In the 1500’s, the Portuguese dominated the oceans and ruled colonies all over the world. Now all that remains of that vast empire is a proud people and a breathtaking country.
The crown jewel of which is the capitol of Lisbon, and far too few Americans are aware of its existence or of Portugal as a whole.
Lisbon is situated in the lower 3rd of a country that is just slightly larger than the state of Indiana and is on the western border of Spain.
The city is graced by a Mediterranean climate and boasts some of the mildest winters of all the European capitals.
It is also steeped in history and culture as Lisbon predates London, Paris and even Rome by centuries.
Five things that need to be seen are…
- The Dos Jeronimos Monastery – a blend of art and architecture, it was built 500 hundred years ago and is home to the tomb of famed explorer, Vasco de Gama.
- The Castle of St. George – built in the 5th century as a Moorish stronghold, the castle offers an unforgettable view of Lisbon and the thousands of red clay roofs below.
- The National Museum of Ancient Art – located in an old palace, this is actually a collection of museums and has thousands of works of art on display, rivalling the famed Louvre of Paris.
- The Belem Tower – situated on the banks of the Tagus (a river that runs from Spain to the Atlantic Ocean), this former prison/fortress/watch tower is a historical symbol of Lisbon.
- The Alfama – the oldest quarter of Lisbon is a calm, cultured and eccentric. One can relax at a café for hours sipping espresso and listening to Portugal’s famed fado music.
Lisbon is easily accessible by air and has been enjoyed by British vacationers for decades. Now that the secret is out, Americans will surely seek out the warm climate and hospitality that has made Lisbon a top European destination.