Rua Augusta Arch is one of the most highly regarded landmarks in the city of Lisbon. Seen by some as Portugal's Arc de Triomphe, it was constructed in 1873 and designed by the notable French sculptor, Antoine Calmels. The structure is crowned by nine elegant allegorical statues signifying Portugal's social and political history. Included are Vasco da Gama, who discovered the maritime route to India in 1498; Nuno Álvares Pereira, who helped the Portuguese gain independence from Spain; and the politician Marquês de Pombal, who contributed to the reconstruction of Lisbon after its devastating earthquake in 1755.
The Mosteiro dos Jéronimos is an homage to the Manueline or the Portuguese Late Gothic style of architecture, built entirely in limestone. The monastery was commissioned by Manuel I to commemorate Vasco da Gama's successful voyage to India. The walls are covered with an assortment of intricate carvings including tropical plants and wild animals inspired by voyages to Africa and the Far East. Inside, there are three tombs: the tomb of Vasco da Gama, the great Portuguese explorer who discovered the maritime route to India, the tomb of Dom Manuel, the king who was in power at the time of da Gama's journeys, and finally the tomb of Luis de Camoes, the poet who accompanied da Gama on his many travels. The monastery was home to the Order of St. Jerome who dedicated their service to sailors embarking on long voyages and was a symbol of Portugal's maritime legacy.
Situated in the Convento Madre de Deus, the National Azulejo Museum, which is also referred to as the Tile National Museum, has an original Azulejos collection of the 15th Century. Established in 1965, the museum is renowned for housing one of the world's largest collections of ceramics. Some of the museum's popular tiled exhibitions include a 17th-century panel, Nossa Senhora da Vida retabule, Great View of Lisbon, The Hunting Room and many more.
The Sanctuary of Christ the King or Santuario Nacional de Cristo Rei towers at an impressive 110 meters and was inspired by Rio de Janeiro's famous Christ the Redeemer statue. The pedestal is 82 meters high and the statue another 28 meters, and an elevator takes visitors to the top, where there is a mesmerizing view over Lisbon, Almada and the Tagus River. The statute, considered a symbol of the city, was completed in 1959 and believed to have been constructed to give thanks that Portugal was spared the devastating effects that plagued much of Europe post World War II.
On the cusp of the Tagus, the grand Praca do Comercio was once a busy landing port for arriving vessels and was for many visitors the very first glimpse of Lisbon. The square is surrounded by elegant arcades built in the 1700s, painted in a distinctive shade of yellow while in the center, the statue of of Dom José I astride a charger, commands attention. It's the majestic and ornate Arco da Rua Augusta with its six-columned gateway topped by beautiful sculptures by Célestin Anatole Calmels representing 'glory', built to commemorate the city's survival of the earthquake in 1755, that draws the eye. At sunset, the square's mosaicked floors and historic buildings awash in a blaze of fading sunlight are one of the city's most picturesque sights.
The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (Calouste Gulbenkian Museum) houses a beautiful collection of objects, which at one time belonged to the private collection of the businessman, Calouste Gulbenkian. Inaugurated 14 years after his death, this museum includes some rare works from a variety of periods. Pieces of Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Islamic-Oriental art are all showcased here. The museum is complemented by a vast collection of European paintings from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the last century as well. Works from the likes of Lochner, Renoir, Monet, Manet, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Rodin are on display here.
The space is dedicated mostly to the presentation of experimental character exhibitions. However, it's also a good place to host live music concerts and other activities, due to the great acoustics.
This museum was opened in 1996 in the Palace of the Contador Mor under the initiative of Lisbon's Town Hall. It features a bookshop, a public library (with databases containing 5000 examples of Portuguese and foreign comic book authors), multimedia rooms, newspapers, reading for children and even comic strips. The museum also organizes temporary exhibitions, which are shown in this space.
Sintra's ridge is truly enchanting, due not only to its overwhelming variety of wild and colorful flora, but also to the massive rocks that decorate every turn. The Gruta das Fadas is found inside a large granite boulder not too far from Jardim da Pena's main gate.
Volta do Duche is one of the best-known areas in Sintra. It's also the namesake for the main street of Vila Velha, or old town, where a public bath was once located. Along the street, there is a wall that frames a vast garden and some say that both rain and irrigation water that ran down this wall contributed to the streets name, which means 'shower's turn'.
The Tapeçarias de Portalegre Gallery is the artistic representation of the commercial products of the Portalegre tapestry manufacturers. The gallery space, situated at the Rua da Academia de Ciências, sits inside the ancient stables of Pombal Palace. There are two temporary exhibition halls whose exhibits frequently rotate and change. The exhibits include a great variety of Portuguese and foreign artists who have created tapestries in Portugal. Some exhibitors include: Jean Lurçat and Le Corbusier, along with Almeida Negreiros, Guilherme Camarinha, Maria Keil, Júlio Pomar, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Costa Pinheiro, Sá Nogueira, Lourdes Castro, Eduardo Nery, Graça Morais, Jorge Martins, José de Guimarães, Menez and Rogério Ribeiro. Entrance is free.
Magellan, as he is better known in English, or Fernão de Magalhães, got his place in history mostly due to being the first to circumnavigate Earth. Magalhães was born in Portugal sometime around 1480 and later died in 1521. He served Portugal during most of his young life, only deciding to leave and work for the Spanish kingdom after being barred by the Portuguese king, Dom Manuel I. The statue of Magalhães, near downtown Lisbon at the Praça do Chile, was an offer from the Chilean government to the Portuguese people.