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Top sights of Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal
(view on map)
Portugal is a maritime country located along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, with many picturesque bays, magnificent beaches and all kinds of cultural and historical attractions. It is also famous for its islands, such as Madeira and the Azores. It is a country of fairs and festivals with centuries-old traditions and a rich history. Portuguese coffee is considered the best on the continent. Fishing, textile production and winemaking are the traditional industries of this country.

Ericeira

Ericeira is a small resort town on the west coast of Portugal, 35 kilometers from Lisbon. The population of the town is about 10,000 people. Ericeira's restaurants are some of the best places to enjoy fresh, delicious Portuguese seafood. Ericeira has many beaches for the whole family to relax. First-class service makes this region extremely popular with holidaymakers. She is considered an excellent center for surfers. Steep coasts are replaced by small sandy bays. The main attraction of the town is the cuisine. Be sure to try all kinds of fresh fish dishes. Seafood is also very popular here, especially lobsters.

Peneda-Gerês National Forest

Peneda-Gerês is a national reserve in Portugal. The Peneda and Gerês mountain ranges form a conservation zone that is of interest not only to lovers of the animal and plant world. Monuments of ancient times and ancient settlements of local residents have been preserved here. The reserve is well developed tourism. Hiking trails are provided for hiking and cycling. Tourists are accommodated in camps. The park has roads with direction indicators for the main attractions of the area. Many tourists come to see the charming beauty of the natural park. A large number of tourists come to admire the charming beauties of the natural park.

Tours in the park are arranged so that tourists get acquainted not only with the animal and plant life, but also, traveling along the paths, get into the village flooded during the construction of the dam. In addition to gorgeous landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, travelers are attracted by medieval castles, ruins of a monastery of the 11th century, and an open-air museum. Terrain landscapes are represented by plains, which are replaced by mountain ranges. Brown bears and wolves are found in the reserve, and mountain goats and eagles are found in the mountains. Locals have two houses, one in the mountains for living in the summer, and the second is in the valley where they winter.

Cape Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of the continent. The cape is part of the Sintra Cascais National Park, located 40 kilometers west of Lisbon. The main attraction of the cape is the Atlantic Ocean. Here the raging ocean merges with the blue sky, you can contemplate the endless horizons for many hours. On the elevation of the cape in the second half of the 18th century a lighthouse was built with an excellent overview of the waterways, it continues to regularly illuminate the way for sailors to this day. The lighthouse rises above the ocean by 140 meters, the height of the lighthouse is 22 meters, and the rays of it send their light fifty kilometers ahead. A stone stele with a plaque is installed on the cape, telling about the departure of research expeditions to search for and develop new lands in the past. The coordinates of the area are indicated on the plate. The stone cliffs created by nature resemble a bear with cubs in shape. On the cape there is a post office, restaurant and gift shop. You can easily get here as part of an excursion or come on your own. The area around the cape is full of interesting places. Cape Roca is one of the most beautiful places in Portugal. Cabo de Roca is a well-organized attraction.

Castelo de San Jorge (Castle of St. George)

Castle of St. George - the fortress with which the history of Lisbon began. Located on a high hill, which is visible from anywhere in the capital. It was built for two years. The whole territory covers 6000 sq.m. In the fortress, several towers and observation posts have survived to our times. There are two parks there,separated by a wall with a passage. Castle of St. George - a landmark place for the whole country. With the conquest of the Moorish fortress Afonso I in the 12th century, the country of Portugal begins with the capital Lisbon. Afonso I became the first king. From the moment the fortress was taken, the golden age of Portugal came. The castle became the residence of the Portuguese kings for four centuries. During the earthquake in the 18th century, the castle and its surroundings were badly damaged, most of the fortress and walls were damaged. From the royal palaces little is left.

Now, an expensive restaurant has been opened in the building previously owned by the royal residence. Royal ceremonies, lavish balls, and the celebration of the explorer Vasco da Gama in honor of his discoveries were held in the palace. To educate orphans in the late 18th century, a charitable organization operated. In the 30s of the 20th century, restoration began. They rebuilt the walls, excavated, set up gardens and erected monuments to the kings. A statue was installed on the square to the first king of Portugal. Guns were installed near the walls. Afonso V Palace contained African trophy lions. An archaeological museum has been opened with finds that were found during excavations in the fortress. Peacocks are an addition to the empty fortress. It is allowed to climb walls to view the city from a height. Scenes from medieval times are held in the fortress, you can shoot from archery and watch theatrical performances.

Clerigos Church

Clerigos is a Catholic church in the city of Porto, also known as St. Peter's Chapel. It was built in the mid-18th century in the late Baroque style on the Hanged Hill. The construction took a little less than 20 years. The church building is a magnificent example of baroque. The project created the Italian Nasoni for the Cleric Brotherhood. Nasoni later joined the fraternity and was buried in the crypt of the temple. The church is decorated with high-precision wall carvings and a double staircase at the entrance. The interior design surprises with overflows of marble and granite finish, the altar painting by the master Manuel dos Santos attracts great attention.

Today, like centuries ago, the church is used for religious ceremonies, organ, orchestra and choral concerts. Not far from the church stands the bell tower, considered the highest in the country. It was erected after the construction of the church itself. The height of the bell tower is 76 meters, bells are installed on the 3rd and 6th tiers, at the very top of the tower there is a platform with the city views for the public. You need to climb 225 steps of a spiral staircase to get to the site. The bell tower has a very strong foundation, the thickness of the granite walls of the lower level is about 2 meters. The tower is decorated with statues of saints and its appearance is a bit like the Tuscan bell towers. For many centuries, the tower served as a beacon for ships going to Porto harbor.

Alfama

Alfama is an old historical district of the capital of Portugal. Located on a steep hillside. In the area you can visit the medieval castle of San Jorge, ancient terraces, a museum of decorative art, the Lisbon Cathedral, the Monastery of Grace, the National Pantheon in Saint Engrasia of the 17th century. Alfama is a very peculiar area and looks like a village in a big city, one of those areas that did not suffer during the earthquake of 1775. Endless descents and climbs. The spirit of the Middle Ages is felt in it: ancient stairs and alleys, hung linen is dried. There are modern quarters near the Tagus River. There are many restaurants and fado houses.

Getting to know the area is better on foot. Unpopulated streets are sometimes transformed beyond recognition. On the day of St. Antonio, it is very crowded, the whole city comes here. In the past, hammams and medical resorts with water temperatures of up to 34 degrees operated in the region. The flea market in Alfama is located on the square next to the Church of St. Engrasia. The building is made of glass and iron. The market of Feira da Ladra is popular with citizens and tourists. It attracts lovers of antiquity and hand-made, collectors of antiques and rare things. The name of the market is translated as “thieves' bazaar”. So the market was called in the Middle Ages because of pickpockets who hunted in the market, stolen goods were immediately sold. In past times, there were often quarrels and fights in the market, and gossips gathered. But all this remained in the distant past.
 
Image by Julius Silver from Pixabay
Image by Bronislaw Drozka from Pixabay

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