9 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO IN LISBON
The history of Lisbon can be divided into two parts: before and after the earthquake of 1755. In just 6 minutes, more than 80 thousand people died, Lisbon was completely destroyed, after which it rose from the ashes. The city is located on seven hills and is a mixture of European and Arab cultures. Despite the impressive number of attractions, Lisbon is a small city, it will not be difficult to get around it on foot. It is worth considering the hilly terrain – wear comfortable shoes. Colorful streets, the sound of fado from neighboring houses, colorful houses – all these things make Lisbon romantic and attractive.
1. WALK IN THE CASTLE
St. George’s Castle is visible from anywhere in Lisbon – here is one of the most beautiful viewing platforms. The color of the castle is given by peacocks walking through the territory, with whom you can take pictures. Slowly walk along the walls (you can still climb on them), find the best panorama of the city.
2. FIND OUT THE TWO RAVEN LEGEND
Sé Cathedral is one of the oldest in Lisbon. It was built on the site of a mosque after Christians conquered the territory of the Moors in 1150. The relics of St. Vincent are stored in the cathedral, which, according to legend, got into the church in an unusual way. In 1173, on the Tagus River, they saw a boat sailing along the waves without rowers. The ship was accompanied by two ravens, who moored the boat to the shore, where people discovered the body of a saint tortured by Arabs. Crows flew up to the tower of Xie Cathedral and made a nest there. Birds lived for a long time in the courtyard of the cathedral – their numerous offspring did not leave the surroundings for hundreds of years. They say that the last raven – a descendant of prophetic birds – died in the late 70s of the last century. Crows have become a symbol of the liberation of Lisbon from Muslims, so their image is captured on the coat of arms of the city.
3. READ MEMORY VASKO YES GAMA
The Jeronimos Monastery was founded by King Manuel I during the era of the great geographical discoveries. Pay attention to the architectural style of the monastery – Manuelino. This is a mixture of Renaissance, Moorish and Gothic styles. It is believed that the king asked permission from the Pope to build a monastery in the name of luck Vasco da Gama, who was going to pave the sea route from Europe to India.
Today, the monastery is included in the list of seven wonders of Portugal and is considered the most visited attraction of the country. It is here that Vasco da Gama rests.
4. LOVE AZULEZHU
Azuleju translated from Arabic means “polished tile.” The Portuguese learned how to make azuleje from the Moroccans in the 16th century. In addition to decorating buildings, the tile has a more important role: it reflects the sun’s rays, thereby keeping the room cool. It also helps protect the facade from moisture.
Pay attention to the facades of houses while walking around the city – in Lisbon most of the buildings are decorated with azulejos. If time permits, check out the museum dedicated to this tile.
5. PHOTOGRAPHY OF BASILIKA-DA-ESTRELA
Two white spiers of the basilica are visible from several viewing platforms. The sad story of Queen Mary I is associated with this beautiful place. For a long time, the Queen could not give her husband an heir – all the boys died soon after birth. Then Maria made a vow that in honor of the birth of her son she would build a church in the city. Prince Jose was born in 1761, the basilica began to be built in 1779, the construction was delayed. At the age of 27, the prince, having contracted smallpox, died, and two years after his death, in 1790, the Basilica da Estrela was ready. After the death of her son, the queen fenced off from the world and gradually went crazy. Mourning her son, she bequeathed to bury herself in the church, which she built in connection with his birth.
6. WALK TO THE BELENIAN TOWER
The Belem Tower is located away from the city center, a few kilometers from the confluence of the Tagus River into the Atlantic Ocean. From here, during the Great Geographical Discoveries, sailors set off on a journey, and the tower also served as a lighthouse. Do not forget to climb to the observation deck.
7. RIDE THE ELEVATOR
The Santa Giusta elevator is designed to help cope with the relief of Lisbon. The elevator appeared in 1902, its height is 45 m. The rise is paid, and the view of the city opens from above. Near the elevator is the Carmelite monastery, founded at the end of the XIV century. The monastery was almost completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1755. Now the archaeological museum is working in the room, where you can get acquainted with the history of the country.
8. LOOK AT SHOPPING AREA
Prasa do Comerso is located next to the Tagus River embankment, which many tourists confuse with the Atlantic Ocean. From the square begins the pedestrian street of Augusta, beloved by both tourists and residents. Walking along it, you will see the triumphal arch of Lisbon.
9. WALK THE WAVES
Walking around Rossiu Square, pay attention to the black and white tiles laid out in the form of waves. During the restoration of the city after the earthquake of 1755, the Marquis de Pombal ordered them to be laid so that the sailors, returning to the shore after a long voyage