Lisbon

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Downtown Lisbon lies in a valley flanked by two hills along the banks of the Rio Tejo. The Baixa (Lower town) is the old town centre, the hill to the east is the Alfama, and the hill to the west is Bairro Alto. North of Baixa stretches modern Lisbon, with the airport, bullfighting ring and Parque da Naes, site of the 1998 World Expo.
 

At Lisbon's heart is the iconic main square with the Praa do Comerco, the San Augusto Arch, and the Monument to Jose I.

Several parts of the city converge at Rossio Square, a popular meeting place. It is characterized by the National Theatre, two matching baroque fountains and a monument to Pedro IV.
 

The Alfama, the colorful sailors' quarters which dates back to the time of the Visigoth occupation from the 6th to 8th Centuries, now houses immigrants and young bohemians.

 

Some of the grittiness of Alfama has been cleaned up with efforts such as these flower-bedecked ruins.

 So Jorge Castle ruins have  been much renovated since being built by the Moors in the 11th Century. Its ramparts offer a spectacular view over the city.

The tangled streets of Alfama was one of the few areas to survive the devastating earthquake of 1755 and the subsequent rebuilding of the city center in a grid pattern.

 

Calouste Gulbenkian bequethed his estate and 6000 piece art collection to the Portuguese state. The Gulbenkian Foundation includes a lush garden, the purpose-built museum, and a Modern Art Centre. This peaceful place was our favourite sight in Lisbon.
 

The main pedestrian street, Rua Augusta bisects the Baixa. The buildings and streets in this area were uniformly designed to withstand another earthquake and house a variety of shops, restaurants and displays. 

The Baixa area is gridded with streets and wide large squares such as this Praa de Municipo,  which display Lisbon's characteristic obelisks and  ornately patterned cobblestone.

The massive Monastery of  Jernimos, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built between 1500 and 1600, funded by taxes on commerce from the Orient and Africa.

Street art, murals and graffiti are prevalent everywhere.

Lisbon's vintage trolleys and funiculars are an entertaining way to travel through the old town.

The Chiado district has cute patios, cafes and shops. The oldest beer hall and the port wine institute are located here.
 

Monument to the Discoveries is an enormous monument on the riverside that honours the explorers who brought power and riches to Portugal centuries ago.

Belm Tower was constructed in the 16th Century in the prominent Manueline style during the height of Portugal's maritime power.  Its four storeys contain watchtowers, battlements, a loggia and a chapel.
 

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This site was last updated 03/18/15