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The City of Lisbon

Being the second oldest in Europe after Athens, the city of Lisbon is packed full of history, tremendous architecture, and amazing landmarks.

I visited the city in November and enjoyed the temperate climate and the wonderful food and drink that the city has to offer.

The colours of the city interest me.

In many cities, you are greeted with grey stone, albeit superbly crafted and arranged, but the city centres are often quite bland. That cannot be said about the city of Lisbon.

The Museum of Jose Saramago for instance is a very distinct building, but it sits in a row of properties, painted red, yellow, and bright white, it all adds to the feeling of modernity mixed in with heritage.

The museum of Jose Saramago in Lisbon

Of course, the old town is quite different from the sprawling suburbs, it keeps its tight narrow streets and alleys, turning and twisting on the hills upon which Lisbon is built.

But, although being the oldest part of the city, it is quite possibly the brightest part too. Some of the alleys were incredible, none more so than this one.

A bright green wall and red door in Lisbon

Looking from above you get a feeling for the old town, the tight streets, the colourful buildings and yes the hills, have I mentioned the hills?

I loved exploring, but make sure your legs are strong and that you find yourself a nice little cafe or bar to help break up the journey and recover.

A view over the old town of Lisbon

The city of Lisbon has its masterpieces too.

The Arco da Rua Augusta in Praça do Comércio is a wonderful example of this.

The absolute artistry of the craftsmen who built it is awe-inspiring and the surrounding and adjoining architecture, again with its bright colours adds to the whole feeling.

But, true to its inclusive nature, there are numerous works of modern art dotted around the square in front of the arch, giving that contrast between the old and the new.

Looking over to the Rua Augusta Arch

More history lies just up the road from the Arch with the Praça dos Restauradores - a square and monument to celebrate the restoration of Portuguese independence back in 1640.

I loved the Art Deco building on the right-hand side but of course, the obelisk is the feature point here.

A view over Praça dos Restauradores

Like any city, Lisbon also has its quirks and oddities.

Due to the (I won't mention them again after this) hills, the town planners had to figure out a way of improving the transport between the lower streets and the ones higher up.

They came up with a series of lifts, linked with bridges - quite an ingenious solution.

The bridge is no longer in place, but the Elevador de Santa Justa remains in operation for tourists to see Lisbon from a different angle.

the foot of the Elevador de Santa Justa

My final image from my trip to Lisbon is not related to an amazing landmark, it is not related to history or heritage, but it is simply a wonderful piece of modern architecture.

Away from the old town, up in the commercial district, two streets come together with a narrow amount of space between them - the solution for the architect was to construct this wonderful round-ended building.

An absolute joy.

round ended building in the city of Lisbon

Not only is the city of Lisbon the second oldest capital in Europe it is also the westernmost capital of mainland Europe. (only Reykjavík is more western).

It's got quite the CV and I would certainly encourage you to visit if you ever get the chance.


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