Ingredients: Atlantic Ocean, the river Tejo estuary, two millennia of history and
culture Spices: restaurants, bars, discos and fun as cover Preparation: Passport valid
six months, a budget of at least 1,000 euros Serve in any season is accompanied by
7 Travel magazine
Lisbon was the most precious gift I have received in recent years. I did not know
much about this European capital, and I was far to imagine what wonders are hidden
here: magnificent castles, grand cathedrals, exceptional museums, impressive square.Not
to remember the tessellated foot walks of Lisbon, a real show of good taste and ingenuity,
undoubtedly the most beautiful in the world.
I was rather confused at first by the
excessive beauty and richness of this city. Then, I was just conquered, and the week
I spent here has gone with a baffling speed. Lisbon has a great location, is situated
on seven hills, reflected in the Atlantic and washed by the waters of river Tejo
A car is not very appropriate means of travel, as in any great European capital,
and the subway is recommended for trips outside the city centre. Lisbon can be visited
by tram, by funicular, cycling or walking. I've combined them all.
I started exploring Lisbon from the castle-fortress Sao Jorge (St. George), located
on the highest hill of the medieval town. The building that dominates the Andalusian
settlement is filled with history and legend. I wandered among the ruins of the fortress
and I climbed the ramparts old as time itself. There existed a fortress since the
2nd century BC. Lisbon became the capital of the Empire in 1255, and the citadel
turned into the "Royal Palace", the future three centuries residence of Portuguese
kings. The view is breathtaking; from the castle to the river Tejo lies the charming
Alfama district. Its name comes from Arabic, and means „fountain”. By a miracle,
it is the only area that was not deeply affected by the earthquake of 1755 and can
give you an idea about the old town.
The Cathedral of Lisbon is also here, due to
the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques. Started in 1147, in Romanesque style,
cathedral building took almost two hundred years. Gothic and Baroque elements were
added later. The cathedral has been restored several times after the earthquake mentioned
I wandered with pleasure through the ancient streets of Alfama, through the medieval
buildings decorated with beautiful blue ceramic tiles called „azulee”. After I knocked
my legs I got on the famous Andusian tram, old but full of charm.
I admired then the famous markets of the city: Rosio, city market and trade market,
the latter (Praca do Comercio) hosting a triumphal arch and a monumental bridge that
open both to the river Tejo. I travelled along the river until Torre de Belem, Lisbon
pride and symbol. The monument was built between 1515 and 1521 by the architect Francesco
de Arruda in a Manuelian style (a combination of Gothic and Moorish style), named
after King Manuel I who started the great geographical conquests, and with them an
unprecedented development of the inter-continental trade.
The building, an impressive stone lace, commemorated the expedition of Vasco da Gama. Torre
de Belem subsequently served to defend the city.
The same area holds another masterpiece
of Manuelian art, Dos Jeronimos Monastery. Superlatives are insignificant to this
overwhelming building, which apparently was built from the "tax on spices”. The cornerstone
was laid in 1502 and architects have not made any savings. Works were completed half
Two famous Portuguese: the seafarer Vasco da Gama and the poet Camoes
are buried here. In 1983 the tower was included along with Dos Jeronimos Monastery
in the World Heritage of human kind.
I managed to cover only a small part of the most
Western European capital’s attractions. There are so many things to see, and I will
you come back to this spectacular city. I conclude with a quote from the great Camoes,
who love the capital of Portugal: "The noble Lisbon, You are the princess of the
What can you also visit Oceanarium Located in the Park of Nations, it holds several
records: here is the largest marine museum in Europe and second in the world. The
museum is excellent conceived, the four oceans: Antarctic, Atlantic, Pacific and
Indian are each of them well defined! The museum is home to thousands of species
of animals and plants. Entrance fee: €10.
Santa Justa elevator, a monument in a "Metallurgical
Gothic" style, is one of the curiosities of Lisbon. Elevator connects the Baixa and
Alfama districts. The lift was powered by French engineer Raoul Mesnier, one of Gustave
Eiffel’s pupils. On top of the tower is a cafe with an excellent view. Address: Rua
de Santa Justa, near Rossio Square
National Tile Museumis where you can familiarize
with the evolution of tile over the past six centuries. Address: 4, Rua Madre de Deus,
No. 4 Entrance fee: €3.
National Museum of Ancient Art (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga), is one of most important
museums in Portugal, presenting European painting and Portuguese masters in its permanent
collection, starting 13th century until 19th century. Along with paintings, 3000
gold jewellery of exceptional quality,7,500 ceramic objects, textiles and almost
2,000 pieces of furniture from Europe and Orient are exhibited. The museum is located
in a 17th century palace, itself a masterpiece. Address: Rua das Janelas Verdes;
Entrance fee: € 5
Gulbechian Calousre Museum is dedicated to European and Oriental
art. Over 6000 paintings and an impressive collection of jewelry designed by Rene
Lalique is waiting to be discovered. Gulbechian, an Armenian millionaire fond of art
acquired some of the paintings sold by Lenin in the ‚20, when Russia’s situation
was dramatic. Some of them are now in Portugal. Address: Avenida de Berna, no. 45 Entrance
fee, depending on the exhibitions you are going to see, varies between € 3 and €
5. A joint ticket with modern art centre is also on the market and amounts to € 7.
Keywords in Lisbon 1. Porto Wine National symbol, Porto wine is made only in the vineyards
of the Haut-Douro Valley in the north of the country.This wine is "merit" of English. At
the beginning of the 18th century, England was in conflict with France and thus French
wines under embargo could not enter the UK. Their place was taken by Porto wine,
which later gained worldwide recognition.
2. Pasteias (a typical Andalusian desert) Best
place for this culinary debauchery is Belem district. Here is a famous pastry, almost
200 years old, Antigua Confeitaria Belem. You really need to try pasteis de nuta
or pasteis de Belem. Address Rua of Belem 84/92 / / Tel: 351 213 63 74 23
3. Fado(fate) is a genre that combines many influences, including African slave
rhythms, traditional music of Portuguese sailors. In Lisbon there are numerous clubs
specialized in this genre, one famous bering its name. Address: Rua S. Joao da Praca,
94, / / Tel: 00351.218.852.704 http://www.clube-de-fado.com/
City History Lisbon is one of the few European capitals seaport. Legend says that
Ulysses founded the city and named it Ulyssipona, and the historians date the birth
of the city with 1,200 years before Christ. Phoenician sailors founded here a colony
called Alis Ubo, „The quiet port”. The city was conquered by Greeks, Carthaginians,
Romans, the last changing its name into Felicitas Julia, honoring this way the great
emperor Julius Caesar. The Barbarians, who come in the 5th century, turned the splendid
Roman city into ruins. Two centuries later, the Moorish domination is established
and last for 400 years. During this period, the country boasts a large commercial
development, while the city receives the name of Lisbon. The year 1255 is decisive
in the history of the city. After a four-month siege, Dutch, German and British Crusaders
defeat the Arabs, and Alfonso III installes his court here transforming Lisbon into
the capital of the empire.
The Golden Era of the city begins with the 15th century. Great geographical discoveries
and annexation of new colonies start. In the same time, the sea trade with spices
(at that time a gram of pepper cost a gram of gold) turns Lisbon into one of the
richest capitals on Earth. Under the reign of Manuel I, Vasco da Gama discovers Indias
in 1498, and Pedru Cabral, Brazil, in 1500. Over the next ten years, territories
from today’s Malaysia and China turns into Portuguese provinces.
Portugal becomes one of the oldest Western empires, spreading over five continents.
Portuguese was spoken from Brazil to Goa, from Mozambique to Macau. Magellan (Fernando
de Magalhăes), perhaps the most famous Portuguese, is the first European to cross
the Pacific. Th 16th-century Spanish occupation ends the golden century. The city
begins the decline. The year 1755 is black: an unprecedented earthquake, followed
by a tsunami, and a fire destroy most of the city. Brazil declares its independence
in 1822. Portugal, deeply weakened, is the scene of coups, civil wars and political
rivalry. In 1908, King and the Heir are murdered, and two years later the republic
is proclaimed. Dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar comes to power in 1933, and hold
it for almost four decades. Portugal joins the European Union in 1986. Today Portugal
has about 10 million inhabitants. A quarter of them live in Lisbon.
Necessary budget To see Lisbon and the surroundings at least a week would be needed. If
you do not find an organized tour and you decide to go on your own, you need a minimum
of € 1,000 since only the airticket Bucharest - Lisbon with Portuguese airlines
costs around € 500. You could take a plane to Paris, and from there a low cost flight
with Easy Jet. It is good to look early for better offers. Tariffs for accommodation
and meals are similar to those in Romania, it depends on each of us demands and option.