6a0120a92e343a970b019aff2ba686970c-200wiToday Nautica
called on Lisbon, Portugal, a beautiful city with a rich blend of historic
neighborhoods and modern architecture. As Blogger-at-Large for Oceania Cruises,
this is one of my favorite places to visit, so I wanted to share some
highlights of this captivating city.
6a0120a92e343a970b019aff2b46a6970b-200wiSailing into port, one of the first sights is the 25th of
April Bridge, a suspension bridge that connects Lisbon to Almada on the south
bank of the Tagus River. This bridge might prompt you to double check your
itinerary, as it strongly resembles the Golden Gate Bridge. Considering its
beauty and elegance, it’s no wonder that bridges around the world have
incorporated elements of its design.
6a0120a92e343a970b019aff2ba723970c-200wiAfter enjoying the scenic sail in, a good place to begin
exploring Lisbon is the impressive Monument of Discoveries on the north bank of
the Tagus River. Completed in 1960, the monument celebrates the Portuguese Age
of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries. The main statue at the front is
Henry the Navigator, an important explorer in the early days of the Age of
Discovery. Flanking each side of the monument are 33 historic figures from this
dynamic time in Portuguese world exploration.
6a0120a92e343a970b019aff2b47c6970b-200wiNearby is the Cultural Center of Belém, built to accommodate
the administration of Portugal’s European Union Presidency in 1992. After the
administration’s term expired, the space was adapted for conferences, exhibitions
and live performances. Lisbon offers a fascinating array of architectural
styles, as can be seen by contrasting this modern structure with the 18th
century National Palace of Belém that stands nearby.

Just across the street can be found another architectural
contrast in the remarkable Hieronymites Monastery, designated a UNESCO World
Heritage site in 1983 along with the Tower of Belém. Completed in 1601 after
100 years of construction, it has been described as Portuguese art at its best.
While I have a limited familiarity with Portuguese art, it is difficult to
imagine a more impressive example. A prominent monument to the Portuguese Age
of Discovery, the magnificent church represents the most elaborate expression
of the unique Manueline style that distinguishes Portuguese architecture of the
period. The final resting place of Vasco de Gama, the monastery also houses the
Maritime Museum and the National Archaeology Museum.



You can visit all of these wonderful places in the parish of
Belém, and that is only one of several fascinating neighborhoods in Lisbon. For
remarkable views of the entire city, head east to the historic Alfama district and
St. George’s Castle, or Castelo de São Jorge in Portuguese. Perched at the top
of one of the highest hills in Lisbon, the imposing castle overlooks the
historic city center. While the oldest remains found on this site date back to
the sixth century BC, the existence of the castle dates back to the 11th
century. In this historic edifice, King Manuel I welcomed Vasco de Gama home from
his voyage to India, and the castle was also the site of the first Portuguese
theatrical performance.


Lisbon has many other charming neighborhoods to explore as
well, each with its own unique appeal, and I look forward
to sharing more highlights soon. If you wish to experience this enchanting city
for yourself, there are several opportunities to travel to Lisbon with Oceania


  1. Marla,
    Cultural Connoisseur is a fantastic itinerary! Enjoy your upcoming cruise and feel free to share your impressions of Lisbon and the Oceania Cruises experience here in the blog comments!

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