Tags

, , , , ,

Well this trip had been planned half way through my campaign for municipal Office and we had decided that whatever the outcome, we would be off on a vacation away from PEI afterwards and somewhere in Europe.

So we departed on 19 November on Rouge, a division of Air Canada. We flew business class of premium I think it is called and despite all the negative press, I found it to be quite nice a flight, regular airliner and all the usual trimmings, can’t see what all the naysaying is about.

We found an Air B&B in Mouraria, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Lisbon just below the thousand year old castle fortress of San Jorge formerly a Moorish Palace and citadel.

Lisbon airport is very close to the city centre, we were only 15 minutes away from our apartment. The joke is that Lisbon comes as a free gym, there about 12 hills and the city is small but everything is up or down hill some of them at a 40 degree angle.

DSC09049.jpg

this photo was taken from the Castle looking down on Mouraria where we lived, our building is in the middle of the photo.

DSC09046.jpg

From inside the Castle, the flag of the City of Lisbon and the flag of Portugal.

DSC09051.jpg

looking up to the castle walls.

DSC09047.jpg

Again from the Castle parapet looking towards the parish of San Vincente O Fora with the beautiful maritime pines providing the greenery. This church is the Royal Mausoleum to the Kings of Portugal. The monarchy was abolished in 1910 in a coup and the royal family of Braganza, retired quietly.

Some dates about Portuguese history you will here a lot about if you visit. In Lisbon 1147 Martin Moniz and a group of knights from England, Spain, France and elsewhere capture the Citadel and Castle from the Moors and expel them. Today a metro station is named after Martin Moniz who apparently according to the story wedged himself in a door of the castle allowing his companions to enter, he died in the process. The age of the Portuguese Empire starts with Prince Henry the Navigator and in 1497 Vasco de Gama,Count of Vidigueira travels to India and then to various points in Africa establishing colonies along the way. The Portuguese Empire spanned the globe and led to a Papal bull dividing the world between the Spanish and Portuguese Empires.

In 1644 the sovereignty of Portugal was restored and the Spanish Hapsburgs were forced to give up their control of the country. The Braganza dynasty becomes the Royal house in Portugal until 1910. Another metro station is named after the Restauradores (restorer). Another important date is 1834 when all monasteries are closed and confiscated and religious orders are dissolved. This happened because of a movement to liberalize society and give it a parliamentary and constitutional monarchy, the church chose to be on the side of the ultra conservative and fought the movement. In 1908 the king and the crown Prince were assassinated while crossing the Plaza de Comercio upon their return to Lisbon. This assassination shocked Europe, led to political paralysis in Portugal and two years later finally a republic was proclaimed. What is not much mentioned nowadays is the almost 50 years of dictatorship from 1932 to 1968 by the Estado Novo party and its leader Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, he died in 1970 but his government kept going, finally on 25 April 1974 the army ousted the party from power in what is called the Carnation Revolution and Portugal returned to democracy.

DSC09053.jpg

Plaza de Comercio, rebuilt in 1755 after the great earthquake destroyed much of Lisbon. What we see today is the work of the Marquis of Pombal. In this square facing the river Tegus, the King and his son the heir to the throne were assassinated in 1908.

We walked all over Lisbon, there is so much to see and do, it can be exhausting. Also many wonderful restaurants, good wines and lots of Port. IMG_2681.jpg

In the fashionable Chiado neighbourhood with the new Christmas lights. Love the sidewalks in stone mosaic pattern all over the city.

 

Advertisements