September 22, 2019


by Rosemary

The sidewalks of Lisbon are famous for their attractive, slippery mosaic tiles. They are very slick when dry and nearly lethal when wet. In many locations, the sidewalks are not well maintained, so the situation is complicated with potholes, broken stones, and collapsed curbs. Injuries are common. Traditionalists have succeeded in resisting attempts to repave the sidewalks with safer, more modern materials.

This mosaic pattern creates the illusion that the plaza is wavy. We saw something similar in Barcelona.

After the 1755 earthquake, tsunami, and fire, King Jose I was so shaken that he moved into a tent city in the foothills and left Marques de Pombal in charge of rebuilding. Pombal had the streets built on a grid, and used a colonial style of architecture that was inexpensive and easy to assemble.

Our hotel was near Pombal Square, where the marques’s many achievements are remembered with a huge monument

The older neighborhoods that were not rebuilt still have their narrow, medieval streets.

This neighborhood statue commemorates the lottery ticket salesman.

Like Paris and Barcelona, Lisbon is notable for the iron work on its balconies. Many buildings also have decorative tile work on the facades.

The church at the Monastery of Jeronimos is decorated with elaborate limestone carvings.

The monastery contains the tomb of Vasco da Gama, famed Portuguese explorer, the first European to sail to India.

This 330-foot-tall statue, modeled after the one in Rio de Janeiro, overlooks the harbor.

We were here at the end of December 2018. Our hotel had a fancy New Year's Eve party, and we enjoyed sipping champagne on the rooftop terrace as we watched the fireworks across the city.

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