Posts Tagged ‘Monument’

Down to Lisbon: Lisbon!

June 17, 2012

Lisbon from Airplane window

After our one day trip we finally arrived to Lisbon. I think it has a different feel from any other capital in Europe. In one hand there’s of course the good Southern Europe weather and sunlight illuminating it on the other hand there’s historical reasons.

Recent history has been kind in the looks of the city. While other countries were deep into World War II, Portugal remained neutral in the conflict saving monuments from bullet marks, bombing, rebuilding and other tragedies. The last time Lisbon had to undergo a major reconstruction was in the 1755 earthquake. Then it got the shape of a modern city with straight, large parallel streets downtown facing the river.

History also gave the city a cosmopolitan feeling. Lisbon was the center of a maritime Empire with colonies in America, Africa and Asia and you can see influences from distant lands in many landmarks, museums and in trees that don’t seem to belong in Europe.

Due to our errands we didn’t have so much time for sightseeing so I included some photos I took another time I was here in October 2010.

There’s plenty of photos and information on Lisbon in the internet but feel free to check our photos. There’s a photo I took from an airplane window arriving to Lisbon Airport showing the “25th of April” Bridge and the Cristo Redentor (a similar statue to that existing in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil).

Down to Lisbon: 3-A detour to Sintra

May 1, 2012

The plan was never to go straight from Porto to Lisbon. We left with enough time to stop somewhere for lunch (it turned out to be Nazaré) and before arriving to Lisbon we decided to stop again. We turned West to a different highway towards a quite famous tourist location – Sintra.

There are many landmarks concentrated in such a small area: A Moorish Castle, the Pena Palace, the Monserrate Palace… And we only had the time to visit one of them so it was a difficult choice. We went to Monserrate: a beautiful palace and gardens from the eighteen hundreds by a millionaire Englishman.

The gardens were beautiful even if it wasn’t spring yet (29th Feb). There are plants there from many origins around the world and it gives you the feeling you are inside some story or magical fable. There are small water paths everywhere and a lake decorating the landscape and you can see the Atlantic Ocean in the background. You can also find the ruins of a chapel which apparently was engulfed by Nature.

The mansion is quite unique too and is currently under repair works. I can’t imagine living in a house with so much details everywhere, from a simple door to the corridor with a fountain in the middle.

Judge by yourself from our photos:

Random photos from Portugal

October 24, 2011

Not so much time to blog nowadays. Here are some nice photos from Portugal. Don’t forget to check my other posts or categories for more.

Up to “Peneda”

January 30, 2011

The sanctuary of “Nossa Senhora da Peneda” is located high in the mountains and is not in fact part of Melgaço but of another municipality: “Arcos de Valdevez”.

Peneda Sanctuary

But taking your time to go up there from Melgaço you’ll also enjoy the views and explore the mountains and small villages in the way.

 

Even just following the road (by bicycle or by car) with some occasional stops you’ll certainly enjoy the view of the wind turbines spinning as they produce electricity, the water courses cutting their way in the mountains and you’ll enter the Peneda-Gerês National Park in “Lamas de Mouro” – Melgaço. It is possible to find wild mountain horses often.

Please don’t forget to check my other posts about Melgaço.

More photos from the sanctuary can be found: HERE

Photos taken in January 2011. Temperatures in Melgaço were around 10-15ºC (50-59F)

Around the webs: Melgaço in Youtube

January 10, 2011

Melgaço is one of those unknown destinations in Portugal with plenty to offer as you can check on my previous post.

Sign on the Spanish side of the Bridge

I’ve found some interesting videos on Youtube that add a different angle.

Video 1Aerial view

This video shows an aerial view of the Minho River and Melgaço.

It begins with the River and the international bridge between Spain and Portugal.

At 0:42 you can see the rural Hotel “Quinta do Reguengo”

At 1:09 it shows the Sports Complex

You can get a good view of the town with the castle tower standing out at 2:30

Video 2Bridge Jumping


I’ve talked about the practice of extreme sports in Melgaço in my “Melgaço Radical” post.

Here’s a video of some people jumping from the International bridge if you’re feeling brave today.

Video 3RC helicopter films the Monte de Prado Hotel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7IXtENrSHc

This video shows the “Monte de Prado” Hotel located in the Sports Complex and near the river.

Oporto: Castelo da Foz

January 22, 2010
This post is part of  Matosinhos – Oporto following the Atlantic Ocean and Douro River, please check the Index page for the other posts following the same tour.
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Castelo da Foz

 

“Castelo da Foz” is also known as “John the Baptist Fort”. It was built in the end of the 16th century for the defense of the Atlantic coast and the entrance to the Douro River. The building of the castle absorbed the Church (in renaissance style) that was previously in the same place.

There is no ticket required to visit the castle but the place is not crowded at all, there was only one other tourist when I visited, no one else!

Art Exposition inside

There was a painting/art exhibition in a large room inside, the only person there was the artist himself. He confirmed me that one can explore the Castle at his own will but there are some rooms off-limits where apparently there are some administrative offices.

From the balcony outside it is visible that some parts of the Castle have suffered the passage of time. There’s a good view of the mouth of the Douro River.

Melgaço: Matriz Church

November 18, 2009

Note: Religious content – This following post shows the inside of a Roman Catholic Church in Melgaço, if you don’t want to see the photos please skip it.  Sorry for the inconvinience.

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“Igreja Matriz” was also known as “Igreja de Santa Maria da Porta” which means Saint Mary of the Door because it was located near the Eastern Door of the town walls (nowadays inexistent) in the medieval ages. According to the date in the smaller door of the Temple, the church was built in 1262; however the monument was improved and restored during the centuries.

The main door has a more recent style, almost gothic, probably from the last quarter of the XIII century.

Matriz Church main door

In the interior altars are made of wood with gilded details. view photo 1; view photo 2; view photo 3; view photo 4

On the left chapel there are oil paintings from the XVI century. view photo

Inside Carmo and Carmelitas churches

November 4, 2009

Note: Religious content – This following post shows the inside of Roman Catholic Churches in Oporto, if you don’t want to see the photos please skip it.  Sorry for the inconvinience.

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For more information on the location of this churches please check the “Praça de Gomes Teixeira” post.

Carmo

Carmo

Carmo Church

Carmo Church or “Church of the Third order of Carmo” was built in the second half of the XVIII century in Rococo style, following the project by José Seixas. In 1912 the outside wall was covered by a huge “Azulejo” designed by Silvestre Silvestri.

In the interior, golden chapels have a very detailed ornamentation. view photo 1 ; view photo 2 ; view photo 3

There is a painting on the ceiling of the main chapel. view photo 4

Carmelitas

Carmelitas

Carmelitas Church

The monastery of the Carmelitas barefoot friars and its Church were built in the first half of the XVII century. The church is designed in style with Classical and Baroque influences. In the XVIII century the interior was enriched with gilded chapels and pulpits. The monastery part of the building was converted into military quarters after the extinction of the religious orders in the XIX century.

The backgrounds of the chapels look simpler than Carmo Church. view photo 1 ; view photo 2

There is a chapel on the entrance dedicated to the Virgin Mary apparitions in Fatima. view photo

 There is a Pipe Organ upstairs in the choir area. view photo

Inside Trindade Church

October 15, 2009

Note: Religious content – This following post shows the inside of a Roman Catholic Church from the XIX century, if you don’t want to see the photos please skip it. Turning site previews off temporarily could also be a good ideia. Sorry for the inconvinience.

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Central Dome

I found it hard to translate the name of the Saints to English and unfortunately I don’t know anyone with such specific knowledge so I did my best to add understandable notes, thank you for your comprehension.

As mentioned in the “trindade and aliados” post, the Trindade Church was built during the XIX century in neoclassical fashion following the design of the architect Carlos Amarante. The interior has the shape of a cross, the Main Altar in front of the main entrance and there’s one secondary Altar on each side: right and left. On the wide corridor towards the main Altar and before the crossing there are 3 smaller chapels on the walls of each side. view photo

As you enter the church, on your right wall you can see the chapels of (main door to main Altar direction):

  • “Sagrado Coração de Maria” (Sacred Heart of Mary) view photo
  • “Nossa Sra. das Dores” (Holy Lady of Pains) view photo
  • “Nossa Sra. da Conceição” (Holy Lady of Conception) view photo

 

On the left wall (main door to main Altar direction):

  • “Sta. Teresinha” (Saint Teresa) view photo
  • “S. José” (Saint Joseph) view photo
  • “Sagrado Coração de Jesus” (Sacred Heart of Jesus) view photo

 

Then you’ll reach the crossing with the two secondary Altars on each side:

The Altar on the right has “Nossa Sra. de Fátima” (Lady of Fatima) in the middle, “Santa Catarina” (Saint Catherine) on the right and “Santa Inês” (Saint Agnes) on the left. view photo

The Altar on the Left has “Santíssima Trindade” (Holy Trinity) in the middle, “S. Pedro” (Saint Peter) on the right and “S. João” (Saint John) on the left. view photo

The Main Altar has a big painting of the Baptism of Christ in the middle, “Nossa Sra. da Paz” (Lady of Peace) on the right and “Nossa Sra. das Mercês” (Lady of Grace) on the left. photo 1 ; photo 2

As you leave through the main door you can see the statues of two golden angels and a pipe organ in the balcony above. view photo

Clerigos Tower

October 12, 2009

Continue the path i followed in the “Trindade and Aliados” post: Here

The Tower is a part of the Clerigos Church and both were projected by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni and built between 1731 and 1763. It’s an example of the Baroque and Rococo architectural style in northern Portugal.

The Clerigos Tower is considered by many the main symbol of Oporto. With its 6 floors and 75 meters (246ft) it is the highest tower in Portugal. The entrance for visitors is located on the side of the building and for 2€ you can enjoy all of its 225 steps and of course a magnificent view over the city. The stone stairwell is tiring and a bit tight but luckily there weren’t many visitors on the ocasions i was there.

Be careful if you’re taking children with you because there is a considerable space between the stones that form the outside barrier of the upper balcony, luckily never heard of anyone falling down. I don’t recommend going all the way up if you suffer from vertigo.

Opening Times:

Tower

April to October (9:30 – 13:00 || 14:30 – 19:00)

 November to March (10:00 – 12:00 || 14:00 – 17:00)

 August (10:00 – 19:00)

Church

8:45 – 12:30

15:30 – 18:30

 Sundays: 10:00 – 13:00 || 21:00 – 22:20

 

Note: dowloading the higher resolution pictures will probably give you better options to zoom in and out.

 


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