrid on an Air Iberia flight which surprisingly enough existed.

Look who - Lisbon

Look who - Lisbon

Sights:

King Edward Park VII: Parque Eduardo VII.

You can get to this park by underground by getting off at Parque or Marquis de Pombal Station on the blue line. If you get off at Marquis de Pombal you are at the bottom of the park and you will walk through it by walking up the hill. The park was a pleasant enough place for a stroll and had great views from the top. We found an interesting building with tile covered walls that had once been an exhibition hall to the right hand side of the park as we climbed up. At the top of park there is a monument and fountain. There is also a small park across the road at the top of the park. It had great views, a lovely restaurant on a duck pond and an interesting motherhood statue. In the English Court Shopping mall nearby there was a big supermarket.

view from the top of the park. - Lisbon

view from the top of the park. - Lisbon

Motherhood statue - Lisbon

Motherhood statue - Lisbon

St George's Castle: Castelo de São Jorge.

St George's Castle proudly dominates the hilltop of the Alfama old town area and can be seen from various parts of the city. Parts of the castle date from the 6th century. It was once occupied by the Moors but was captured from them by Portugal's first king Afonso Henriques in 1147. Today there is quite a lot of the castle walls left and it is possible to go for a walk along its battlements. There are fantastic views over Lisbon from the castle walls. There was a restaurant inside the castle which we did not use. There were peacocks happily roaming the castle grounds. I believe there is normally an entry fee for visiting the castle but when we went on Christmas Eve it was free not entirely sure why.

View from the castle. - Lisbon

View from the castle. - Lisbon

Lisbon viewed from the castle walls. - Lisbon

Lisbon viewed from the castle walls. - Lisbon

My husband on the battlements. - Lisbon

My husband on the battlements. - Lisbon

The castle from Commercio Square. - Lisbon

The castle from Commercio Square. - Lisbon

View towards the castle. - Lisbon

View towards the castle. - Lisbon

Lisbon Cathedral: Sé de Lisboa Cathedral Igreja de Santa Maria Maior.

The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Mary Major is also located in Alfama. It is the oldest church in Lisbon and dates from 1147. The cathedral was renovated at the beginning of the 20th century after suffering a lot of damage in various earthquakes. It is quiet and peaceful inside.

Lisbon Cathedral. - Lisbon

Lisbon Cathedral. - Lisbon

Alfama.

The Alfama area of Lisbon is its oldest area. It is located on a hill with the castle of St George at the top. This is a lovely area filled with winding streets, colourful houses, tiled houses, cafes, churches, lookout points with great views. A wonderful area to explore either on foot or on the number 28 tram.

Alfama street. - Lisbon

Alfama street. - Lisbon

The Portas do Sol.

This wonderful lookout point is easily accessible by number 28 tram and has fantastic views over Lisbon. It is located next to the St Vincent Statue. The Santa Lucia Lookout area is nearby, too.

View from Portas do Sol. - Lisbon

View from Portas do Sol. - Lisbon

Sunset from Portas do Sol. - Lisbon

Sunset from Portas do Sol. - Lisbon

St Vincent statue, Lisbon. - Lisbon

St Vincent statue, Lisbon. - Lisbon

The Casa dos Bicos.

This unusual spiky house in the Alfama area, not too far from the cathedral dates from the early 16th century. It was able to survive the horrific Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 which destroyed much of the city.

Casa dos Bicos. - Lisbon

Casa dos Bicos. - Lisbon

Commercio Square: Praça do Comércio Terreiro do Paço.

One side of this square opens onto the River Tagus. At the opposite end there is the magnificent Arch of Augusta. In the centre is a statue of King Jose I on horseback. The square is lined with beautiful buildings. It is possible to catch the number 15 tram to Belem from here.

The Arch of Augusta, Commercio Square. - Lisbon

The Arch of Augusta, Commercio Square. - Lisbon

Santa Justa Elevator: Elevador da Santa Justa.

The Santa Justa Elevator was built at the beginning of the 20th century by French architect Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard. Du Ponsard was once an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel. The elevator is 45 meters high. From the top there are wonderful views over Rossio Square, the castle, the River Tagus. The top of the elevator is near Carmo convent. We were able to use the elevator on our day ticket without paying any extra fee.

Carmo Convent. - Lisbon

Carmo Convent. - Lisbon

View over Rossio Square. - Lisbon

View over Rossio Square. - Lisbon

Rossio Square.

This beautiful Square is covered with wavelike pavings. At the top of the square there is a theatre. The square has two lovely fountains and a column 27 meters high with a statue of Dom Pedro IV on top. Rossio metro station is located on this square. There are also cafes and flower stalls.

Rossio Square looking towards the theatre. - Lisbon

Rossio Square looking towards the theatre. - Lisbon

Flower stall, Rossio Square. - Lisbon

Flower stall, Rossio Square. - Lisbon

The Jeronimos Monastery.

We visited this beautiful building on Christmas day so it was all closed except for the wonderful church. The monastery is dedicated to Saint Jerome who was the patron saint of sailors. It was built in 1502 by King Manuel I to commemorate the voyages of Vasco De Gama, the famous Portuguese explorer. De Gama's tomb is located inside the church as is the tomb of famous Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes.

The Church Of Saint Jerome

The Church Of Saint Jerome

The Church Of Saint Jerome

The Church Of Saint Jerome

The Jeronimos Monastery. - Lisbon

The Jeronimos Monastery. - Lisbon

Nativity scene the Jeronimos Monastery. - Lisbon

Nativity scene the Jeronimos Monastery. - Lisbon

The Discoveries Monument.

Across the road from the Jeronimos Monastery on the riverfront is the Discoveries Monument. This was built in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. The monument looks like the front of a ship and contains sulptures of Prince Henry the Navigator at the prow, King Manuel I, poet Luis Camoes, Vasco de Gama, Magellan and several other famous Portuguese people. Apparently you can go inside and go up an elevator to the top of the monument, but as we visited on Christmas Day, it was closed. There is a view of the 25th of April Bridge and the Christ statue from the monument. Get here by number 15 tram from Commercio Square or Cais de Sodre.

The Discoveries Monument. - Lisbon

The Discoveries Monument. - Lisbon

The Discoveries Monument. - Lisbon

The Discoveries Monument. - Lisbon

The marina near the monument. - Lisbon

The marina near the monument. - Lisbon

Belem Tower : Torre de Belém.

This building has become the symbol of Lisbon. It was built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon's harbour. Many of the voyage of discoveries journeys left from here. The tower is listed as a world heritage monument by UNESCO. Get here by number 15 tram from Commercio Square or Cais de Sodre.

Belem Tower - Lisbon

Belem Tower - Lisbon

That tower again. - Lisbon

That tower again. - Lisbon

My husband outside Belem tower. - Lisbon

My husband outside Belem tower. - Lisbon

Pastéis de Belém: A Must When In Belem.

This cafe is very famous for its Portuguese egg tarts which are delicious. You can get take away (pay first then collect food) but we choose to sit in and have coffee, beer and egg tarts. The building is beautiful with absolutely lovely tiled walls. The cafe is really big and, though it was busy, we were seated and served straight away. Service was friendly and efficient. Prices very reasonable. Lovely building. Clean toilet.

A Must When In Belem.

A Must When In Belem.

A Must When In Belem.

A Must When In Belem.

Tiles in Pasteis de Belem. - Lisbon

Tiles in Pasteis de Belem. - Lisbon

Tiles.

Wandering around Lisbon you will see so many beautifully tiled buildings. The tiles come in a variety of styles and colours. Some have very intricate patterns, all are very pretty and creative. They brighten up the streets wherever they are found turning some plain buildings into things of beauty.

Beautiful tiles, Lisbon. - Lisbon

Beautiful tiles, Lisbon. - Lisbon

More tiles! - Lisbon

More tiles! - Lisbon

More tiles! - Lisbon

More tiles! - Lisbon

More tiles! - Lisbon

More tiles! - Lisbon

And even more tiles! - Lisbon

And even more tiles! - Lisbon

Posted by irenevt 22:30 Archived in Portugal Comments (3)

(Entries 1 - 1 of 1) Page [1]