Lisboa (Lisbon) Landmarks, Portugal

Torre de Belém (Belém Tower) or the Tower of St. Vincent, was built in 1515 in the Douro River (which was subsequently filled in, bringing the shore adjacent to the tower) to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Torre de Belém (Belém Tower) or the Tower of St. Vincent, was built in 1515 in the Douro River (which was subsequently filled in, bringing the shore adjacent to the tower) to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Torre de Belém (Belém Tower) or the Tower of St. Vincent is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal.   Designed by Francisco de Arruda, the striking Belém Tower was built in 1515 in the Douro River (which was subsequently filled in, bringing the shore adjacent to the tower) to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor.

 

Belém Tower’s impressive Manueline architecture includes watchtowers displaying strong Moorish influences in the arched windows and ribbed cupolas, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Belém Tower’s impressive Manueline architecture includes watchtowers displaying strong Moorish influences in the arched windows and ribbed cupolas, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Belém Tower’s impressive Manueline architecture includes sculptures that depict historical figures such as Saint Vincent while its watchtowers display strong Moorish influences in the arched windows and ribbed cupolas.  The UNESCO World Heritage monument also features Venetian-style loggias and a statue of Our Lady of Safe Homecoming, which faces the river.

 

The 25 de Abril Bridge (25th of April Bridge), inaugurated on August 6, 1966, is a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon to the municipality of Almada on the left bank of the Tejo (Tagus) River, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

The 25 de Abril Bridge (25th of April Bridge), inaugurated on August 6, 1966, is a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon to the municipality of Almada on the left bank of the Tejo (Tagus) River, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Riding down one of Lisbon’s steep hills in a cable car or street car, looking at the 25 de Abril Bridge, you might imagine that you’re really in San Francisco.  For years now, visitors to Lisbon have pointed out the similarities between the two cities: both are on the west coast of their continents; are built on about seven steep hills, have classic cable and street cars and both have been devastated by major earthquakes.  The biggest similarity, however, remains the bright orange suspension bridge connecting Lisbon to Almada, which resembles the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.  At a total length of 7,470 feet (2,277 meters), the 25 de Abril Bridge carries six road lanes and two railway tracks. It was built by the American Bridge Company, which also constructed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

 

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) is a monument on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary honoring all explorers of the Age of Discoveries, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) is a monument on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary honoring all explorers of the Age of Discoveries, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) is a monument on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary, in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal.   Shaped like a ship’s prow, the 171 foot (50 meters) monument was designed in 1939 by architect Jose Angelo Cottinelli Temo and sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida, as a temporary beacon (built out of plaster) during the Portuguese World Exhibition in honor of all explorers of the Age of Discoveries.

 

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) features 30 statues, portraying Vasco de Gama, King Alfonso V (among others), led by Henry the Navigator, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) features 30 statues, portraying Vasco de Gama, King Alfonso V (among others), led by Henry the Navigator, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Reconstructed in concrete in 1960 to commemorate the 500th year of the death of Infante Dom Henrique (Henry the Navigator), the sculpture features 30 statues, portraying Vasco de Gama, King Alfonso V (among others), led by Henry the Navigator.  A giant marble wind rose at the foot of the Monument contains the key exploration dates throughout the centuries.  The interior is divided into three levels with an auditorium and tow large exhibition halls, and the terrace at the top of the monument delivers spectacular views of the city and the river.

As shown in the closeup of the statues in the photograph below, Infante Dom Henrique (Henry the Navigator) is followed by King Alfonso V, Vasco de Gama, Navigator Alfonso Baldaia, Navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral, and Navigator Fernao de Magalhaes.

 

Henry the Navigator leads the explorers of the Age of Discoveries, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Henry the Navigator leads the explorers of the Age of Discoveries, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone’s Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

The facade of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone's Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

The facade of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone’s Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Standing tall at the entrance of the Lisbon harbor, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Jerónimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery) is a monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome, located near the shore of the parish of Belém.  It was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.  The monastery is a perfect example of Manueline architecture (the style originated by Portugal’s King Manuel I).

 

The ornate Manueline south portal of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone's Monastery) by João de Castilho, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

The ornate Manueline south portal of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone’s Monastery) by João de Castilho, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

“The ornate [South] side entrance to the monastery was designed by Juan de Castilho and is considered one of the most significant of his time, but is not, in fact, the main entrance to the building.  This shrine-like portal is large, 32 metres (105 feet) high and 12 metres (39 feet) wide, extending two stories. Its ornate features includes an abundance of gables and pinnacles, with many carved figures standing under a baldachin in carved niches, around a statue of Henry the Navigator, standing on a pedestal between the two doors.  The tympanum, above the double door, displays, in half-relief, two scenes from the life of Saint Jerome: on the left, the removal of the thorn from the lion’s paw and, on the right, the saints experience in the desert.  In the spandrel between these scenes is the coat-of-arms of king Manuel I, while the archivolt and tympanum are covered in Manueline symbols and elements.  The Madonna (Santa Maria de Belém) is located on a pedestal on top of the archivolt, surmounted by the archangel Michael, while above the portal there is a cross of the Order of Christ.  The portal is harmoniously flanked on each side by a large window with richly decorated mouldings.” – Wikipedia

 

A closeup view of the ornate Manueline south portal of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone's Monastery) by João de Castilho, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

A closeup view of the ornate Manueline south portal of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone’s Monastery) by João de Castilho, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Tomb of Vasco de Gama just inside the entrance to Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone's Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Tomb of Vasco de Gama just inside the entrance to Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone’s Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Jerónimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery) was commissioned by King D. Manuel I in 1495, then donated to the monks of St. Jerome to pray for the King himself and seafarers.  Also known as Vasco de Gama’s resting place – his tomb is placed inside the entrance on the left – its rich ornamentation and elaborate architecture featuring maritime motifs are visual evidence of its celebration of Prince Henry the Navigator and all explorers who left the city’s shores in search of the New World.

 

Manueline-style ribbed valuts atop the columns in Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone's Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Manueline-style ribbed vaults atop the columns in Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone’s Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Looking toward the main altar in Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone's Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Looking toward the main altar in Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone’s Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

The main altar in Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone's Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

The main altar in Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone’s Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Stained glass window in Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone's Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Stained glass window in Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone’s Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

In the heart of Lisbon are five bakers who may never ride in a car together, eat the same food at the same restaurant, or even travel together.  They are the holders of the city’s best kept secret – the recipe of the original Pastéis de Belém.  Employed and handpicked by the Casa Pastéis de Belém, these men have memorized the recipe and may never write it down.  The recipe was originally developed by the nun at the local Jerónimos Monastery (to use up the egg yolks left over from separating out the egg whites used to starch their laundry), who then sold the tarts to earn a living.  In 1837, nearly 17 years after the monastery closed, the Casa Pastéis de Belém became the first bakery in Lisbon (outside of the convent) to sell the delectable treat.  Today this delicious custard tart is so popular that variations of the recipe are served worldwide as pastel de nata.

 

Pastéis de Belém at the bakery adjacent to Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone's Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Pastéis de Belém at the bakery adjacent to Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (St. Jerone’s Monastery), Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

 

Historic Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Historic buildings dating back to the 1500s in the Alfama district of Lisbon, Portugal

Historic buildings dating back to the 1500s in the Alfama district of Lisbon, Portugal

 

Portugal’s capital city, Lisboa (Lisbon), has been occupied by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Moors, and Portuguese settlers over the past 3,000 years.  The tiles on the oldest buildings are original — hand crafted, many are three dimensional.  Beginning in the 19th century the manufacture of the facade tiles was done in factories, rather than by artisans; however, they continued to be used as the facades of many new buildings.  While most of the ancient buildings serve as underground foundations for what we see today, many of the similar looking buildings in the city center historic districts date to the reconstruction of the city after the devastating earthquake of November 1, 1755.

 

A "widows walk" atop an historic building near the Tagus River, dating back to the 1500s, in the Alfama district of Lisbon, Portugal

A “widows walk” atop an historic building near the Tagus River, dating back to the 1500s, in the Alfama district of Lisbon, Portugal

 

Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square, also known as Black horse Square) is near the Tagus River in historic downtown Lisbon, Portugal

Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square, also known as Black horse Square) is near the Tagus River in historic downtown Lisbon, Portugal

 

Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square, also known as Black horse Square) is near the Tagus River in historic downtown Lisbon, Portugal.  It is still commonly known as Terriero do Paco (Palace Yard) because it was the location of the Pacos da Ribeira (Royal Ribeira Palace) until it was destroyed by the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake.

 

The symmetrical buildings of Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square) were filled with government bureaus that regulated customs and port activities, Lisbon, Portugal

The symmetrical buildings of Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square) were filled with government bureaus that regulated customs and port activities, Lisbon, Portugal

 

“On 1 November 1755, during the reign of King Dom Jose I, a great earthquake, followed by a tsunami and fire destroyed most of Lisbon, including the Ribeira Palace and other buildings by the river. José I’s Prime Minister, the Marquis of Pombal, coordinated a massive rebuilding effort of Portuguese architect Eugénio dos Santos.  He designed a large, rectangular square in the shape of a “U”, open towards the Tagus.  The buildings have galleries on their groundfloors, and the arms of the “U” end in two large towers, reminiscent of the monumental tower of the destroyed Ribeira Palace, still vivid in the architectonic memory of the city.  His plan was realised almost completely, although decorative details were changed and the east tower of the square and the Augusta Street Arch were only finished in the 19th century.

“The square was named Praça do Comércio, the Square of Commerce, to indicate its new function in the economy of Lisbon.  The symmetrical buildings of the square were filled with government bureaus that regulated customs and port activities.  The main piece of the ensemble was the equestrian statue of King José I, inaugurated in 1775 in the centre of the square.  This bronze statue, the first monumental statue dedicated to a King in Lisbon, was designed by Joaquim Machado de Castro, Portugal’s foremost sculptor of the time.” – Wikipedia

 

A typical street in historic Lisbon’s downtown, with offices and apartments constructed to replace the buildings that had been destroyed by Lisbon, Portugal’s historically significant (and worst in history) earthquake of November 1, 1755

A typical street in historic Lisbon’s downtown, with offices and apartments constructed to replace the buildings that had been destroyed by Lisbon, Portugal’s historically significant (and worst in history) earthquake of November 1, 1755

 

The typical little yellow, historic electric-trolley, “eléctrico 28” is legendary now and tram 28 is a tourist attraction in itself, Lisbon, Portugal

The typical little yellow, historic electric-trolley, “eléctrico 28” is legendary now and tram 28 is a tourist attraction in itself, Lisbon, Portugal

 

An excellent way to get a good overview and impression of the historical city of Lisbon is to ride the typical little yellow, historic electric-trolley, “eléctrico 28”.  The legendary tram 28 is a tourist attraction in itself (and it attracts a large number of pickpockets who prey off the tourists!); it goes all around town — of course, you can hop on and hop off.

 

Elevador de Santa Justa (the Santa Justa lift) is hilly Lisbon’s only vertical lift open for public use, Lisbon, Portugal

Elevador de Santa Justa (the Santa Justa lift) is hilly Lisbon’s only vertical lift open for public use, Lisbon, Portugal

 

Inaugurated in July 1902 and classified as a National monument 100 years later in 2002, the Elevador de Santa Justa (the Santa Justa lift) is hilly Lisbon’s only vertical lift open for public use.  Built by Portuguese architect and engineer, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, an apprentice of Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the extraordinary neo-gothic landmark features a cast iron structure and was built to connect the lowest and highest points of the city.  The 147 foot (45 meters) lift, once powered by steam, also has a miradouro (belvedere) and café at the top of its spiral staircase where visitors can enjoy magnificent views of the city.

 

Fábrica Sant’Anna, established on 1741, is the last big factory of tiles and pottery craft in Europe; Lisbon, Portugal

Fábrica Sant’Anna, established on 1741, is the last big factory of tiles and pottery craft in Europe; Lisbon, Portugal

 

Fábrica Sant’Anna is a Portuguese ceramic factory, established on 1741, that produces all its products according to the oldest handcraft techniques since the clay preparation until the hand painted phase.  It is the last big factory of tiles and pottery craft in Europe.  Sant’Anna’s tiles and pottery collection are totally handmade.  Its artistic quality is recognized on its product’s decoration and painting giving Sant’Anna the quality and unity that characterize the most important world’s companies.  Born from a traditional Portuguese Art, Sant’Anna’s ceramics are products of excellence made to all over the world.

 

Time Out Mercado da Ribeira is Time Out’s transformation of Lisbon’s main market hall into a foodie hangout; Portugal

Time Out Mercado da Ribeira is Time Out’s transformation of Lisbon’s main market hall into a foodie hangout; Portugal

 

Time Out Mercado da Ribeira is Time Out’s transformation of Lisbon’s main market hall into a foodie hangout that brings together some of the city’s favourite food shops and restaurants.  Mercado da Ribeira has had many guises – its roots can be traced back to the 13th century, and it was once one of the most famous fish markets in Europe.  Many of its traders have been selling fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and flowers there for decades – the place is part of the fabric of Lisbon.  When Time Out learned in 2010 that the city council was seeking bids for the chance to manage a large part of the iconic attraction, it couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  The Time Out Mercado da Ribeira now brings together some of the city’s most loved names in food and drink.

 

An artist used the facade of an historic building near the Port of Lisbon and the Tagus River as his "canvas", in the Alfama district of Lisbon, Portugal

An artist used the facade of an historic building near the Port of Lisbon and the Tagus River as his “canvas”, in the Alfama district of Lisbon, Portugal

 

The Chiado district, Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal

Historic buildings with facades coveed with painted Portuguese ceramic tiles, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

Historic buildings with facades covered with painted Portuguese ceramic tiles, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

 

We were very happy to return to Lisbon, Portugal (the capital city), after our visit by the ship last July.  For this visit we docked in the center of the city at the Lisbon Cruise Terminal in the historic Alfama district.

Our first exploration was in the Chiado district, a neighborhood in central historic Lisbon uphill and to the west of the main square, Praça do Rossio.  Named after the Portuguese poet António Ribeiro — nicknamed “Chiado” (squeak) – the residential and shopping area mixes old and commercial buildings.

 

Monument to (statue of) the Portuguese poet António Ribeiro -- nicknamed “Chiado” (squeak), Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

Monument to (statue of) the Portuguese poet António Ribeiro — nicknamed “Chiado” (squeak), Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

 

“In the 18th and, especially, in the 19th century, a great number of important commercial establishments opened in the Chiado, turning it into a favourite shopping area.  Some of them exist to this day, like the “Bertrand Bookshop” (opened 1747) and “Paris em Lisboa” (garment shop opened 1888).  In 1792, Lisbon’s opera house, the Teatro Nacional São Carlos, was inaugurated, attracting the cultural elite of the city, and other theatres were opened in the 19th century (Trindade Theatre, S. Luís Theatre).  Museums were also created, like the Archaeological Museum in the former Carmo Church and the Museum of Contemporary Art in the former St Francis Convent (now Chiado Museum).  The cafés and theatres in the area were a meeting point for the aristocracy, artists, and intellectuals at least until the 1960s.  It eventually became a beloved touristic site thanks to its picturesque streets and squares, cultural attractions, cafés and shops.” – Wikipedia

 

Restaurante Tavares (the Tavares restaurant), in Lisbon, Portugal, continuously open since 1784 in the same location (though not the same building), claims to be the second oldest in the Iberian Peninsula, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

Restaurante Tavares (the Tavares restaurant), in Lisbon, Portugal, continuously open since 1784 in the same location (though not the same building), claims to be the second oldest in the Iberian Peninsula, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

 

Monument to (statue of) Luís Vaz de Camões, considered Portugal’s and the Portuguese language's greatest poet, Parca Luis de Camões, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

Monument to (statue of) Luís Vaz de Camões, considered Portugal’s and the Portuguese language’s greatest poet, Parca Luis de Camões, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

 

Luís Vaz de Camões ( sometimes rendered in English as Camoens or Camoëns, e.g., by Byron in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers), c. 1524 or 1525 – 20 June 1580), is considered Portugal’s and the Portuguese language’s greatest poet.   His mastery of verse has been compared to that of Shakespeare, Vondel, Homer, Virgil and Dante.  He wrote a considerable amount of lyrical poetry and drama but is best remembered for his epic work Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads).  His collection of poetry The Parnasum of Luís de Camões was lost in his lifetime.  The influence of his masterpiece Os Lusíadas is so profound that Portuguese is sometimes called the “language of Camões”. – Wikipedia.  Camões’s tomb is in Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Jerónimos Monastery) in the Belém district of Lisbon.

 

The artwork of this facade is actually painted on individual Portuguese ceramic tiles that were installed as a "mosaic", Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

The artwork of this facade is actually painted on individual Portuguese ceramic tiles that were installed as a “mosaic”, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

 

Bell tower of a church visible through the entrance arches of Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (National Theatre of Saint Charles), the opera house in the Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

Bell tower of a church visible through the entrance arches of Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (National Theatre of Saint Charles), the opera house in the Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

 

The Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (National Theatre of Saint Charles) is the opera house in Lisbon; it was opened on July 30, 1793 by Queen Maria I, who had ordered its construction to replace the Tejo Opera House that had been destroyed by Lisbon’s historically significant (and worst in hsitory) earthquake on November 1, 1755 – just six months after the Tejo Opera House had opened.  Located in the Chiado district, the architecture of Teatro Nacional de São Carlos is inspired by neoclassical and rococo designs; however, the Theater’s simple exterior is no match for its sumptuous interior featuring ceiling paintings by Manuel da Costa and a stage designed by Lisbon-born sculptor and architect Cirilo Volkmar Machado.

The timing of our backstage tour of the Opera House was terrific, for as we finished walking around the stage and backstage area and toured the Royal Box (center, in the photograph, below), the guide from the Opera House informed us that we could sit in the boxes adjacent to the Royal Box and watch the first part of the initial rehearsal by the orchestra and solo singers for the upcoming performances of Verdi’s Requiem.  This turned out to be a wonderful “treat”, as the rehearsal was going very well when we left.  We were thrilled to have had a chance to experience the excellent acoustics of the Opera House — an unexpected “bonus” on our full day of exploring Lisbon.

 

Main theater of Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (National Theatre of Saint Charles), the opera house in the Chiado District -- modeled on La Scala, Milan, Italy -- Lisbon, Portugal

Main theater of Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (National Theatre of Saint Charles), the opera house in the Chiado District — modeled on La Scala, Milan, Italy — Lisbon, Portugal

 

Monument to (statue of) Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher & philosopher, described as one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

A contemporary, modern monument to (statue of) Fernando Pessôa, a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher & philosopher, described as one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

 

Across from the entrance to Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (National Theatre of Saint Charles),  we saw a fantastic modern sculpture that was quite unusual — a bronze statue of a man with a book for his head.  Inscribed “Pessoa”, we had to learn about the man that inspired this interesting monument.   “Fernando Pessôa, born Fernando António Nogueira Pessôa (June 13, 1888 – November 30, 1935), was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher, described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language.  He also wrote in and translated from English and French.  Pessôa was a prolific writer, and not only under his own name, for he dreamed up approximately seventy-five others.  He did not call them pseudonyms because he felt that did not capture their true independent intellectual life and instead called them heteronyms.  These imaginary figures sometimes held unpopular or extreme views.” – Wikipedia

 

Teatro da Trinidade, of Baroque style, decorated in gold and blue colours, with an acoustic which is considered unique in the country, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

Teatro da Trinidade, of Baroque style, decorated in gold and blue colours, with an acoustic which is considered unique in the country, Chiado District, Lisbon, Portugal

 

The Teatro da Trinidad is a National Theater famous for its opera events. A sign in front reads: “Open to the public in 1867, the Teatro da Trinidad was designed by architect Miguel Evaristo de Lima Pinto, commissioned by a private society, in which Francisco Palha had a prominent role.  Of Baroque style, decorated in gold and blue colours, with an acoustic which is considered unique in the country, here operas and operettas, plays and balls took place, here the Companhia Amélia Rey Colaço had its headquartes and the “Serões para Trabalhadores” were organised by FNAT, owner of the building since 1962.”

 

Eat Local — Lisboa, Portugal

Pastel de Nata (a local baked custard specialty), Lisboa, Portugal

Pastel de Nata (a local baked custard specialty), Lisboa, Portugal

Upon arriving in Lisboa following our 2 hour bus ride from Cascais (Estoril) on the coast, where our ship was anchored, we headed to the main old town square, Praça da Rossio, for some Pastéis de nata and espressos.  Fortified, we then set out to explore the city…

“Pastel de nata is a Portuguese egg tart pastry, common in Portugal… Pastéis de nata were created before the 18th century by Catholic monks at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Jerónimos Monastery) in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in Lisbon. At the time, convents and monasteries used large quantities of egg-whites for starching of clothes, such as nuns’ habits. It was quite common for monasteries and convents to use the leftover egg yolks to make cakes and pastries, resulting in the proliferation of sweet pastry recipes throughout the country.” — Wikipedia

The Refectory dining room at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

The Refectory dining room at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

Following our full morning of exploring the city and climbing uphill to Rua Nova da Trindade, overlooking Praça da Rossio, we had an excellent luncheon of local specialties at a former convent — Cervejaria Trindade.

At the present location of the restaurant, eight centuries ago, the Convent of the Most Holy Trinity of the Trimos Friars of the Redemption of Captives was erected.  Founded at the end of the 13th century, more precisely in 1294, it owes its name to the calling of its friars to rescue Christian prisoners from the infidels.  Destroyed in 1704 by  a fire, in 1755 by the famous earthquake and in 1756, after its reconstruction, by another fire, the Convent finally disappeared in 1834 with the extinction of the Religious Orders in Portugal. It was then purchased and became the first beer factory in Portugal, the Trindale Beer Factory.

The Refectory room was decorated in 1864 with magnificent tile panels inspired by a famous artist known as “Ferreira the Sign Painter”.

Detail of tile panel of the

Detail of tile panel of the “Four Seasons” in Refectory dining room at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

The panel of tiles shown above represent the seasons of the year.  The opposite wall has panels representing the four elements.

Luncheon seafood platters at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

Luncheon seafood platters at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

Luncheon oyster platter at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

Luncheon oyster platter at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

Lisboa, Portugal

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) and Doca de Belem (yacht harbor), on Rio Tejo, Lisboa, Portugal

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) and Doca de Belem (yacht harbor), on Rio Tejo, Lisboa, Portugal

“Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with a population of 552,700… its urban area extends beyond the city’s administrative limits with a population of around 2.7 million people, being the 11th most populous urban area in the European Union… It is continental Europe’s westernmost capital city and its only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost areas of its metro area is the westernmost point of Continental Europe.

“Lisbon is recognized as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism. It is one of the major economic centers on the continent, with a growing financial sector and one of the largest container ports on Europe’s Atlantic coast.

“Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by centuries. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled by a series of Gremanic tribes from the 5th century, it was captured by the Moors in the 8th century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Nenriques reconquered the city and since then it has been a major political, economic and cultural center of Portugal.” – Wikipedia

Teatro Nacional D. Maria II (The National Theatre D. Maria II) on Praça da Rossio, Lisboa, Portugal

Teatro Nacional D. Maria II (The National Theatre D. Maria II) on Praça da Rossio, Lisboa, Portugal

“Teatro Nacional D. Maria II (The National Theatre D. Maria II) is a theatre in Lisbon, Portugal. The historical theatre is one of the most prestigious Portuguese venues and is located in Praça da Rossio (Rossio Square), in the centre of the city.” – Wikipedia

Praça da Rossio viewed from R. da Condessa, Lisboa, Portugal

Praça da Rossio viewed from R. da Condessa, Lisboa, Portugal

Castelo de São Jorge overlooking Praça da Rossio, Lisboa, Portugal

Castelo de São Jorge overlooking Praça da Rossio, Lisboa, Portugal

Rua d. Augusta (main shopping street) overlooking Praça do Comércio and Statue of King José I, Lisboa, Portugal

Rua d. Augusta (main shopping street) overlooking Praça do Comércio and Statue of King José I, Lisboa, Portugal

Portuguese tile residences exterior, Lisboa, Portugal

Portuguese tile residences exterior, Lisboa, Portugal

Praça do Comércio y Ministerios, Lisboa, Portugal

Praça do Comércio y Ministerios, Lisboa, Portugal

Sidewalk cafes at Praça do Comércio, Lisboa, Portugal

Sidewalk cafes at Praça do Comércio, Lisboa, Portugal

Museu de Arqueologocia in the former Mosteiro dos Jerónimos  (Jerónimos Monastery) in the Belém neighborhood, Lisboa, Portugal

Museu de Arqueologocia in the former Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery) in the Belém neighborhood, Lisboa, Portugal

Contemporary architecture and shopping mall, Lisboa, Portugal

Contemporary architecture and shopping mall, Lisboa, Portugal

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries), Belém neighborhood on Rio Tejo, Lisboa, Portugal

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries), Belém neighborhood on Rio Tejo, Lisboa, Portugal

“Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) is a monument on the northern bank of Rio Tejo (River Tagus) estuary, in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal. Located along the river where ships departed to explore and trade with India and Orient, the monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery (or Age of Exploration) during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was conceived in 1939 by Portuguese architect José Ângelo Cottinelli Telmo, and sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida, as a temporary beacon during the Portuguese World Fair opening in June 1940.‪ The Monument to the Discoveries represented a romanticized idealization of the Portuguese exploration that was typical of the Estado Novo regime of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar… by June 1943, the original structure was demolished after the exposition as there was no concrete formalization of the project… Between November 1958 and January 1960, the new monument was constructed in cement and rose-tinted stone (from Leiria), and the statues sculpted from limestone excavated from the region of Sintra.‪ The new project was enlarged from the original 1940 model as part of the commemorations to celebrate the fifth centennial of the death of Infante Henry the Navigator.” – Wikipedia

“Wavy Gravy” paving stone design at Praça da Rossio, Lisboa, Portugal