Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Portugal - Last day in Lisbon

From Rossio, we walked to Chiado a few minutes away.
Chiado is one Lisbon's inner suburbs with several shopping establishments, museums and theatres and the University of Fine Arts. 

In 1988 there was a huge fire in this area, which started in Armazens do Chiado, a modern shopping centre in Rua (street) do Carmo. The area then underwent a renovation that lasted 10 years. 

We went past Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa), which we gave a miss, as we had been there before, but if you climb it you get wonderful views over Lisbon.
Rua do Carmo with Armazens do Chiado a shopping centre where the fire started , at the bottom of the street
In front of the shopping centre, is Rua Garrett, and at at nr. 19 you will find a courtyard sheltered from the street noise, with a couple of restaurants and cafes.
We chose the first one on the right - Aprazivel - the interior was quite nice, with a kitchen behind a glass partition. Pleased to say that I ordered mint tea and I was also served the tea with mint leaves just like in Amsterdam!

19 Rua Garrett, courtyard with restaurants

Climbing Rua Garret at nr. 120 there's another  famous art-Deco Cafe with a terrace full of tables - A Brasileira  (the Brazilian) - opened since 1905, known to be frequented by Portugal's intellectuals, artists and writers, including the famous Fernando Pessoa who has a bronze statue  installed in 1988, of himself sitting at his usual table. It's a very popular spot with tourists taking photos of Pessoa.

Statue of Fernando Pessoa outside "A Brasileira" Cafe
A Brasileira Cafe behind the yellow umbrellas and the statue to the left

We walked around admiring the old buildings, interesting architecture, narrow lanes... 

A Coffee Kiosk

... until we reached Rua Augusta with it's arch at the end. 
The Arch was built to commemorate the reconstruction of Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake.
Construction of the massive marble arch started in 1755 and ended in 1873 and the arch can be climbed for views over the city and Tagus river.

Arch from Rua Augusta with statue of King Jose I through the Arch

Underneath the Arch

On the other side of the Arch is Commerce Square or Palace Square (Praca do Comercio or Terreiro do Paco) surrounded on 3 sides by symmetrical yellow buildings on arched galleries, housing Government offices. Here stood once a royal palace that was destroyed during the earthquake.
In the centre of the Square is an imposing bronze statue of King Joseph I. 
The Square is a popular venue for New Year festivities.
The Arch on the Commerce Square side

King Joseph I statue atop a horse

Commerce square and statue of King Joseph  I

This square was the scene of the murder of the penultimate King of Portugal - King Charles I, in 1908.
On the way from their royal Palace, the King and his family were shot in their carriage by two men in the crowd. The King died immediately, the heir (Prince Luis Filipe) was mortally wounded and Prince Manuel was hit in the arm. He became the last king of Portugal - Emmanuel II, and reigned until the 5th of October 1910, when the Monarchy was overthrown by the Republican party.

Across from the square is the River Tagus. The riverside area between Commerce Square and Cais do Sodre (where the Station to Cascais is), has recently been reclassified, and is today a landscaped pedestrian area with modern Cafes and access to the water, although you aren't allowed to swim there.

Columns Wharf (Cais das Colunas) is the name given to the two columns that embrace the marble staircase to the river. These were the "doors to the city of Lisbon" from where important figures of State like Queen Elizabeth II disembarked in 1957.
Nowadays the wharf is used by the ferries crossing the river to the south.
It's known that the Columns were finished towards the end of the 18th century, they were dismantled in the 19th century, again re-installed in 1929. In 1997 they were once more removed due to the underground works to the Santa Apolonia station, and they were again re-installed in 20018.

Columns Wharf - where the river meets the city

Column Wharf

Well, all good things come to an end, and the next day we were flying out of Lisbon towards one last day in Amsterdam before flying back home to Perth.

I hope you enjoyed the tour through the most important areas of Lisbon. Hopefully one day you will be able to see this wonderful city too.

The next 3 photos were taken from the air over Lisbon.

25 April Bridge linking Lisbon and the South

Tuesday 17 March 2015


  1. Lisbon sure is a very rich city, considering art, architecture and beauty - so sad I don´t speak the language!
    Guess you get through with English as well pretty good?
    Despite I don´t drink coffee... the Coffee Kiosk is really a place to stop by! And the Arch is very impressive, too.
    And I have never seen anything like the Columns Wharf - very interesting!

    Funny/sad coincidence... my next Perth-post will be of the last day in the city, too...

    1. The Portuguese are actually quite good with English, so you won't have trouble at all if you chose to visit.
      Coincidence about our last post.

    2. I´m still dreading the last Perth-post(s), though...

  2. Fantastic shots Sami, loved looking at your perspective of Lisbon, used to looking at Jose's images also. It's more than likely that I'll never get there so am enjoying virtual tour through your lens :)

    1. Thanks Grace, always nice to go on an armchair visit anyway!

  3. I liked your tour very much, Lisbon is a very pretty city, even in the rain.

  4. Dearest Sami,
    Enjoyed so much to go back to Lisbon via your excellent photos and very interesting story telling. So informative and husband Pieter just read with me your blog.
    Blessings from Georgia, USA.

    1. Thanks Mariette and Pieter for enjoying my stories of Lisbon.


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