1. The most expensive chapel in the world
See what the gold found in colonial Brazil was able to pay for, hidden in the surprisingly rich Sao Roque Church.
The Chapel of St. John the Baptist inside is a European masterpiece
(what look like paintings are actually mosaics!) made in Rome for this
Lisbon church, and to see more baroque magnificence head to Santa Catarina Chruch nearby.
If you develop a taste for this type of golden art, don't miss the golden carriages of the Coaches Museum.
The Belem Tower is a symbol of the Portuguese
capital Lisbon. This beautiful architectural masterpiece is included in
the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO because of its enormous
historical significance and the role it has played in the so-called
voyages of discovery. Belem Tower was the starting point of departures
of the caravels going in search of new uninhabited lands. Belem Tower
is a complex of bastion and thirty-foot tower that is visible to all the
four directions. It is built of white limestone and is decorated with
beautiful stone ornaments and statues. Today, the Belem Tower still
remains a fundamental building in Lisbon, because it reminds of the
largest discoveries that laid the foundations of the modern world.
The Baixa was destroyed by the earthquake of 1755, but was later
reconstructed by the king’s prime minister, the Marquês de Pombal, which
is why it is more popularly known as the Baixa Pombalina. This
visionary conceived a uniform and perpendicular architecture for the
city center, making no distinction between the various social strata
that lived here, a phenomenon that can still be seen today.
Recently renovated, it hasn’t lost any of its mysticism…
Lagos and Sagres on the east end of the Algarve date back to Roman
times. But it was in the 15th century that Sagres achieved importance
with the frequent presence of Prince Henry the Navigator during the
first days of Atlantic exploration of the African coast as far as the
Gulf of Guinea.
Sintra’s Palácio da Pena is one of the best examples of 19th-century Romantic revivalism in Portugal.
The highlight of the beautiful interior of the palace is the chapel,
with its magnificent alabaster altarpiece attributed to Nicolau
Chanterenne, one of the architects of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, in
Lisbon. A restaurant has now been opened in one of the wings of the
palace, with a terrace that offers a beautiful panoramic view of Serra
de Sintra and the coast.
Capital and gateway to the north of Portugal, Porto is both the city
that provided a nation with a name and a fortified wine known worldwide
With its splendid geographical location on the mouth of the Douro
River and an architectural heritage of exceptional quality, the historic
center of Porto was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1996. The
second largest city in the country; it’s a city known for its commercial
The Cais da Ribeira riverfront is the center of the city center and
the most picturesque part of Porto. The area has a mix of ancient narrow
streets and narrower alleyways, with centuries-old buildings. Old homes
of granite and tile loom over the waterfront, and the harbor is filled
with Rabelo boats and river excursion ships. In 1996 the Cais de Ribeira
area was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Cais da Ribeira is a romantic place that comes alive as the sun
goes down, when the numerous cafés, bars and restaurants open. Couples
stroll along the Douro, as the hint of music drifts from the bars and
cafes, and the smell of coffee and grilled fish fills the air.
Roughly halfway between Lisbon and Oporto in the north, Coimbra was
once the capital of the Portugal. But it is most famous for the
University of Coimbra, founded in 1290 and one of the oldest
universities in Europe. It’s a city of medieval churches and a maze of
medieval streets, some so picturesque you’ll think you’re in another
time, which is likely the reason some consider it the most romantic city
8. Saint George Castle
he castle of Lisbon, locally named Castelo de São Jorge is
located right on top of the tallest of Lisbon´s seven hills of the
historic centre of the capital city, above the old Moorish quarter. The
castle is clearly visible from a long way off and it is famous for its
panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.
9. Cristo Rei, Lisbon
On the banks of the Tagus River, on a high pedestal,
stands a statue of Jesus Christ with outstretched arms that seems as if
he wants to embrace and bless the residents and tourists. Cristo Rei is
certainly one of the landmarks of Portugal. The statue is a mini copy
of the Jesus Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro. On the opposite bank of
Tagus you can enjoy a walk at the Commerce Square which is always
crowded and full of the unique energy of the town.
10.The Monastery of Alcobaca
Cistercian Monastery of
Santa Maria d'Alcobaça is a great example of Gothic architecture in
Portugal. Built in the 12th century by the first Portuguese King Afonso I
(Afonso Henriques), Alcobaca Monastery is incredibly beautiful,
spectacular and unforgettable. It hosts a lot of cultural and historical
monuments and relics, but the most important thing is that it is one of
the historical prides of the Portuguese. Over the centuries, the
monastery has played a significant role in education and has enormous
implications for the formation of the Portuguese culture. With its 106 m
length Alcobaca church impresses with size and its unique Gothic
decoration. You can admire the Hall of the fountain and the extremely
beautiful baroque statues, created by the monks of the Alcobaca.