LISBON, PORTUGAL

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. It is the westernmost large city located in continental Europe, as well as its westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon metropolitan area which represents approximately 27% of the population of the country. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest city in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years.

Avenida da Liberdade (Liberty Avenue) is an important avenue in central Lisbon. It is a 300 foot wide boulevard, 7/10 of a mile long, with ten lanes divided by pedestrian pavements decorated with gardens.

 

The 25 de Abril Bridge (25th of April Bridge), is a suspension bridge connecting Lisbon to Almada on the south bank of the Tejo river. It was inaugurated on August 6, 1966 and a train platform was added in 1999. Because it is a suspension bridge and has similar coloring, it is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. In fact, it was built by the same company that constructed the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and not the Golden Gate, also explaining its similarity in design. Until 1974, the bridge was named Salazar Bridge (Ponte Salazar). The name "25 de Abril" commemorates the Carnation Revolution which overthrew the regime of the Estado Novo.

Across the bridge is the Christ the King statue (Cristo Rei) dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
 

The Belém Tower (Torre de Belém) is a fortified tower which played a significant role in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries. The tower was built early in the 16th century as part of a defense system at the mouth of the Tagus river.
 

The Monument to the Discoveries - In addition to the main statue of Henry the Navigator, holding a model of a carrack, on either side of the ramps of the monument are a total of 33 figures from the history of the Discoveries.

 
 

The Jeronimos Monastery is the most impressive symbol of Portugal's power and wealth during the Age of Discovery. King Manuel I built it in 1502 on the site of a hermitage founded by Prince Henry the Navigator, where Vasco da Gama and his crew spent their last night in Portugal in prayer before leaving for India. It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama's voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success. Vasco da Gama's tomb was placed inside by the entrance, as was the tomb of poet Luis de Camões, author of the epic The Lusiads in which he glorifies the triumphs of Da Gama and his compatriots. Other great figures in Portuguese history are also entombed here, like King Manuel and King Sebastião, and poets Fernando Pessoa and Alexandre Herculano.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Commerce Square - The Praça do Comércio

 

View of Lisbon from the roof of our hotel.