Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Padrão dos Descobrimentos and Torre de Belém: Golden Age Of Discovery Monuments, Lovely LisbonSeries 6

Padrão dos Descobrimentos and Torre de Belém 
Golden Age Of Discovery Monuments
Lovely LisbonSeries 6

One must visit place while in Belem
are the Padrão dos Descobrimentos 
or the Monument to the Discoveries


…and the ancient Torre de Belém,


Padrão dos Descobrimentos is located at the northern bank 
of the Tagus River estuary, where ships used to  depart to explore
and trade with other parts of the world. It celebrates the Portuguese
Age of Discovery or Age of Exploration during the 15th and 16th century.

 

The monument was designed to appear like
the bow of a boat overlooking the estuary,


…populated with life size  sculptures
of great ancient explorers and seafarers,
with the rear representing the Latin Cross.

 

 

Leading the pack was Henry the Navigator
Prince Infante D. Henrique of Portugal, the
Duke of Viseu, an important figure in 15th-
century Portuguese politics  and regarded as
the main initiator during the Age of Discoveries.


We were on the look out for Ferdinand Magellan,
the popular Portuguese explorer known to be the
very first  person to circumnavigate the world.


He was the fifth person in the row at the Eastern side
of the monument. The kids were interested to see his
figure as he is credited in their history books as  the
one who discovered the Philippines, where he died
after being killed by Lapu- Lapu, a Cebuano warrior.


At the from façade flanking the staircase are two inscriptions:
the first  on the left, "AO INFANTE D. HENRIQVE E AOS
PORTVGVESES QVE DESCOBRIRAM OS CAMINHOS
DO MAR"   translated as “To Prince Henry and the Portuguese
that  Discovered the Roads of the Sea) over a metal anchor;


 …and, on the right "NO V CENTENÁRIO DO INFANTE
 D. HENRIQVE 1460 – 1960" that translates to “On the Fifth
centenary of Prince Henry 1460–1960),  over a crown of laurel.


From the Padrão dos Descobrimentos,
we strolled at the scenic riverside park
which is a part of the Tagus River estuary.


It is  lined with bars, 


…and restaurants,


…and stalls selling souvenirs to tourists.


At the other end of the riverbank estuary is an
ancient watchtower called Torre de Belém.

 

Belém Tower is a fortified tower that played of the significant role in the 
Portuguese maritime discoveries at era of the Golden Age of Exploration.

 

Along with the nearby Jerónimos Monastery,


It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the early 16th century 
at the mouth of the Tagus river and serves as a ceremonial gateway 
to Lisbon in travelers in the past. The tower was apparently built in a
small island the middle of the Tagus and now stands at the shoreline 
when the river was redirected after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.


The triple attractions of  Padrão dos Descobrimentos,
Belem Tower  together with the Jerónimos Monastery,
are not to be missed by anyone visiting the Belem District.

Read my other blogs on 
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Pasteis de Belém  at Antiga Confeitaria de Belém
Tasting History, Iconic Dessert
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Praca Du Commercio
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Fabrica Das Enguas
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Miraduro das Portas do Sol
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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Queijadas de Belem: Tasting Lisbon’s Classic Cuisine, Lovely Lisbon Series 5

Queijadas de Belem   
Tasting Lisbon’s Classic Cuisine
Lovely Lisbon Series 5

It was late in the afternoon and we were starving 
after a long noontime walk at the Tejo Estuary, 
and we stumbled upon Queijadas de Belem.

 

We browsed their menu displayed outside
the restaurant and found out that they serve a
 wide variety of traditional Portuguese cuisine,
and since we really wanted to sample the
city’s local dishes, we decided to dine there.

 

Queijadas de Belem is a decent looking
restaurant with nice alfresco dining area,


…but dined indoors as we were attracted by    the lovely 
baby blue interiors, that made the restaurant appear 
refreshing and and much cooler on a very hot day.

 

Portuguese cuisine it is famous for fresh seafood
with a strong Mediterranean influence because of
its proximity to Tagus River and Atlantic Ocean.

 

Sardines is Portugal’s top fish produce that any
tourist visiting the country should not miss.
The Sardinhas Assadas com Salada, known as
Grilled Sardines with Mixed Salad in English had
plenty of bones, but very fresh and mouth-watering.
The good thing is, it was perfectly grilled so the
meat  pulls away from the bones with a tug of a fork.
One would just have to  look at what he is putting in
his  mouth, take time and savor the delicious fresh fish.


Salted cod fish is a popular processed seafood in Portugal.
The Bacalhau na Brasa or Grilled Codfish was surprisingly
tender and tasted fresh and very tasty. I was glad as I was
expecting a rubbery, briny dried  fish similar to its smelly
‘tuyo’ counterparts here in the Philippines. It wasn’t salty at all.


Of course one should never forget having Grilled Salmon
when feasting on seafood. Called  Salmao Grejaldo in
Portuguese, this was perfectly grilled and had a sweetish,
very fresh taste. One of the best grilled salmon we ever had.


So far was had a great lunch at the Queijadas de Belem
The service was good and  an the food was excellent.

 

It is located near the main tourist attractions
and just a few steps away from the tram that
connects Belem to Lisbon’s lovely city center.

Read my other blogs on
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Tasting History, Iconic Dessert
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Praca Du Commercio
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Fabrica Das Enguas
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Miraduro das Portas do Sol
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Historic Belem District:Lisbon’s Living Museum, Lovely Lisbon Series 4

Historic Belem District 
Lisbon’s Living Museum 
Lovely Lisbon Series 4

It was our second day in Lisbon, we had 
a breakfast at the A Padaria Portugueza, 

 

…and we all headed to Centro de Congressos de Lisboa, 

 

....where the European Congress of Endocrinology would be held

 

…to pick up my convention kit in advance
as the meetings would still start the next day.

 

The convention center offered us a
panoramic view of 25 de Abril Bridge, 
and the scenic and historic Tagus River.

 

It was a very clear day and the huge Christ the Redeemer 
statue  was visible at the other side of the suspension bridge.

 

Built in 1966 and dubbed as Golden Gate's twin sister,
this enormous suspension bridge across the Tagus river
is a sight to behold in any angle and in any direction.

 

It holds the world record for its foundations also by going   
262 ft below the riverbed, and apparently much longer than
San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, which it resembles.  

 

Underneath is an attractive marina, lined by
lovely green pocket parks, restaurants and bars.

 

 

From the Lisbon Congress Center we took a metro and
disembarked at the Jardim Afonso de Albuquerque, 

 

…and enjoyed the breezy park sipping ice- cold
lemonade be bought from the park’ street vendor.

 

We walked our way to central Belem and passed 
by the Museu da Presidência da República. 

 

...which used to be the seat of governance and
official residence  the President of Portugal
and presently turned into a public museum. 

 

We then proceeded to the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos,

 

...one of the most ornate religious buildings of Portugal.

 

This grand monastery was historically associated
with the explorers in the past, and believed, where
most of them stayed to be prayed over and blessed
by monks from here that before their long voyage.

 

The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is one of the
most popular tourist attractions of Lisbon and
should not be missed by anyone visiting the city.

 

In the past, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos was apparently
built on the banks of the Tagus River. Presently the
waters edge is much farther than it was 500 years ago
and the space created by the receding waters is now
the site of the beautiful Jardim Praça do Imperio.

 

It was already almost noontime so we decided to
relax and rest at the Jardim Praça do Imperio, 
where we feasted of Nestle ice- cream and
was a refreshing relief from the very hot sun.

 

 

We later explored the 
Jardim Praça do Imperio, 

 

…admired the grand fountains,

 

… and wonderful sculptures. 

 

We then visited the Padrão dos Descobrimentos 
or the very popular Monument to the Discoveries,

 

…located at the bank of the Targus River.

 

The Padrão dos Descobrimentos is one
of the most iconic monuments of Lisbon,

 

…and was constructed to honor
the great Portuguese explorers.



It symbolizes Portugal’s 15th century considered
as the countries great  Golden Age of Discovery.

 

The monument was designed to appear like
the bow of a boat overlooking the estuary,
with the rear representing the Latin Cross.

 

We strolled along the Tejo Estuary, 

 

…the scenic riverside space between 
the  Padrão dos Descobrimentos,

 

...and the Torre de Belem.

 

The Tejo Estuary is  lined
with bars and restaurants,

  

 

…and stalls selling souvenirs to tourists.

 

We were all tired and hungry as it was already past
noon when we finished our long walk at the estuary,

 

...that we decided to dine at the 
Queijadas de Belem Restaurant,

 

…where we feasted on traditional
Portuguese dishes like Sardines, 

 

…grilled Salmon,

 

… and Bacalhau. 

 

I later joined the long queue 
Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, 

 

...to buy a box of the original Pasteis de Belém, 

 

…using an ancient 1837 recipe from 
the nearby Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. 

 

We then enjoyed the sweet loot
at the beautiful Jardim de Belém. 

 

Jardim de Belém’s numerous Jacaranda 
trees were in full bloom on our spring visit,
and the bright purple blossoms serve
as a colorful contrast to the greenery.

 

We lingered a little bit more at the park,

 

...before returning to our hotel in 
Campo Grande late in the afternoon.

 

Belem to the west of central Lisbon, and
is where for some of the city’s most iconic
and important tourist attractions are found.

 

Within Belem there is an abundance of 
wonderful cafes, restaurants, beautiful 
parks, historic places, and museums.

 

A visit in Lisbon is never complete
without having been to Belem District.

Read my other blogs on 
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Pasteis de Belém  at Antiga Confeitaria de Belém
Tasting History, Iconic Dessert
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Praca Du Commercio
Expansive Riverside Historic Town Plaza
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Fabrica Das Enguas
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