Lisbon, WOW, where should I begin? This historical city is full of stories to tell. In this city it is said that the sun shines 290 days a year and the temperature rarely drops below 15oC. You will feel safe wandering around the city whether it’s during the day or night. The cuisine is dedicated to creating over a thousand ways to cook the beloved bacalhau, you must try it.
Lisbon is also a city full of authenticity where old customs and ancient history intermix with cultural entertainment and hi-tech innovation. It is said that Lisbon is ageless, yet loves company, well, who doesn’t right? Lisbon is famous for its hospitality and the family-like way it welcomes all visitors, gotta admit I experienced it first hand.
I had done a little research as our day trip was very limited and we didn’t want to miss a thing. We were on a cruise and had about 8 hours to fit in as much sightseeing as possible. I had read about the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour and thought it would probably be the best way to get around the city, while being able to explore the main areas of interest to us.
We began with Rossio Square, which is the popular name of the Pedro IV Square. It is located in the Pombaline Downtown of Lisbon and has been one of its main squares since the Middle Ages. There are a few shops and small cafes to enjoy while enjoying the views. It is quite an amazing area to spend some quality time.
We then headed to the Praça dos Restauradores which is central Lisbon’s most interesting plaza. This plaza combines classical 17th century architecture with ornate art deco buildings. The square is often disregarded by many Portuguese but the Praça dos Restauradores offers tourists a section of varied and historically important sights and attractions. The strong point of this Square is, undoubtedly, its architecture, with diverse buildings characteristic and historical buildings.
Here you will find the Foz Palace, the Orion Eden Hotel, the small bandstand, the elegant Avenue Palace Hotel, just to name a few. These buildings render this Plaza a quite special charm, which has been inherited since the 19th century. Back then, it was a mandatory passage in the distinct bourgeois walks.
Marques de Pombal Square, what a beauty, it is considered quite an important roundabout in the city of Lisbon. It is located between the Avenida da Liberdade and the Eduardo VII Park in the former parish of Coração de Jesus and in the quarter of Santo António. We didn’t spend much time here, however it was quite a site to see.
The tour continued and we finally ended at Sao Jorge Castle. This Castle can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. It served as a Moorish royal residence until Portugal’s first king Afonso Henriques captured it in 1147. He was able to accomplish this with the help of northern European crusaders, on their way to the Holy Land. It was then dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of England, commemorating the Anglo-Portuguese pact dating from 1371. This palace then became the royal palace until another one (that was destroyed in the Great Earthquake) was built in today’s Comercio Square.
Sao Jorge Castle is considered an oasis of peace. We walked around the grounds and sat under shady trees to take in its beauty. What remains of the Alcaçovas Palace where medieval kings lived, is a stone building now housing a restaurant, and round the back, there is a small archaeological museum in three underground chambers.
Most of the castle was destroyed over the years, especially during the Great Earthquake of 1755. However there still remains a long extension of walls and 18 towers. It is so impressive to climb to the top and take in the gorgeous views. They are without a doubt the most breathtaking views of Lisbon. There is also a garden where peacocks, geese and ducks strut around. I felt so at home with these lovely birds. Enjoy the pictures below. They will help you enjoy and appreciate the beauties of this beautiful City.
And last but not least, I will leave you with Christ the King…and two very happy tourists!! :))) Thanks for reading!!
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