Browsing Category : Portugal

Views and Cenotaphs: Lisbon’s Pantheon


Church of Santa Engrácia, Igreja de Santa Engrácia, Lisbon, Portugal There is an old joke in Portugal; if something is never completed, it’s like the Santa Engrácia works (Obras de Santa Engrácia).  The poor Santa Engrácia.  Construction started in 1681… and wasn’t finished until 1966.  That is quite an achievement in procrastination. There is a legend explaining why the church was so…

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It’s All About the Details in St Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon


Jerónimos Monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon, Portugal One of most famous sites of Lisbon is the Jerónimos Monastery – a late Gothic “Manueline” style building that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It’s big.  It’s grand.  It’s odd. The monastery was built on a site occupied by a church dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém.  Its monks were members of the Order of Christ…

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The Museum of the Awesome Mr Gulbenkian: Part One – From Ancient Egypt to China


Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal While America is littered with museums built around the varied collections of their millionaire founders, this sort of thing is much rarer in Europe.  The Armenian Calouste Gulbenkian, who made his fortune from oil, put his money to good use and amassed an amazing little collection of objects from across the ages which…

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Skimming the Surface of Portugal’s Maritime Glories in Lisbon


The Maritime Museum, Museu de Marinha, Lisbon, Portugal Portugal has such an awesome maritime history that I was really looking forward to visiting the museum dedicated to it.  Situated in the western wing of the Jerónimos Monastery down at Belém, the setting also seemed pretty perfect for learning more about the amazing Portuguese explorers of the past. In fact, the history of…

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