Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lisbon, Portugal

Bob had to make a quick trip to Lisbon, Portugal, the second week of May.  After doing all kinds of research about the area, I became quite excited to tag along with him.  However, his schedule was tight and with the travel time involved, the trip would have afforded us only two days there.  I could hardly justify the expensive flight for such a short visit.  Fortunately, Bob actually took some photos of Lisbon on his phone so that I could live the experience virtually.  Believe me, it's not quite like being there myself!

His group took a short walking tour of the city one afternoon and they were able to get a nice view of the landscape.  In the background of the first photo, to the left, is the Sao Jorge Castle (Saint George Castle), and to the right is a view of the Tagus River.  Notice the detailed tile-work which covers the exterior of the buildings in the second photo.  Portugal is known for it's tiles and artistic mosaic pavements.  Another interesting thing to notice on the blue building is that the tops of the archways on the bottom floor remain level even though the foundation of the building slopes downward along the road.  The height of each arch increases as you proceed down the road, yet they appear to be uniform in size.

Praca de Comercio, or Central Commerce Square, features the Triumphal Arch and a large bronze equestrian statue.

These photos were taken in Liberation Square which is the location of a 1960's revolt against the dictator who lived next to the church with the big red door.  The result was liberation from 60 years of Spanish rule.

Lisbon's eighteenth century City Hall Building is found in Municipal Square.  The unique Rossio Train Station with its intertwined horseshoe shaped entrances is an example of neo-manueline architecture completed in 1887.  

Saint Anthony was revered as a matchmaker and was born on the site of the present-day Saint Anthony Church.  Construction of the Baroque style building with Neoclassical columns began in 1757.  Legend has it that if you toss a coin and it lands on the head of the statue you will get married that year.  Across the Tagus River is a huge Monument to Christ.  This statue depicts the Savior with outstretched arms to Lisbon and was built in 1959 with gratitude to God for having spared the city during World War II.

The Elevador de Santa Justa (third photo below) is a neo-Gothic designed iron elevator which was built in the nineteenth century by a student of Gustave Eiffel.  It was built as part of a contest which took place to create an elevator that was more than three stories high.  Initially, the Lisbons found the elevator to be unattractive and wanted to take it down, but it still functions today as a symbol of their innovative spirit.  Notice the beautifully tiled floors of Rua Augusta, Lisbon's main pedestrian street.

Sao Domingos Church is pictured in the first photo below.  Se Cathedral (second photo below) is a twelfth century Romanesque style Catholic church and Lisbon's oldest building.


And finally, below is an example of an intricately detailed arched gate found in Lisbon.  It is a unique and lovely city with amazing architecture and views.  I'd love to visit this beautiful country someday, but if not, you and I can say we've seen a tiny piece of it through the eyes of Bob.

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