Monday, July 12, 2010


This posting is a little out of sequence. We visited Lisbon, Portugal, over the weekend and then hurried back to see the World Cup Final which was the subject of last night's blog entry. Now the excitement of the Spanish championship has subsided a little so I can give an update on Lisbon.

The approach to Lisbon from the south is dramatic with a great view across the river into the docks and the city.

Our first stop was at the Church of Santa Maria and the Jeronimos Monastery. Vasco da Gama and his crew spent the night in prayer at a hermitage located on this site before departing for India in 1497. The monastery was built to commemorate the voyage and the tomb of da Gama is contained in it. Like so many of the churches we have visited, when you go in, all you can do is look up.

The monastery is connected to the church and is just as beautiful

The Monument to the Discoveries is located along the shoreline which is just across the street from the Monastery. It was built in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator who was instrumental in promoting the development of the Portugese colonial empire.

We also visited the Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch) With construction started in 1506 it was the earliest Jesuit church in the Portuguese world.

Lisbon experienced a devastating earthquake in 1755 and much of its downtown area has been rebuilt since then. The plazas and monuments are amazing.

The center of Lisbon is very hilly. This elevator is exterior to the buildings and just takes you from one street level to another, 200 ft higher.

We did our sight-seeing as a group on Friday after arriving in Lisbon. Saturday we were on our own. Kathy and I chose to visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum which has a collection of ancient and modern art and the Maritime Museum which contained some fascinating models of the ships used by the explorers. I will try to post some photos taken by the students soon.

Lisbon is a great city and we are definitely hoping to visit again.

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