"Monsanto" Parque Florestal de Monsanto - Monsanto Ecological Park Tip by J_Antunes

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When people hear of Monsanto they think of the multinational company that does some genetic manipulations in plants and is normally quite polemic.

In Lisbon there is a different Monsanto. One of the hills of Lisbon that was an agricultural area was transformed in 1934 in a forest, the biggest urban park in Europe with almost 1000 hectares. It is called the green lung of Lisbon, has more than 150 species (birds, squirrels, bats, etc) and many trees. Throughout times the park was drilled to do roads and build buildings but it is still quite big and calm.

There are several places in the woods to do picnics with places to do the grills (Mata de São Domingos, Zona Recreativa do Calhau, Parque de Merendas do Alvito, Parque da Pedra, Parque de Merendas do Moinho do Penedo or Vila Guiné).
Playgrounds and areas of leisure for children are available such as Parque do Alto da Serafina, Parque do Alvito or Parque dos Moinhos de Santana.
There is also a Camping that it will only be a good choice if you have a car to get to Lisbon (http://www.roteiro-campista.pt/Lisboa/monsanto.htm).
Monsanto is a windy place and there are some remains of old windmills scattered throughout the park. Many are in ruins.
This mountain was used to take stone for the buildings of Lisbon so there are some remainings of the old quarries across the park
There are some fortresses and military installations throughout the park since it was an important defense position (Forte do Alto do Duque, Forte de Monsanto, Luneta dos Quartéis).
Monsanto is the place where it was built the telecommunications tower of Lisbon.
It is also a nice area to practice sports. There are tennis clubs, maintenance circuits, paths for bikes, skates, climbing,
There are several beautiful overlooks over the city, the bridge and the river such as Keil do Amaral Park, Montes Claros, etc.
There are many nice restaurants scattered around Monsanto park such as Chimarrão, Monte Verde or Luneta.
Ecological activities are done by the park Interpretation Centre - The Espaço Monsanto (Schedule - From 21 March-20 September: Thu-Fri 9h30-17h00, Sat 9h30-18h00, Sunday 14h00-18h00; From 21 September to 20 March: Thu-Sat: 9h30-17h00, Sun 14h00-17h00) ? that has a permanent exhibition to better know and learn about this Park. There is also a medium-sized auditorium, a small amphitheatre, car park and a small picnic area. Other companies, such as terramater (www.terramater.pt), do also activities, in this case trips to search for mushrooms. There is a monthly schedule of activities most at weekends.
In the area close to Benfica there is the beautiful Palace of Marqueses da Fronteira a Baroque Palace with a wonderful garden full of glazed tiles and statues. Nearby there is also a nice church. To enter the palace you need to take a guided tour (May-Sep: 10h30, 11h, 11h30, 12h00; Oct-Apr: 11h, 12h, closes Sundays and Holidays; Phone: +351 21 778 20 23 E-mail : fronteiraalorna@mail.telepac.pt).

Address: Monsanto
Directions: Buses (Carris): 711, 714, 723, 24, 729, 70
Phone: 808 20 32 32
Website: http://www.cm-lisboa.pt/en/living-in/environment/monsanto-forest-park

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 14, 2009
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