Weekend Arrives in Lisbon
The Lisbon region with its sports and cultural diversity is an excellent holiday place va- cationers seeking variety. Whether it be concerts, theatre, museums, nightlife, history, gastronomy or outdoor leisure sports such as golf and surfing - the Lisbon region leaves no wish unfulfilled.
Found at the mouth in the Tagus River ("Rio Tejo") and presumably founded by the Phoenicians around 1200 B.C. like a trading post, Lisbon fascinates visitors using its rich cultural and historical heritage and is always worth a weekend city break. In the eventful history it's witnessed many invaders like the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Alans, Vandals, Suebi, Visigoths and Moors. In 1147, the 400 years long moorish domination of Lisbon was ended when crusaders led by Alfonso I of Portugal reconquered Lisbon during the Christian Reconquista.
All rulers left their cultural imprints around the city, thereby making Lisbon a fantastic and unique mix of essentially the most different cultural and architectural influences with Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque and Traditional Portuguese architecture. Throughout the so-called "Portuguese Ages of Discovery" involving the 15th and 17th century Lisbon became strategi- cally significant as starting point for that Portuguese investigation of Africa, India, tiongkok and Brazil. The legendary Portuguese seafarer Vasco da Gama left Lisbon in 1497 to disco- ver the sea option to India.
Although Lisbon was largely destroyed with a disastrous earthquake in 1755 and completely rebuilt in contemporary architectural style afterwards, many historical monuments have remained untouched by this nature catastrophe and so are proof the cultural and historical diversity of the seaport. Of these historical sites of great interest you see Lisbon Castle/ Castle of Sao Jorge ("Castelo de Sao Jorge") built in a citadel-like style and Lisbon Cathe- dral ("Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa" or "Se de Lisboa") built-in the 12th and 13th century at the end of Romanesque style, just to mention a couple of. The Belem Tower ("Torre de Belem") using its Portuguese Late Gothic, Manueline and Renessaince Style and also the Jeronimos Monastery ("Mosteiro dos Jeronimos") using its Manueline, Plateresco, Renaissance and Gothic style were internal the 16th century and declared World Heritage Sites from the UNESCO in 1983.
At the start of the 19th century Lisbon was invaded and pillaged from the army of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1910 the very first Portuguese Republic was declared. In 1998 Lisbon hosted the World Exhibition Expo ?98.
Art lovers will relish the many museums in Lisbon including the "Museo do Azulejo" (Museum of Portuguese-style Tile Mosaics), the "Oceanario de Lisboa" (Lisbon Oceanarium) and the "Museo Nacional de Arte Antiga" (National Museum of Ancient Art). Opera lovers will appre- ciate the rich cultural agenda in the "Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos". Tourists will even love the different cafes and restaurants and also the numerous shopping possibilities like the Vasco da Gama Shopping center and Amoreiras Retail center. Don?t miss a fado music performance inside the Alfama, Lisbon?s oldest quarter.
The general public transport system in Lisbon is very well-developed and allows fast and simple acces towards the surrounding Lisbon region with Sintra, the Estoril Coast along with the Setubal peninsula. Sintra as well as the Estoril Coast may be found in the Ribatejo region north in the Tagus estuary (hence the name "Ribatejo" meaning "riba do Tejo" ("on, or beyond, financial institutions from the Tagus")). The Estoril Coast featuring its beaches and holiday resorts offers a large number of pleasurable activities including tennis, wandering, swimming or sailing and is also the best choice for beach holidays. The high density of courses on the Estoril Coast also can make it a pa- radise for people. Surfers will favour surfing hotspots like Carcavelos and Ericeira.
Another daytrip destination very easy to reach from Lisbon is Sintra. Its historic monuments such as the 1800s Pena National Palace (Palacio Nacional de Pena), the 9th and 10th century Castle from the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros) and the 15th and 16th century Sintra National Palace (Palacio Nacional de Sintra) and also the Sintra-Cascais National Park will almost always be worth visiting. Sintra was declared a global Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1995.
The Setubal peninsula (also called "Costa Azul" ("Blue Coast")) is situated in the Alentejo region south in the Tagus estuary (hence the name "Alentejo" which means "alem do Tejo" ("beyond the Tagus")). It really is legendary for the Arrabida National Park. The customers will be impressed using its unique Mediterranean vegetation untouched by touristic development and also the unspoilt wildlife which enable it to count on seeing storks, flamingos and dolphins, flamingos. Dolphin watching is really a major tourist attraction. The nature protection area invites the traveller to numerous leisure time activities for example river cruises, walking, biking, riding horses, hot air ballooning, diving and golf.
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