You think guides and internet research can help you discover Portugal’s attractions? Think again. It may not be featured in Portugal’s touristic attractions, but chances are, you will be been stepping on a piece of art from the moment your feet hit Portuguese ground.
Traditional Portuguese pavement is regarded by many as an art form. It is unique in its style and a reflection of the country where it was invented. Through the Portuguese colonial empire it would leave its mark on several parts of the world.
The first-ever reference made to this striking pavement can be found in ...continue reading
It may not be its official name, but Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Monastery of the Hieronymites) is one of the greatest monuments ever built during the former Portuguese Empire. Powered by the spice trade and the ambition of a King looking for an architectural legacy to leave behind, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a tribute to the influx of wealth that Portugal experienced during the 15th and 16th centuries. Don’t forget to pay it a visit during your next Lisbon vacations.
This large building (its facade is over 300 meters long) started to come to life in 1502. Still standing today, it survived the ...continue reading
While traveling in Lisbon, you can’t fail to notice a wide, tree-lined avenue stretching from downtown’s Rossio Station all the way uphill where it meets a large roundabout with a large statue of a man and a lion. This avenue is called Avenida da Liberdade (Liberty Avenue), and the statue in the roundabout represents Marquês de Pombal a noble who ran the Portuguese Kingdom in the 18th century. He remains to-date one of the most charismatic and controversial figures in Portuguese history (and is worth a blog post of its own).
Continue uphill and you get to ...continue reading
There are no certainties as to the origin of the name Évora. The prevailing theory says that it probably came from the Celt word eburos, meaning yew tree. Judging by the name one could say it was a close cousin to the city of York in England, known in former times as Ebora Kon, or the place of the Yew trees. In the 1st century A.D., Évora was known as Ebora Cerealis, in a reference to the cereal crops that grew around it.
But even if we can’t be sure about its origins, we know ...continue reading
You may have heard of Nazaré before, particularly if you happen to be a surf fan traveling to Portugal: it was in that area, more specifically at Praia do Norte, that Garrett McNamara broke the world record of the biggest wave ever surfed (30 meters), turning Nazaré into a mythical place for every aspiring big-waves surfer. However, even if you don’t partake in the enthusiasm surrounding this popular sport, the village of Nazaré is still one of the must-see places in Portugal. Read on and discover how this seaside and sheltered village has been a place of notoriety throughout the centuries and why you should include it in your travel package to Portugal.
About a 1.5 hours drive north of Lisbon, Nazaré has been part of Portugal’s ...continue reading