Today we go to Lisbon, Portugal's capital, the city where I lived, studied and worked before I came to the Nederlands.
Tessa de Loo begins her story about Lisbon with the well known earthquake of 1755. If you want to know more about it, please click here.
"In 1755 werd Lissabon voor tachtig procent verwoest door een aardbeving, die gevolgd werd door een Tsunami: eerst trok de zee zich terug en keken de mensen op de kade geboeid naar de talloze scheepswrakken die nu bloot lagen, totdat tien minuten later huizenhoge golven zich over hen en de stad stortten."
(Tessa de Loo, Mijn Portugal)
About this beautiful city, let me point out some special places...
Castelo de Sao Jorge, Saint George Castle
"...is a Portuguese castle that occupies a commanding position overlooking the city of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and the broad Tagus River (Rio Tejo) beyond. The strongly-fortified citadel, which, in its present configuration, dates from medieval times, is located atop the highest hill in the historic center of the city. The castle is one of the main historical and touristic sites of Lisbon."
Rio Tejo/Tagus River e Praca do Comercio
"...is the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula. It measures 1,038 kilometers in length, 716 km of which are in Spain, 47 km as border between Portugal and Spain and the remaining 275 km in Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic at Lisbon."
" The Praça do Comércio (...) English: Commerce Square) is located in the city of Lisbon, Portugal. Situated near the Tagus river, the square is still commonly known as Terreiro do Paço (...) ( English: Palace Square), because it was the location of the Paços da Ribeira (Royal Ribeira Palace) until it was destroyed by the great 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. After the earthquake, the square was completely remodelled as part of the rebuilding of the Pombaline Downtown, ordered by the Marquis of Pombal."
Ponte 25 de Abril/ 25 de Abril Bridge (the view from the Castle)
" The 25 de Abril Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril "25th of April Bridge" (...) is a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon, capital of Portugal, to the municipality of Almada on the left bank of the Tejo river. It was inaugurated on August 6, 1966 and a train platform was added in 1999. Because of its similar coloring, it is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. In fact, it was built by the same company (American Bridge Company) that constructed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and not the Golden Gate, also explaining its similarity in design. With a total length of 2,277 m, it is the 20th largest suspension bridge in the world. The upper platform carries six car lanes, the lower platform two train tracks. Until 1974, the bridge was named Salazar Bridge."
Torre de Belem (janela)/ Torre de Belem window (Manuelino style)
" Belém Tower (in Portuguese Torre de Belém (...) is a fortified tower located in the Belém district of Lisbon, Portugal, and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with the nearby Jerónimos Monastery) because it represents the Portuguese maritime discoveries during the era of the Age of Discoveries. The tower was commissioned by King John II to be both part of a defense system at the mouth of the Tagus River and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon.
The tower was built in the early sixteenth century and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, but it also incorporates hints of other architectural styles. The structure was built from lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion and the 30 meter (100 foot), four story tower. It has incorrectly been stated that the tower was built in the middle of the Tagus and now sits near the shore because the river was redirected after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In fact, the tower was built on a small island in the Tagus River near the Lisbon shore.[8"
Have you ever heard about Manuelino Style?
" The Manueline, or Portuguese late Gothic is the sumptuous, composite Portuguese style of architectural ornamentation of the first decades of the 16th century, incorporating maritime elements and representations of the discoveries brought from the voyages of Vasco da Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral.
This innovative style synthesizes aspects of Late Gothic architecture with influences of Spanish Plateresque style, downtown Italian, and Flemish elements. It marks the transition from Late Gothic to Renaissance. The construction of churches and monasteries in Manueline was largely financed by proceeds of the lucrative spice trade with Africa and India."
Tessa de Loo also refers Manuelino Style...
" Dankzij de koloniale rijkdommen uit het verleden is er een elegante, eigen architectuur ontstaan – een Portugese variant van de Barok en later van Art Deco. Tot in de uithoeken het land vind je paleizen, kerken, kathedralen en landhuizen in deze typisch Portugese stijl, maar ook pittoreske steden en dorpen, nogal eens in een staat van verval die weemoed oproept naar vervlogen tijden… geen onprettig gevoel eigenlijk, als je er op een zonnig terras met een glas vinho verde in de hand over kunt mijmeren."
...as well as Fado, the typical portuguese music and song, unique in the world.
" Zo is het ook met de fado. Hoewel door sommige fadistos tot een kunst verheven, is de fado vooral de muziek van het volk gebleven. Overal in het land vind je plaatselijke bekendheden en als je in een restaurant zit kan het zomaar gebeuren dat iemand opstaat (de kruidenier of apotheker van het stadje) om, de handen plechtig gekruist op de buik, een fado ten gehore te brengen."
Have you already heard a Fado from Amalia Rodrigues, Carlos do Carmo, Mariza, Cristina Branco or Dulce Pontes?
As we say in Portugal: "Silencio! Vai-se cantar o Fado!" or " Silence! Fado will be sung!"
Carlos do Carmo, Lisboa Menina e Moca
Carlos do Carmo, Os Putos
Carlos do Carmo, Um Homem na Cidade
(to be continued)