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Architecture of Portugal. Must see and must visit landmarks

Belem Tower, Lisbon

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Belem Tower is the fortified building on the island in the Tagus river. The tower is one of the symbols of Lisbon.
» The Belem Tower was built in 1515-1521 in honor of the Vasco da Gama sailing to India.
» The four-storey building of 35 meters was built in Manueline architectural style, examples of which are almost lost this day.
» During its existence, the structure has managed to serve as a small defensive fort, a gunpowder warehouse, customs and even a prison.
» Currently, the tower is declared UNESCO world heritage site. It’s open for tourists.

Bolsa Palace, Porto

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Palacio da Bolsa was built on the ruins of a monastery. The construction began in 1842. The building was intended for trade.
»  It had been constructed for a long time, so the interior was finished only in 1910. In the palace, there are a lot of rooms that have a unique name and design.
»  The biggest room is called “Nations' Courtyard”. Its ceiling is a glass octagonal dome. On the dome, there are emblems of countries Portugal traded in the 19th century with.
»  There are also the Tribunal Room and the Assembly Room. The Golden and Arab Rooms decorated in the Moorish Revival style are the most impressive. Here, important political figures and noble guests are hosted.
»  It is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
»  In other rooms, there are paintings, sculptures, beautiful pieces of furniture, and dishes.

Castle of Sao Jorge, Lisbon

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Castle of Sao Jorge is the fortress located on a high hill; it’s visible from almost anywhere in the city.
» The castle has long served as a royal residence until the 16th century, when the Ribeira Palace was built.
» The Castle of Sao Jorge at different times was used as a theater, a prison and an arsenal. The earthquake of 1755 turned the castle in ruins.
» In 1938, active reconstruction of the castle began, in which the medieval wall restored, and the park with monuments to the Great King Afonso I and Manuel I was laid out.
» Today the castle is open for visitors who could climb the tower and enjoy breathtaking view of the city. The castle has interesting multimedia exhibition about the history of Lisbon.

Clerigos Church, Porto

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Clerigos Church was built in 1750 by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni. The construction lasted for 18 years. Nasoni built a bell tower, the Torre dos Clerigos, behind the church in 1763.
»  During the construction, the architect joined the Brotherhood of the Clergymen. When he died in 1770, he was buried in the crypt of the church.
»  The church and the tower are designed in the baroque style and decorated with carved elements and statues of saints. The walls on the ground floor are 2 m thick.
»  The bell tower is 76 m high. It is seen from afar. The tower has long been a reference point for navigators.
»  You can get up the spiral staircase and reach the top of the tower. There is an observation platform.
»  In 1910, the Torre dos Clerigos was declared a national monument.

Crystal Palace, Porto

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The Crystal Palace in Porto was built in 1865 when the Worldwide Exhibition was held. It resembles the palace in Hyde Park which was also built for hosting the Worldwide Exhibition in 1851.
»  The Crystal Palace has long disappeared. At its site, a big multifunctional pavilion with a glass roof was built. Here, different events and festivals for adults and children are held.
»  The park around it impresses with alleys and flowerbeds, walking peacocks, and comfortable benches. There are a lot of sculptures in the ancient, classical, and modern avant-garde styles.
»  In the park, there is the Rose Garden, the Scented Garden, and the Romantic Museum. In the late 19th century, the fugitive King of Sardinia, Carl Albert lived here with his family. Nothing - old furniture, the collection of paintings, and tapestries - has changed since the king’s death.
»  On the ground floor, there is a port wine saloon and taste this famous Portuguese drink.

Discoverers Monument, Lisbon

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The Discoverers monument is dedicated to the outstanding figures of the Portuguese Age of Discovery.
» The height of the monument is 52 meters.
» The model of the monument was created in 1940, but the latter was opened only in 1960.
» The monument is a caravel of white limestone with the figure of the mastermind of the Portuguese geographical discoveries, Henry the Navigator, on the snout. He is surrounded with 32 other important personalities of the Age of Discovery, including monarchs, explorers, cartographers, artists, scientists and missionaries.
» Everybody can get inside the monument via elevator or climbing a height of 52 meters, where you can admire spectacular views.

Dom Luis I Bridge, Porto

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Dom Luis I Bridge was built at the site of an old suspension bridge. The architectural project was offered by a Belgium company.
»  Leopold Valentine and Theophile Seyrig worked for it. Seyrig was a companion of Gustave Eiffel who constructed the Maria Pia Bridge that was named after a wife of King Luis I.
»  Leopold Valentine supervised the construction of the bridge between 1880 and 1887. The bridge was named after King Luis I. The King rewarded Leopold Valentine with a medal.
»  The bridge is 386 m long and has two levels. The lower one is intended for cars, pedestrians, and cyclists. At the upper level, there is a light railway and a metro line. There is a special pedestrian walkway.
»  In the evening, the bridge is illuminated by bright garlands and decorates the city. It is the symbol of Porto.

Estrela Basilica, Lisbon

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Estrela Basilica was built by order of Queen Mary I of Portugal by a vow after the birth of her son Jose, Prince of Brazil.
» Construction of the basilica was finished in 1790, two years after the death of Jose from smallpox at the age of 27 years.
» The Basilica was built in Late Baroque style, but there are elements of classic architectural solutions.
» Marble of three types: gray, pink and yellow was used for construction.
» There are two belfries near the temple adorned with statues of the saints and allegorical figures. Paintings by Italian artist Pompeo Batoni can be seen inside.
»  The main attraction of the basilica is scene of the Nativity consisting of more than 500 figures. The basilica is also the tomb of Queen Mary I.

House of Music, Porto

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The House of Music was built by the project of a Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas in 2005. His project won a competition for modern projects of concert halls.
»  With its exterior, the building resembles an irregular-shaped crystal and is designed in the deconstructivist style.
»  The House of Music includes several audience halls. The first one seats 1 200 spectators, the second one - 350. There are also rooms for chamber concerts. On the upper floor, there is a big restaurant that seats 150 guests, a cafe, and an outdoor terrace.
»  In the House of Music, three orchestras work: National, Baroque and Remix.
»  The building has blank walls and fragments covered with glass panels. Blank walls hide technical rooms. Concert halls can be seen through big windows. You can hear and watch what happens in both halls even if you are outside. It is especially comfortable for tourists.
»  The House of Music is the symbol of Porto that is called the European Capital of Culture.

Igreja da Trindade, Porto

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Church of Santíssima Trindade was built in the middle of the 19th century. People have come here to attend services since 1841. The name of the church symbolizes the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
»  From the outside, the building resembles a medieval building. The House of God is located in the center of Porto, right behind the Town Hall and the 70-meter tower. Residential houses that belonged to the church occupy the entire quarter.
»  The walls are made of gray rectangular blocks. The pediment of the church is not almost painted.
»  The interior is quite modest and ascetic. On the walls, there are no glazed painted clay plates. Sunlight comes through narrow windows. Despite this, the church still looks magnificent.
»  The building is several meters long. The middle of the facade is crowned with a beautiful bell tower that ends with a high spire. In a small square in front of the cathedral, there is a fountain. It was constructed in the 18th century.
»  Behind the cathedral, there is a tram stop. From here, trams start their routes. The cathedral is open for everyone.

Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Jeronimos is the monastery founded by Henry the Navigator in 1450. The building of the monastery is a grandiose monument to late-Manueline style of Portuguese architecture.
» The Jeronimos is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site of mankind.
» The monastery is inextricably associated with the Age of Discovery. Vasco da Gama and his companions spent there the night in prayer before sailing towards India.
» King Manuel I and Joao III are buried in the monastery, as well as Vasco da Gama, Camoes and Fernando Pessoa.
» Since 1903 the western wing of the monastery has being housing the National Archaeological Museum.

Lisbon Cathedral, Lisbon

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Lisbon Cathedral is the cathedral of Lisbon patriarchy.
» It’s believed that earlier there has been a Roman temple on site of the present cathedral; in 4-5th centuries the former was turned into a Christian church. After a couple of centuries, there has been built a mosque that stood up to the 12th century; then the cathedral was built on that place.
» The Lisbon Cathedral is the building with three aisles, a transept and the main chapel. The main facade is framed by two towers; the monastery is to the east of the cathedral.
» Externally, the building of the cathedral resembles a fortress. Towers were observing sites in turbulent times, and their thick walls were completely devoid of windows in their lower parts, making them invulnerable to enemy attacks. Thanks to the thick walls, the cathedral withstood the destructive force of the 1755 earthquake.
» Nine Gothic chapels holding the remains of the great Portuguese, including King Alfonso IV and his wife Beatrice, are situated at the inner gallery.
» The treasury of the cathedral stores priestly vestments, silver products, sculptures, medieval manuscripts and sacred relics.

Lisbon Oceanarium, Lisbon

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Lisbon Oceanarium is located in the Park of Nations, which was also the fairground for the World Expo 1998.
» The Lisbon Oceanarium has a huge collection of marine species, including birds, mammals, fish, goad and other marine organisms. In total there are 16,000 birds of 450 species in the Oceanarium.
» The central aquarium is 7 meters deep; its volume of 5,000 m3 creates illusion of the open ocean.
» About one hundred species from around the world live in this aquarium, including sharks, rays, chimaeras, as well as various species of tuna, barracudas, groupers and moray eels. One of the main features is the large moon-fish, for which the unique environment was created.
» Other interesting species include two large spider crabs and two sea otters named Eusebio and Amalia.

MEO Arena, Lisbon

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » MEO Arena is the multi-purpose indoor arena that is used for concerts, exhibitions and various sporting events.
» The arena was officially opened by the beginning of the World Expo 1998, held in Lisbon, during which it was called the Pavilion of Utopia.
» The scene is often compared to a spaceship. In general, the complex includes three departments, which can easily be combined to create a larger volume.
» In 2001, MEO Arena received the first prize of the International Olympic Committee and the International Association for Sports and Leisure in the category of facilities that serve for international competitions.
» Among the artists who performed at MEO Arena, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Ricky Martin, Kylie Minogue, Marilyn Manson, Shakira, and bands such as Depeche Mode, The Doors, Eagles, Metallica, Oasis, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Scorpions and The Who has to be mentioned. MEO Arena became the place of conducting MTV Europe Music Awards 2005.
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Expo 2020 in Dubai Was Visited by More Than 7 Million Visitors

If you haven’t visited this event yet, there is still time to book a hotel in Dubai because Expo 2020 Dubai runs until 31 March 2022. People who are unable to visit the emirate can make a virtual tour on the Expo 2020 website. By the way, the virtual visitation has already reached 31.6 million by the end of December. Read this


Photogallery of Portugal architecture

What to see in top cities of Portugal

On Saturday morning, head to Mercado de Feira da Ladra (Flea Market), which has been operating since the 13th century. The main flea market is located near the National Pantheon. Strolling through its rows, one can find many interesting antiques. Here you can buy old jewelry, interesting old books and works of art that can become a worthy alternative to traditional souvenirs. Like movies? Then be sure to check out the unique historic Cinema Sao Jorge. It was considered the largest in town … Read more
There is a no less exciting way to admire the panorama of the city – to make a helicopter ride. This type of entertainment is incredibly popular in Porto. One of the so called helidromes is located on the bank of a river, near the Museum of Trams. Local companies offer helicopter excursions of different length. If you have enough money, you can fly above the city and its suburbs several hours. Savvy travelers can order a delightful excursion that would cost not more than 50 euro. If you are a … Read more
Having tried out the amazing pools, head to Madeira's main observation point - Cabo Girão. Few people know that it is the highest cliff in Europe the second highest in the world. The height of the cliff is 580 meters. The cliff offers a stunning view of Câmara de Lobos, and in clear weather, you can even see the landscapes of Funchal. Having climbed such a vertiginous height, get up the nerve to look down. Here, right at the shore of the ocean, you can see small gardens that belong to local … Read more

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