In the second week of our trip through Portugal, we visited the cities of Sintra and Lisbon. We also visited Cabo de Roca, the westernmost point of the European continent.
We start with Cabo de Roca, which we visited on Monday. From the sunny Algarve we had over 300 kilometers to cover, and the closer to Lisbon, the more mountainous landscape we saw before our eyes. The culmination was the area around Cape Roca, where there were some really big hills to overcome.
It’s 7 o’clock, the sun will rise in a moment. We look at the lighthouse at Cabo de Roca.
A place marked with a cross is a symbolic point showing the westernmost point of continental Europe. Let us add that it is also one of the windiest places we have visited so far.
The next day we were already in Sintra. The city was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to the unique landscape and monuments such as the Castle of the Moors, Pena Palace or the Capuchin monastery. Located on the ‚right’ hill, Sintra is a small old town and historic buildings scattered over the hills.
We look at the walls of the Moorish castle built during their reign on the Iberian Peninsula.
The next day we were in Lisbon. In total, we spent three days on visiting the city. On Wednesday, we visited the former port district of Belem (which means ‚Bethlehem’), we allocated Thursday on the historic Alfama and Friday on the main part of the historic old city in Lisbon.
On Wednesday, the capital of Portugal welcomed us with a thick fog, which remained until late afternoon. We started the tour from the Belem wharf, where the Monument to the Discoveries was built on the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. The monument reminds of the great explorers and the former maritime power of Portugal.
The famous Torre de Belem. The port tower built at the beginning of the 16th century in the style later called Manueline bade and greeted all who sailed with Belem into the distant world and returned from sea voyages. The building was not only supposed to defend the port, but also to inspire respect for the sailors coming to Lisbon.
In Belem there is also one of the most important sacred monuments of Lisbon – the Hieronymit Monastery. Built like the Torre de Belem, in the Manueline style, it is the pinnacle of Portugal’s architecture that is a combination of Gothic and Renaissance style.
The monastery contains the tomb of Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese sailor who was the first of Europeans to discover the sea route to India.
We look at the monastery and the next Maritime Museum of Rue Belem, the main street running through the former suburb, and today one of the districts of Lisbon.
Going further towards the center, we pass the 25th of April Bridge, enveloped in a thick fog. On the other side of the coast there is an invisible here, a huge figure of Christ with arms outstretched, modeled on that found in Rio de Janeiro.
The next day greeted us with definitely better weather and much better visibility. We started with Alfama, whose panorama we can see from the Tagus embankment.
One of the characteristic landmarks of Lisbon is the church of Sao Vincecte de Fora.
Alfama is full of narrow, steep streets and winding passages.
In one of them we find a small bakery that serves traditional pastel de nata, a small puff pastry tarts filled with a delicate, sweet egg cream in a pudding-like consistency.
In this way, we reached the Se Cathedral, the most important sacred monument of Alfama. Built in 1150, the temple commemorates the liberation of the city from the Moorish rule.
Friday is another beautiful day, perfect for visiting the weather. The temperature fluctuated within the limits of 15-20 Celsius, which in the cloudless sky in no way resembled the conditions known to us in Poland at the end of January.
We started from the main square of Lisbon, Praca de Comercio and Arco da Rua Augusta located there.
Among the dense urban buildings there is an unusual lookout tower from which stretches a splendid panorama over the whole of Lisbon.
Right next to it is Praca de Figueira from which you can see the Carmelite Monastery on the hill. The picture below illustrates well how the center of Lisbon is located. The monastery is in a straight line really close but you have to overcome a really big difference in altitude to get to it.
Another proof that the center of Lisbon is a difficult place to move. This tram has already reached the end of its route, but to get here he had to overcome rising height.
We have climbing behind us, so we go down to the Basilica de Estrela.
The basilica was built at the end of the 18th century in the Baroque-Classicist style. It is one of the main monuments of the western part of the old city of Lisbon.
At the end of the panorama of the center of Lisbon with the characteristic Castle of Saint George on the hill on the left.
Next week we are going to Fatima to visit one of the most famous sanctuaries and pilgrimage sites of Christians and, among others, to Coimbra, which until 1255 was the capital of Portugal.