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LISBON'S 10 MAIN SQUARES

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LISBON'S 10 MAIN SQUARES

PRAÇA DOS RESTAURADORES

A tall obelisk measuring 30 meters (about 100 feet) was placed at the center of this square in 1886. It’s a square mostly frequented by tourists who look for the tourism office in the beautiful Foz Palace or head to Hard Rock Cafe. Others stop for an ice cream at Veneziana or sit on the terrace of Pinóquio restaurant. The former Eden Theatre with its Art Deco façade is now a hotel and there are still two other large hotels, the historic Avenida Palace and the more modern Altis Avenida.

ROSSIO

Known for its undulating cobblestone patterns first created in 1848, this square has the official name of Dom Pedro IV but everyone knows it as Rossio. It was one of the first spaces to be decorated with this type of pavement which has become so emblematic of Portugal. On the north side is the National Theater D. Maria II and two monumental fountains are at the center. The historic cafés Nicola and Suiça also survive with their terraces attracting tourists, as does the curious Chapelaria Azevedo Rua. Overlooking it all are Hotel Metropole and the Internacional Design Hotel.

PRAÇA DO COMÉRCIO

It’s Western Europe’s largest royal square (the second largest in the continent after St. Petersburg’s Palace Square), created after the 1755 earthquake. The arcades that surround it were once home to government offices for many years but are now mainly occupied by cafes and restaurants. The most famous of those is Martinho da Arcada, the oldest café in the city and a favorite of poet Fernando Pessoa.

On the north side is a triumphal arch and to the south are two turrets facing the Tagus. This was the noble gateway to Lisbon where heads of state disembarked, and the marble steps of the pier are now usually occupied by tourists who sit admiring the scenery.
At the center of the square is a bronze equestrian statue of King José I unveiled in 1775.
The city’s history is told at the Lisboa Story Centre in the east wing, which also offers cafés that allow you to relax with the river as a backdrop (Can the Can, Populi and Museu da Cerveja). On the opposite side, Aura Lounge and Chefe Cordeiro are the highlights.

PRAÇA DO MARQUÊS DE POMBAL

This square is where the old center meets the modern city. In the middle is a monument erected in 1934 to honor the Marquis of Pombal, the statesman responsible for the rebuilding of Lisbon’s downtown after the 1755 earthquake. His image stands at the top of a pedestal, facing his creation towards the river. Hotels and offices surround the square, while Edward VII Park is seen to the north and Avenida da Liberdade to the south. Worth visiting: the art exhibitions of BES Arte e Finança gallery.

PRAÇA DA FIGUEIRA

Currently serving mostly as a tram terminal, as an underground car park and skate park, this square was once the city’s main marketplace. A covered market built in 1885 was demolished in the 1950s and later a bronze equestrian statue of King John I was erected in its place.
The four-story buildings (many of them in need of renovation) are occupied by hotels and cafes, with the Confeitaria Nacional being an essential stop. The biggest curiosity is the lovely Doll Hospital while the more recent resident is the Beautique Hotel.

PRAÇA LUÍS DE CAMÕES

This square dedicated to Luis de Camões has a monument at the center with an image of the poet dating from 1867. Behind it is an 18th-century building now housing the Brazilian consulate, while on the south side is one of Lisbon’s most emblematic hotels, the Bairro Alto Hotel (worth entering to enjoy a beautiful view of the city from the rooftop bar). You’ll also find a Padaria Portuguesa, a branch of the local chain of bakeries known for its delicious “Pão de Deus” pastry. Alternatively, there’s the kiosk serving refreshments in the open air.

LARGO DO CARMO

This jacaranda-filled square is home to the ruins of Carmo Convent. Built in the 14th century, the monument was partially destroyed in the earthquake of 1755 and today is an archaeological museum. To its left is the headquarters of the National Guard where prime minister Marcelo Caetano took refuge during the 1974 revolution, leading the government to surrender on this spot. To the right is a gate leading to the Santa Justa Elevator. It was also here that the first Portuguese university was founded in 1290, where now stands the Valadares Palace descending Calçada do Sacramento.

In front of the convent is a drinking fountain from 1771 which provided water from the Águas Livres Aqueduct. Today it’s surrounded by café terraces, and mostly recommended is Chá do Carmo for a tea break and a visit to the beautiful Sapataria do Carmo shoe store.
On the northwest corner of the square is the Lisboa Carmo Hotel.

PRAÇA DO MUNICÍPIO 

The monarchy came to an end and a new republic was proclaimed on this square on October 5th, 1910. It’s now where official celebrations recalling that date take place every year. At the center is a 10m-high pillory made of marble after the 1755 earthquake, replacing the one that existed previously. The five steps at its base are now used by tourists who stop to relax and admire the cobblestone pavement and the municipal palace. Next to that building is the former St. Julien Church, today the Money Museum.
To admire it all, sit at the tables of the kiosk café.

LARGO DE SÃO CARLOS

Named after the theater built here in 1793, this square is also known for being the birthplace of poet Fernando Pessoa. Two of the city’s best restaurants (Belcanto and Largo) face the theater, as do a Marc by Marc Jacobs and Godiva store.

The tables on the terrace are those of Café Lisboa of celebrity chef José Avillez.
For several weeks during the summer the square hosts outdoor concerts.

PRAÇA DE SÃO PAULO

It’s been a sad case of neglect over the last few years but there are currently signs of a rebirth.

The Cais do Sodré district has been revived through new bars and restaurants, and a good choice for petiscos (“tapas”) is Taberna Tosca which faces the square and its 18th-century church. This is a square with a beautiful symmetrical harmony but unfortunately many of the buildings that surround it are abandoned.
A beautiful old kiosk serves refreshments throughout the day.

Source: Lisbon Lux

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10 Places in Portugal That Look Like They’ve Been Taken Out Of Fairy Tales

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10 Places in Portugal That Look Like They’ve Been Taken Out Of Fairy Tales

Take a look to the top 10 selection of places in this beautiful Southwest European land called Portugal (República Portuguesa). Just take a look at a map. Portugal has kilometers and kilometers of Atlantic coastline, which can possible, fill all the wishes of the lazy coast lovers like us. There are long stretches of sun umbrellas dotted along the white sand beach and wooden walkways; there are hidden coves and semi-deserted beaches hiding an elegant urban style. What else do you want to hear dear friends? Enjoy the photos and do not forget to let us know if you want something added or omitted. 

1. Sintra

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2. Piodao

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3. Casa do Penedo, Fafe Mountains

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4. Benagil Caves, Algarve

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5. Quinta da Regaleira

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6. Fort de Saint John The Baptist, Berlenga Island

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7. Odeleite River (Blue Dragon River)

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8. Alentejo

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9. Azenhas Do Mar, Sintra

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10. Praia Dona Ana, Algarve

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Source: lazypenguins.com

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LISBON'S 10 MOST BEAUTIFUL PAVEMENTS

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LISBON'S 10 MOST BEAUTIFUL PAVEMENTS

It’s inspired by Roman mosaics, but the traditional Portuguese cobblestone pavement developed in Lisbon during the city’s post-1755-earthquake reconstruction. It all started with Rossio Square’s wave-like patterns, and soon spread all over the capital, to other cities in Portugal, to Brazil, Macau and other colonies. Here are ten of the most outstanding examples in Lisbon today.

1 | "Amália" - Rua de São Tomé

Alfama, Lisbon

This tribute to fado singer Amalia Rodrigues is found in Alfama, where Rua de São Tomé meets Calçada do Menino de Deus. Amalia's face descending a wall towards the ground is a creation of street artist Vhils, and was unveiled in 2015.

2 | Rossio

Rossio, Lisboa
Rossio square, Lisbon

Dom Pedro IV Square (best known as Rossio) is where Portugal’s traditional cobblestone pavements were born. Its famous wave pattern (named “Wide Ocean”) dates from 1849 and is now also one of Rio de Janeiro’s trademarks.

3 | Avenida da Liberdade

Avenida da Liberdade
Restauradores square

Many of the most beautiful examples of cobblestone designs are seen down Avenida da Liberdade, which features abstract and floral designs going from Restauradores Square (with its pattern designed by painter João Abel Manta) to Marquês do Pombal Square.

4 | Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Padrão dos descobrimentos, Lisboa
Belém, Lisbon

The mosaic next to the Discoveries Monument, with its map of the world inside a compass rose indicating the routes of the Portuguese explorers, is surrounded by the “Wide Ocean” cobblestone design similar to that of Rossio.

5 | Parque das Nações

Oceanarium in Lisbon

Even in its most modern district, Lisbon did not forget its traditional pavements, although it has innovated in the designs. They’re still inspired by the oceans, with some extraordinary examples next to the Oceanarium, depicting sea monsters. Other maritime motifs cover the central walkway of Alameda dos Oceanos.

6 | Praça do Império

Jerónimos Monastery Lisbon

The large square across from the Jeronimos Monastery was designed in 1940 and completely paved in cobblestone. It chose some curious motifs -- the signs of the Zodiac and the armillary sphere.

7 | Praça do Marquês de Pombal

Marquês de Pombal, Lisboa

The monument to the Marquis of Pombal, at the center of a roundabout, is surrounded by cobblestone pavement, designed with Lisbon’s arms -- two crows perched on a caravel.

8 | Praça Luís de Camões

Luís de Camões, Lisbon

Mermaids and ships surround the pedestal of the monument to Luis Vaz de Camões, recalling "The Lusiads," the poet’s great epic.

9 | Largo do Chiado

Cafe in Lisbon
QR Code lisbon

The pavement by the city’s most famous cafe ("A Brasileira") has an abstract pattern and dates from the 1950s. A little further down, by the terrace of the Benard cafe, is a 1-square-meter QR code made of cobblestone, to provide tourist information about the neighborhood on your smartphone.

10 | Praça do Município

Pavement in Lisbon

The paving of this beautiful square dates back to 1997, and the design is by painter Eduardo Nery. The artist wanted to create a geometric pattern that would resemble a carpet, through the use of triangles and rectangles.

Source: LisbonLux

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PORTO IN THE TOP 10 ROMANTIC DESTINATION

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PORTO IN THE TOP 10 ROMANTIC DESTINATION

According to the 10 best Reader's choise Porto is one of the most romantic destination. The voting is currently running to choose the top 10 romantic destination but Porto is already well ranked. You can vote once per day for your favorite Under-the-Radar Romantic Destination until voting ends on Monday, August 3 at noon ET. So VOTE PORTO!

Known not only for the wine produced here, Porto also gave the country its name, derived from its history as the Roman settlement of Portus Cale. Sprinkled like medieval jewels on a rocky gorge carved out by the Rio Douro, Portugal's second largest city combines the best of Old World charm with modern-day comforts. Designated a World Heritage City in 1996, the 2,000 year old city offers a host of sightseeing options - best seen on foot as most of the monuments are located in the hilly city center. History buffs are sure to enjoy a tour of the Baroque churches, museums and a walk through the ancient Ribeira district, where laundry is still washed in the river and hung there to dry. Wine tours are offered at several wine distilleries. Porto's sleeping scene offers a wide selection, from venerable city center hotels, boutique gems and a 5-star resort with a unique wine theme throughout. Evening entertainment can be found in Fado clubs, wine bars and Jazz and Blues clubs.

Source: 10 best.com

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