Fishink in Lisbon Part 3 Monuments and Markets
Welcome to Lisbon and the third post about my recent travels. Walking along the riverfront, I was struck by the fact that there were so many sculptures and striking buildings to discover. Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) is a sculpture on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary, Lisbon. Located along the river where ships departed to explore and trade with India and Orient, the monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery (or Age of Exploration) during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was conceived in 1939 by Portuguese architect José Ângelo Cottinelli Telmo, and sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida, as a temporary beacon during the Portuguese World Fair opening in June 1940. Yet, by June 1943, the original structure was demolished after the exposition as there was no concrete formalization of the project.
On 3 February 1958, the government promoted the intent to construct a permanent Monument to the Discoveries. Between November 1958 and January 1960, the new monument was constructed and the statues sculpted from limestone excavated from the region of Sintra. The new project was enlarged from the original 1940 model, as part of the commemorations to celebrate the fifth centennial of the death of Infante Henry the Navigator.
Belém Tower became a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the significant role it played in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries. The tower was commissioned by King John II to be part of a defense system at the mouth of the Tagus river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon.
It was built in the early 16th century and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, incorporating hints of other architectural styles. The structure was built from lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion and a 30 m (100 feet), four storey tower.
The Jerónimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery, is a monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome located near the shore of the parish of Belém, in the Lisbon Municipality, Portugal. It is is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon and is incredibly ornate and detailed.
As a complete contrast, on the opposite side of the road, lies colour, contemporary sculpture and deco-inspired, modern buildings. Clean, white, sleek, cool lines… Lisbon never fails to delight or surprise.
I picked up a copy of this wonderful 2016 Calendar, from the Electricity Museum gift shop, with illustrations by the Brazilian Illustrator Yara Kono. A complete bargain at just 3 Euros! I’ll be posting more about this superb artist soon.
There is amazing graffiti and delicate pattern nearly everywhere you look around Lisbon. Interesting shapes and carved or sculpted details constantly catch your eye.
One of the ‘must do’s’, is a Tuesday or Saturday visit to Lisbon’s flea market. It is called locally the Feira da Ladra, often thought to mean “Thieve’s Market” (in Portuguese “ladra” is a woman thief) but it actually derives from “ladro,” a bug found in antiques. A market of this type is thought to have been in place in Lisbon since the 12th Century and the name Feira da Ladra was first mentioned in the 17th Century. Today, the traders here are perfectly legal, many of them gypsies showing their wares in the Campo de Santa Clara street, in the district of Alfama. The market starts at the Arco de São Vicente, an arch near where the famous Tram 28 stops.
Of course today it caters for the tourist trade, but there are still antiques and bargains to be discovered amongst the bric-a-brac and furniture.
Crowds flock, musicians play and there’s lovely wholesome food in the covered market hall too. Get there early for a great morning out.