Discover Downtown Lisbon – Baixa

A year ago today we began our pack-out from our home in Lisbon. My family and I spent three years in Portugal developing friendships and making wonderful memories. I cannot say enough in Portugal’s praise. While the Brits are fully aware of Portugal’s charms, I feel many Americans don’t realize what a wonderful European destination it is. The beaches and countryside are simply gorgeous and history abounds in medieval towns, Moorish strongholds, and Roman ruins.

Since I did not have a blog while living in Portugal, I have designated June “Portugal Month” and begin with a sightseeing tour of downtown Lisbon. I sorted through three years of pics for my favorites. Hope you enjoy!

IMG_8888

In 1755 a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Lisbon and destroyed the entire Baixa (lower town). During reconstruction, a grand square was built where the royal palace once stood. Praça do Comércio (Commercial Square) is flanked by lovely arcades on three sides and the Tejo (Tagus) River on the forth.

IMG_8800

A statue of King Jose I on horseback stands on a pedestal in the middle of the square; he was king during the reconstruction period.

IMG_8798

528245_10150932444062998_300195049_n

Praça do Comércio is a prefect place to begin a sightseeing tour of Lisbon.

IMG_4432

IMG_0031

IMG_0040

The dramatic Arch of Triumph (Arco da Vitória)

IMG_0030

IMG_8801

545421_10150932437382998_1571912152_n

On the other side of the arch is Rua Augusta – a wide, cobblestone, pedestrian street filled with many shops, restaurants, and cafes.

IMG_8802

IMG_4423

After the earthquake of 1755, building materials were in high demand and the Portuguese started encasing their houses in their colorful tiles (azulejos); the tradition continues.

IMG_6000

IMG_4425

Vintage sign

IMG_8804

IMG_4427

IMG_4438

IMG_8806

Portuguese pastries

IMG_8812

Bacalhau – good thing it tastes better than it smells 🙂

IMG_5987

IMG_5989

IMG_5994

IMG_8805

The Santa Justa Elevator was built by Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard, an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel, and connects the lower town (Baixa) with upper town (Bairro Alta).

IMG_9582

Stairs to the viewing platform.

IMG_9579

IMG_9568

Looking towards the Tejo, you can see the Alfama neighborhood and the Lisbon Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa) on the hillside.

IMG_9569

Castelo de São Jorge sits atop the hill. Through the years, Romans, Visigoths, and Moors have built fortifications there.

IMG_9574

Rossio square with its wave pattern cobblestones.

IMG_9575

And Figueira Square with its statue of King João I on horseback.

IMG_9570

The ruins of Igreja do Carmo – tragically the roof caved in during the 1755 earthquake. It was November 1st, All Saints Day, and the church was filled with people. This combination of earthquake and tsunami was one of the deadliest natural disasters ever,  around 75,000 people lost their lives.

IMG_8810

Rossio Square

IMG_8096

IMG_8097

IMG_8809

IMG_8808

IMG_9346

Double horseshoe entrance to the Rossio Railway Station.

IMG_8099

Stay tuned – the Alfama is my next set of photos to tackle.

3 thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s