An August 1999 trip
to Lisbon by Barb B
Quote: A stately city with classic squares, ancient castles, cathedrals and a central shopping district. A city so close to my native San Francisco, the Magnificant harbor and the wonderful Portuguese port wine are flavors worth savoring. Like a fine wine, enjoy all of the flavors of Lisbon.
Lisbon, is a city, much like San Francisco--draped across seven hills. Lisbon, also suffers the devistation of earthquakes. In fact, in 1755 the city was struck by such a violent earthquake that in less than ten minutes, the city was in ruins. It was a unique pleasure for me to visit this wonderful city and savor the full range of its many flavors, so similar to my native San Francisco.
Hotel | "Four Seasons Hotel - The Ritz Lisbon"
Rooms are extremely comfortable with huge closets, cozy bed linens and comforters, and CLEAN carpeted floors! (So often in Europe, I find clean rooms with 'nasty' carpets!!) TV, Room Service and Telephone services at their best, of course!
The view from your room's private balcony, as you look out on the bustling city of Lisbon is magnificent--but the traffic tells you 'Terribly crowded, do not drive here!'
The rooms are 'more than just comfortable'. Every effort has been made to make your stay pleasurable.
Tour services are available in the hotel. Many tours start here and arrangements for other tours are readily available. The hotel has a comfortable bar where you can order light meals and snacks. We did not have the opportunity to try the hotel's restaurant.
An extremely pleasant stay....All of our needs were met. Cab service is available to and from the hotel--normal charges apply.
NOTE--This is a wonderful hotel!!! However, you will find mostly British and Americans in this hotel. If you are looking for an opportunity to meet and mix with locals -- this is not the place! Hotel staff all speak English very well and you will have no language problem. A magnificent stay if you want or need some luxury!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2000
Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon
RU RODRIGO DA FONSECA 88
Lisbon, Portugal 1099-039
Attraction | "Torre de Belem"
With turrets and open balconies, the chalk colored tower provides a picturesque sight against the blue waters and magnificant views can be had from the tower platform.
From the base of the tower you can see the 25th of April Bridge, and the monument of Christ the King in the distance. The "Ponte 25 de Abril or Ponte Suspensa" as the bridge is known, is the longest suspension bridge in Europe. It was opened in 1966 and is almost 2500 yards long with a span of 1108 yards between the piers. The Bridge provides an almost identical picture of San Francisco's famed Golden Gate Bridge. The Monument of Christ the King stands on the hillside above the harbor with hands outstretched to protect the harbor of Portugal's capital and principal port.
Belem Tower/Torre de Belem
Avenida Da Brasilia
Inside the monument there are photographs of the 15th century seamen adventurers and their historic journeys. There are also video displays revealing Lisbon's eternal link to the lure and wonder of the sea. You can take the elevator to the observation platform on top of the monument.
Below the monument, the mosaic in the square forms an intricate compass and a map of the world.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 8, 2000
Monument to the Discoveries
Because we had only a few hours to spend here, we chose to walk around the gardens and were only able to visit one other site. Therefore, we chose to visit the Church of Santa Maria, what we felt to be the most significant building.
The church is located at the south-east corner of the complex. A magnificant south doorway leads into the three-aisled church. The church was built in 1517 and the Chior area, built in High Renaissance style was added in 1571.
The church houses numerous art treasures: huge octagonal piers, decorated reliefs, massive stained glass windows, richly carved alters and stairways, and an etched and gilded organ loft. It is said that a total of 5 kings, 7 queens and 19 prince and princesses are entombed within the church. Under the organ-loft are the sarcophaguses of Vasco da Gama and Luis de Camoes.
Once again, here in the church, we noticed the tiny intricately laid patterns of tiles under our feet serving as grave stones for of those entombed below.
Other buildings within the Monastery complex include a Naval Museum, Planetarium, Archaeological Museum, Museum of Coaches, and of course the Monastery.
Buildings are opened from 10am - 5pm (6pm in Summer)and are closed on Monday.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2000
Church of Santa Maria
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos de Belem
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.
South East Section of Town
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