One of the most beautiful monuments I ever saw was this one in Belem, outside of Lisbon.
It is the Discoveries Monument. The Monument to the Discoveries was inaugurated in 1960 during celebrations of the 500 year anniversary of the death of the Infant D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator).
It evokes the maritime expansion and is designed in the shape of a caravel (ship), showing Henry the Navigator at the prow holding a small caravel, as well as many relevant heroes of Portuguese history (Vasco da Gama, Pedro Álvares Cabral - discoverer of Brazil - Fernão Magalhães - who crossed the Pacific in 1520 and others.
At the base of the monument is a world map depicting the many discoveries and routes of the Portugese people throughout history.
Bom Jesus do Monte is a Portuguese sanctuary in the surroundings of the city of Braga, in northern Portugal. Its name means Good Jesus of the mount.
The baroque church is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. The altar has a 3D affect due to the multiple statues adorning it. The grounds are extraordinary. There is a staircase at the foot of the church segmented in a zigzag shape dedicated to the Five Senses.
Each sense (Sight, Smell, Hearing, Touch, Taste) is represented by a different fountain. The staircase also included six small chapels dedicated to the Passion of Christ.
While in Lisbon we went to a club which had Fado entertainers. I must say it was really intriguing. The singers sang from their hearts pulling at my heart strings. It was so beautiful I purchased a cd of one of the entertainers, Marco Rodrigues.
Fado is a music genre which can be traced from the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. In popular belief, fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor. However, in reality fado is simply a form of song which can be about anything, but must follow a certain structure.
The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade which means to miss or to long for someone or something. Some enthusiasts claim that fado's origins are a mixture of African slave rhythms with the traditional music of Portuguese sailors and Arabic influence.
If you haven't heard it, I suggest you spend a few moments to listen. It is quite relaxing.
On our first full day in Lisbon we decided to take a walk. It was a magnificent day. The sun was shining and it was so nice and warm, a wonderful break from the weather we'd been having in New York. NO SNOW!!
We walked down the hill towards Av. da Liberdade, past the monument to the Marques de Pombal which resembled Columbus Circle. The cars came from everywhere, meeting at this fabulous monument for the saviour of Lisbon (which we later learned). We found an outdoor elevator. It took us to the roof tops of Lisbon with incredible panoramic veiws. This photo is just one of so many that we took.
It really is a beautiful city encompassing both old and new architecture.
We were lucky enough on our tour to be able to visit a most exquisite city, Nazare. Our tour started at the base of the city, seaside. Well, we were all just taken by the beauty of the town, sparkling ocean water, beautiful full beaches. But we didn't realize the best was yet to come.
Our coach went up this rather steep incline through small streets and tight curves (we all couldn't believe how our driver was able to navigate though all of that, but he did: BRAVO!). At the top were some of the most beautiful vistas. This photo shows you that the Atlantic Ocean surrounded Nazare. The landscape jutted out in spots so that you felt as though you were a bird in flight, looking down into the ocean.
We visited the enclosed city of Obidos. The 's' at the end is pronounced as a 'sh' in English.
This was a fun place to see, quite different than any city that I know. Only certain people that live in the city that can take cars. The streets are very narrow lined with small shops. It is high atop a mountain so that the views from the peaks are very beautiful.
There is a hotel called a pousada that is very romantic.
Well, thanks Going Places Travel, Pete. All of us want to thank you for a most wonderful trip. We really had a great time and got to see so much.
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