Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
November 28, 2011
From journal Things to Experience in Lisbon
by Jose Kevo
July 6, 2007
Mexico City, Mexico
May 7, 2002
The hilly area of Alfama was Lison in Moorish times. The Castelo de Sao Jorge was the royal residence until the sixteenth century and the area was the most sought after in Lisbon for centuries. Today the area has a somewhat impoverished and lived in feeling to it. Streets are narrow and steep, houses are close to each other and most could do with a touch of paint. However, the buildings were constructed in better times and many have interesting architectural features, iron wrought balconies, stone carvings and interesting towers. All in all it is a wonderful area to stroll around and enjoy the feeling of old town Lisbon. Tram #12 and #28 are old style and can take you on a slow Indian Jones-like ride through this steep narrow streets area.
The Castle dominates the skyline here but it is by far not the only place to visit. If you started of by visiting the castle, stroll downhill to the Miraduoro de Santa Luzia – a belvedere with wonderful views towards the River Tagus and Graca – an area similar to Alfama which is not seen from the castle. At and close to the Mirdaduoro are beautiful tile panels – one shows pre-earthquake Praca do Comercio and another how Christians attacked the Moorish Castle in the twelfth century.
In the area close to the Praca do Comercio is the Se Cathedral. The first cathedral of Se was constructed in 1150 by King Alfonso on the site of the mosque of the recently defeated Moors. However, time and earthquakes did damage and the current cathedral is a mixture of styles. The façade has two square towers, resembling parts of the castle up hill. The interior is simple and somewhat austere and gloomy.
Probably the best thing to do in Alfama is to simply stroll around and get lost in the maze of narrow and steep streets. The Alfama is encircled by tramline # 28 and even if you get helplessly lost you are bound to cross the tramline sooner or later. Tram #28 will take you depending on the direction of travel, back to Praca da Figuiera or via Praca do Comercio to Bairro Alto.
From journal A wet week in Lisbon
by Barb B
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona
October 10, 2000
This section of the city housed Lisbon's nobility during the Middle Ages. Later, it became home to the craftsfolks, fishermen and seafarers, and for a time, was even the 'red light district' of the city. Today, it houses those at the bottom of the income ladder, yet a quaint charm prevails.
Despite the obvious poverty, one feels that this area is truly alive! Canaries singing in windows high above the street, red geraniums trailing from window boxes in each alleyway and the excited laughter of children as they ride their 'big wheels' down the cobbled lane--narrowly missing a 'wipe-out' at each precarious turn.
Fountains and frescoes can be found around every corner and ceramic tile serves as an important element of decoration throughout the area. Here, once again, we see again tiny tiles painstakingly arranged into designs forming walkways under our feet. House fronts painted in bright yellows and oranges, next to facades covered with designs of intricately arranged tiles.
The busiest street was the Rua de Sao Pedro where there are shops, street vendors , cafes and restaurants. We found shops offering delicately hand-painted ceramic tiles at very reasonable prices. These carefully wrapped purchases proved to be welcome souvenirs for our friends back home.
At the North -west edge of the quarter, the Miradouro de Santa Luzia offers a fantastic view of the jumble of houses below. It is from here that I could not help but wonder if the inhabitants of this crowded little area feel the same quaint charm that appealed so much to me as a tourist.
From journal Lisbon, Portugal