|This is not the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.|
|This is not Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.|
Both of these landmarks are in Lisbon, Portugal! The 25 de Abril Bridge was our first glimpse of Lisbon as we crossed it by car to enter the city, and we were all astounded at how identical in shape and color it was to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The Cristo-Rei, or Christ the King, statue was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and also watches over the city it protects with outstretched arms from an isolated hilltop.
The week we spent in Lisbon last summer in a great little Baixa district apartment was a lovely end to our vacation - Lisbon is a magnificent city. Most impressive are the views, from almost everywhere throughout this hilly capital, of the Atlantic Ocean, the Tagus River, and red-tiled roofs as far as the eye can see.
Because Lisbon was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1755 and subsequently rebuilt by the Prime Minister at that time, a man with modern urban plans, the city today has large squares, grand boulevards, and many parks and plazas.
|Park at the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara lookout point.|
|Alfonso de Albuquerque Square in the Belém district.|
There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit in Lisbon: the Tower of Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery.
The Tower of Belém was designed as a fortified defense tower and ceremonial gateway to Lisbon to ships traveling on the Tagus River. The Tower sits on the bank of the river and is open for tours, though we did not go inside. We did admire the architecture with its arched windows, balconies, and watchtowers.
|Tower of Belém|
A short walk down the river from the Tower of Belém is another monument, the Monument to the Discoveries, a fairly recent (1960) structure to honor the Portuguese Age of Discovery of the 15th and 16th centuries. Its sculptured figures include depictions of Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and 30 other explorers. An elevator to the top of the monument takes you took a fine lookout over the city of Lisbon. Another tip for you: there are free, clean restrooms under the Monument to the Discoveries.
|Monument to the Discoveries|
It wouldn't be a great European city if it wasn't protected by a medieval castle on a hill, and Lisbon is proudly safeguarded by Castle of São Jorge, a 10th century Moorish citadel with a 360° view of the capital.
|Castle of São Jorge|
A very lovely half day can be spent walking the castle walls, climbing the towers, and, as we did, enjoy a picnic inside the large interior square.
|Santa Justa Elevator|
|Vintage cable cars in Lisbon.|
|Riding the cable car.|
Beautiful side trips, or day trips, to gorgeous towns such as Sintra, Cascais, and Estoril are an easy and inexpensive (18.40€ for the four of us to take the train to Sintra) train ride from the Lisbon station.
This is my Photo Friday link-up post to DeliciousBaby.com.