Lisbon Things to Do Tips by suvanki
Lisbon Things to Do: 2,124 reviews and 4,149 photos
25th April Bridge from Belem
This bridge is a virtual copy of San Franciscos Golden Gate Bridge, though it is longer than its American sister. This bridge is 2278m, ( which is approximately 1.5 miles). Apparently, the same company constructed both. Consideration had to be made for the fact that both Lisbon and San Francisco suffer from earthquakes, when it was being designed.
The cost was 32 million US dollars.
Spanning the Tagus River, it links Lisbon with the municipiality of Almada.
Inaugurated on August 6th 1966, and named after the then dictator António de Oliveira Salazar.
Following the Carnation Revolution of 25th April 1974, the bridges name was changed from the Salazar Bridge, to recognise this important date in Portugals history, and to celebrate Freedom and Democracy.
It breaks many records - having the longest central span in Europe (1013m or 3323ft) and its foundations break the world record by going 80 metres or 262ft below the riverbed, where they rest on basalt rock.
It is now the 17th largest suspension bridge in the world
In 1999 a train platform was added. 2 train lines run on the lower platform, while six lanes transport Vehicles along the upper platform. The rail line now means that it is possible to travel from Lisbon to the Algarve, without changing trains.
Movie fans may have spotted this bridge in many films - it featured in the James Bond film 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'.
We travelled by bus across the bridge, from the bus station to Evora and back. Part of the bridges surface is Metallised instead of asphalt, which leads to a strange humming noise when tyres drive overit.
After viewing the Monument to the Discoveries, we headed to the picturesque Belem Tower, further along the riverbank.
The Belem Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, recognised as a monument to Portugals grand Age of Discovery, and a symbol of Portugal.
UNESCO states '"It is a reminder of the great maritime discoveries that laid the foundations of the modern world."
Here, was the starting point for many of the voyages of discovery, and poignantly, for the sailors, it was the last sight of their homeland.
Sailors today, can cast their eyes on the statue that faces the river, of 'Our Lady of Safe Homecoming', long recognised as a symbol of protection for sailors on voyages.
The tower was constructed in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon's harbor. It was designed by an architect, Francisco de Arruda, whose design was influenced by the Moorish style of architecture, following time spent working in Morocco. An example of this can be seen in the watctowers. There is also a Venetian influence, in the arcaded windows and loggias.
Look too for symbols to the discoveries in the stonework, historical figures and even a rhinoceros!
Open - 10.00 -17.00 (Oct.-April), 10.00 -18.30 (May-Sept.), Closed Mondays.
Free Entrance to Lisboa card holders, otherwise 4 euros. No photography allowed inside.
We just contented ourselves with walking to the entrance gate - we were due to meet up with the rest of the group shortly, for pasteis!
Address: Avenida da India, Belem Lisboa
Directions: Tram 15
Bus 727, 28
From The Monument to the Discoveries follow the river, then cut through the marina and follow the road to the park, and you'll see the tower on the riverbank
Monument to the Discoveries
This impressive monument is one of the symbols of Lisbon. It is to be found in the Belem area of Lisbon, on the banks of the River Tagus, within walking distance of Belem train station. A group of VTers visited here, while others looked around the cloisters of Jeronimos Monastery.
It was constructed in 1940, for the Portuguese World Exhibition. Its designer was Cottinelli Telmo (1897-1948) an architect, and Leopoldo de Almeida (1898-1975), who was the sculptor.
It was altered during the following decades.
The monument seen today was completed in 1960, (by re building it in concrete) for the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry (Henrique) the Navigator. It stands 52 metres high, and is carved into the shape of the prow of a ship.
The side facing away from the river has a carved sword stretching the full height of the monument.
Prince Henry (1394-1460) is the figure at the pinnacle of the monument. He has this position, not for his Royal status (He was the son of King Joao 1 and Queen Filipa (Phillipa) of Lancaster), but for his significance in navigational skills and teaching of these (He set up a Navigational school in Sagres), and of his leading to discovering the West coast of Africa. He is recognised as 'symbolizing the glory of the discoveries'.
Either side of the monument are sculptures of another 32 figures, representing his family, Navigators, and others who had an important role in 'The Discoveries'
Pic 1 with my back to the 25th April Bridge - Top to Bottom
Prince Henry, King Afonso V, Vasco Da Gama Afonso Baldaia, Pedro Alvares Cabral, Fernao de Magalhaes, Nicolau Coelho, Gaspar Corte Real, Martim Afonso De Sousa (Navigators) Joao de Barros (writer) Estevao Da Gama (Sea Captain), Bartolomeu Dias, Diogo Cao, Antonio Abreu (Navigators) Afonso de Albuquerque (Governor) Francisco Xavier (Missionary) and Cristovao da Gama (Captain)
Pic 4 - facing the bridge, Bottom to top
Prince Pedro (son of King Joao 1) Queen Filipa (Mother of Henry) Fernao Mendes Pinto (writer) Friar Goncalo de Carvalho (Dominican) Friar Henrique Carvalho (Franciscan) Luiz Vaz de Camoes (Poet) Nuno Goncalves (Painter) Gomes Eanes de Zurara (chronicler) Pero da Convilha (Traveller)Jacome de Maiorca (Cosmographer) Pero de Escobar (Navigator) Pedro Nunes (Mathematician) Pero de Alenquer, Gil Eanes, Joao Goncalves Zarco (Navigators) Prince Fernando (Son of King Joao 1) and Prince Henry.
Inside the monument are Exhibition areas, an auditorium, Education centre, View points. Elevator.
There is also a cafe and leisure area. Small selection of souvenirs at ticket desk.
Prices vary - 2.5 Euros for Viewpoint and Exhibitions, 4 Euros for the Lisbon Experience and 5 Euros for view point + Exhibitions + Lisbon Experience.
There are concessions for families, students, holders of euro under 26 card, 65 yrs+,Retired people and pensioners, organized groups and holders of the Lisboa Card
Open -Tuesday to Sunday
May-September 10.00 -19.00
October - April 10.00 -18.00
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
Closed 1st January, 1st May and 25th December
Free Car Parking
Being a tourist attraction, there are hawkers - I was quite surprised to be approached by a man offering to sell me diamonds! Yes, I felt like buying diamonds today, and thought that The Monument to the Discoveries would be the ideal place to buy precious stones-As if!
There are also ice cream stands and drink stalls. We were 'entertained' by a couple of poncho clad chaps playing pan pipes - their repertoire was VERY limited.
- Check out my videos of our visit here.
Address: Av. Brasilia, 1400-038 Lisboa
Directions: Train -Belem
Buses-27, 28, 29, 43, 49
Tran No 15
From Jeronimos Monastery head forward, there is an underpass to the monument.
Other Contact: email@example.com
Phone: 213 031 950 fx- 213031957
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