воскресенье, 13 марта 2016 г.

Lisbon sights from the outside

What can be better than to look at the fascinating architectural and sculptural masterpieces while enjoying fresh air? We have such an opportunity not always and not everywhere. However, it is possible in Lisbon, so it would be weird to miss that occasion. Here is what we had time to see.

In most Western European cities which I visited, the cathedral is the most impressive building. It is not the case for Lisbon.

Sé de Lisboa looks dull. Moreover, it's difficult to find a good spot to scrutinize it for a while without being distracted. Where else have you encountered traffic just in front of a cathedral? Where is the large square crowded by tourists and flooded by pigeons, I wonder? There is always one in front of the main city church. All in all, it is disappointing (especially if you start sightseeing from this landmark assuming that the cathedral is the cultural center of every city. Luckily, we didn't do that), isn't it?..

Cheer up! Get a bus to the southwesternmost civil parish of Lisbon called Belém. Take a look at fifty-two meters high Monument of Discoveries. Great seafarers lead by Henry the Navigator (who had never sailed, actually, but was one of key figures during the Age of Discoveries) look into the distance, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and Bartolomeu Dias are among them. Persons of the same epoch but different occupations accompany the sailors. You can see a painter, a mathematician and even a poet there. The latter is the greatest Portugal's maker of verses, Luís de Camões. In his epic work "The Lusiads", which brought glory to him, he celebrated the navigations.   

It's funny to admit that being in Belém and staying in front of the Monument I paid attention only to the shape of a cross formed by the prominent part of the masterpiece. I realized that there is a sword above the cross only when I was looking through my photos a week after, having already returned from Portugal. 

In order to uphold a tradition, I should share a music video featuring the Monument of Discoveries with you. Do you remember another one (showing how a man descends the Initiation Well in Quinta da Regaleira) several posts ago? After that, I found one more music video filmed in the same park. I haven't tried searching for the videos shooted in the places, that I have visited (or I'm going to visit), before. I think, in the future I'll do it each time I'll go abroad. 

Well, let's turn back to the main topic and imagine ourselves near the Monument of Discoveries again.

Walk a bit along the Tagus river. The next landmark is unlike anything I've seen before. The Bélem Tower, which construction dates back to the first quarter of the XVI century, stands on a small island. That island is imperceptible against the background of the tower, that's why the stronghold seems to be rising out of water. The "inverse tower", its reflection, makes the whole picture incredible!

Stroll along the river towards the city center and you'll encounter more wonders.

Well, sunset is not proprietary to Lisbon but I can't avoid including it here. By the way, that "column" on the opposite bank is 28 meters high (not including 82 meters pedestal) statue of Christ the King. Its elder brother, Christ the Redeemer, rises above Rio de Janeiro.

Praça do Comércio, lying just behind, features a couple more intriguing details.

What are those columns doing there? We were not lucky enough to see where they actually stand but later I managed to google the answer

Now turn around.

Try to guess, whom you will see on the left side of the pedestal.

Walk around the monument slowly...

I assume, your answer was not "an elephant" ;) Books tell us that this creature represents the Portuguese empire's colonies in India and Africa.

Don't think that Lisbon landmarks which are worth seeing are all situated along Tagus. Even the path from Rossio metro station to Rossio railway station (no tricks: they not only seem to be located near each other, one is actually separated from another by just 200 meters) has enough attractions to make you miss your train.


Preparing for the journey, I focused primarily on museums and churches. What else should you pay attention to in such situation? Anyway, you can't be prepared either to street art...

.. or to modern architecture, which is not usually considered as a masterpiece, though it can be great.

Being unprepared that way is fine, just prefer walking to using the transport and don't forget to gaze around. Explore the whole city but not only the places corresponding to the markers on the map. 

To conclude, let's switch back to the "classical" places of interests. The Carmo Convent reminds us of the horrifying 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of those who reconstructed nearly demolished city, there is almost no traces of nature's violence left in Lisbon. Here is the one, the most popular among tourists.

The other notable detail about the Convent is that we simultaneously see both its exterior and interior parts. So, that sight serves as a linkage between this post and the next one, in which I'll invite you to follow us inside Lisbon's landmarks. 

Комментариев нет:

Отправить комментарий