Sights of Portugal
A small country is located on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula, which today has become one of the most visited in Europe. This is Portugal – a country of numerous fairs, festivals, sacredly preserving centuries-old traditions and culture of its people. Here in rural areas, you can still see women carrying baskets with purchases on their heads, here is still the best coffee in Europe, and it is served exclusively in cups. Here, traditional crafts continue to flourish – fishing, textile production and winemaking. Not sure what to see in Portugal? Especially for you, we have compiled a list of popular places in this country, which included the most interesting sights of Portugal.
It is in Portugal that you can feel yourself as far away as ever from home – at the very edge of the world, because the country is located on the westernmost cape of Europe, and then only the ocean, beyond which there are only unexplored lands.
What to see in Portugal first
Traveling around the country is incredibly interesting, no matter in which region you decide to spend your vacation or weekend. Guides in Portugal will gladly make up the company. They are distinguished not only by their impeccable knowledge of history and traditions, but also by their sincere desire to show tourists the beauty of their homeland.
1. Obidush Castle (Obidush town)
Obidos Castle – “the city of Korolev”
A true favorite among the medieval castles of Portugal can be considered the Obidos castle, located on a hill, from where a wonderful view of the surroundings of the city of the same name opens: vineyards, windmills, bright terracotta roofs of the surrounding houses.
The castle itself attracts many tourists with its battlements, preserved from the Middle Ages to the present day in surprisingly good condition. In the form in which we see the castle now, it was built in the 13th century, and before that, in the era of the Roman Empire, there were public baths and a square that played the role of the center of the political life of the settlement. After the fall of the Roman Empire, with the Visigoths coming to power, a fortress was built on this place around which a settlement formed – the future city of Obidos. In the 8th century, the fortress passed into the possession of Muslims, and only in the 13th century did the Portuguese king Afonso conquer this building.
Later, for several centuries, the fortress was a favorite venue for royal festivities and celebrations.
Today, this attraction of Portugal has retained its appearance, therefore it attracts many tourists – you can walk around the castle, study its architecture – arched passages, medieval bas-reliefs, and also enjoy magnificent views of the surroundings from above.
2. Torri de Belem Tower (Lisbon)
Torri de Belem Tower on the Tagus River
The times of great geographical discoveries have brought a lot of memorable events and historical monuments to world history, and thanks to this, modern tourists will definitely find something to see in Portugal. So, for example, the Portuguese capital Lisbon is fraught with a unique monument of Portuguese architecture – the Torri de Belem tower, which has become the most important attraction of Portugal. Initially, this building was erected in honor of the world famous expedition Vasco da Gama, which opened a trade route to India. The tower played the role of a lighthouse, showing the way for long-distance sailors. Its construction lasted 6 years, from 1515 to 1521, during the reign of King Manuel I. It was from these shores that brave and adventurous sailors set off in search of new trade routes.
During the years of wars with Napoleon, the building came into a dilapidated state, but was completely renovated in 1845. For some time the walls of the tower even housed a prison and an armory.
Today, the tower has become an object of cultural and historical heritage and since 1983 has been included in the UNESCO list.
Torri de Belem Tower is built in the late Gothic style of Manuelino. Openwork balconies, Arabic-style turrets, battlements, knight’s arms and images of ropes – many of these decorations can be seen in this building, and from its top offer excellent views.
3. Pena Palace (Sintra)
Colorful Pena Palace
Sintra is a suburb of the Portuguese capital, the most important in terms of the sights of Portugal. Not far from Sintra, in the mountains, is an unusual castle-palace of Pena. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that initially an empty monastery was taken as its basis, which was built here back in the distant 12th century in honor of Our Lady. Over time, the temple became desolate
The inconspicuous and abandoned chapel, lost in the mountains, was remembered only in the 16th century, when King Manuel I, being very religious, turned his eyes to this temple and to the rather vast empty land around it. From that moment, the reconstruction of the sanctuary began – it was rebuilt from stone and stood for about 2 centuries, until a powerful earthquake, known throughout Europe, turned the monastery into ruins.