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Sightseeing in Lisbon

Modernity and antiquity collide, quite literally, in the heart of the Lisbon landscape as the narrow, cobbled streets of the old city graduate into the steely high-rises of the financial district. The waters of the Tajo river traverse the quarters of the city. New Lisbon – on the other hand - is all you expect of a major European capital. Broad, symmetric, tree lined roads, tall buildings, handsome squares and upmarket shopping districts and much more.

A centerpiece of the metro is the imperial Arco Triunfal da rua Augusta, or Triumphal Arch, located in the southwestern tip. This 16th century monument commemorates the discoveries of Vasco da Gama, and was commissioned by King Manual I of Portugal. If you want to pay further homage to the heroes of Portuguese explorations, you can visit Vasco da Gama’s tomb in Belem.

The districts of the city include the Baixa or the Lower Town, the Moorish area of Alfama, the Bairro Alto which is a quarter dotted with clubs and cafes dating back to the 18th century and finally Belem, home to royal palaces and art galleries, which is the farthest West.

In older Lisboa are monuments such as the Monastery of Jeronimos, erected as a tribute to Portuguese explorers who found the sea route to India. This quarter has preserved the winding, serpentine streets and aging buildings from Portugal’s illustrious past.Also enchanting is the Se, a Gothic-Romanesque cathedral from the 12th century. What remains today is a faint reminder of the building’s past glory, as it was ravaged by successive earthquakes over the centuries.

A relatively new attraction of the city is the former Expo site. Parque des Nacoes, the legacy of the European Expo ’98, contains not only the stupendous Lisbon Oceanarium, but also a 1000-capacity stadium, a theater and numerous restaurants and parks.


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