We’re on the edge of the world! At least, that is what Europeans thought when they reached the western end of the continent, right here in Portugal. We were last in Lisbon 12 years ago, and it has been fun rediscovering places we had visited at that time. Much of the city looks the same, though…nothing new…the old buildings look old, and the new buildings are beautiful. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the second-oldest European capital after Athens, predating other capitals by centuries! Iron Age people lived here from the 8th to 6th centuries BC.
On the banks of the Tagus River is the Praca do Comercio, a huge historic square, complete with a gorgeous arch, statue, and arched colonnades in the city’s best-known yellow square, as seen in the first five photos. Exquisite, and cars used to park all around the statues..there is an old photo on display showing many VW Beetles parked there.
After those is Belem Tower, a 16th century fortification that acted as both a ceremonial gateway to the city and a fortress. The area was very busy with photos and selfies galore being taken. Following that, a short distance away, is one of the city’s most-visited landmarks, Jeronimos Monastery, now a museum and covered in towers, spires, gargoyles, and gingerbread! It is magnificent to see. It was the site for the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, forming the constitutional basis of the European Union.
Following the photos of Jeronimos are three shots of the Lisbon Cathedral. The cathedral is a mix of different architectural styles, as it has gone through many earthquakes and each time was rebuilt and remodeled. Next up is Santa Justa Lift, established at the turn of the 20th century because Lisbon is a city of hills! Everyone huffs and puffs when going UP, so the elevator was designed to ease the strain, with exits onto different levels at the rear. As you can see, it is also used as an observation deck, with views of the city and the Tagus River.
After the lift is a photo with two attractions in one. The Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge spans the Tagus River and reminds most people of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. At the end you can see a monument in honor of the death of Henry the Navigator of Portugal, erected in 1960. The picture following that is another of the Tagus River. In closing, there are two photos of buildings covered in tiles, Portuguese azulejos. Most buildings are! Some buildings have been stripped of their tiles, and they look very nude and sad. Others have not been kept up, and are quite dingy and moldy. These two are shining examples, however, of the beauty of tile!