Wonderful Lisbon and Libertade!

I have great memories doing this post and great to have updated in my blog. When I first came to Portugal, the first city I visited was Lisbon, this was back in 2012. My area and repeated several times after was Avenida da Libertade, and I am happy to redo this post. Hope you enjoy it as I , and see my many posts on Portugal in my blog.

Let me tell you today about a nice area of a nice city I came to like very much in my many trips there.   It is something nice to remember of the fonds memories of coming home, back to my dear late wife Martine. Oh yes, I am talking about Lisbon, Portugal. So close to it,  I learned the language as well. My oldest boy godfather is from Faro, and played on many Portuguese football/soccer community teams both in USA and France.  I have come several times to Lisbon,and never tired of it; it is so close to home, and so nice.

Getting here as always been by airplane and using either public transport in the city, or a friendly car ride and lots of walks in the city, especially around the Avenida da Libertade area. I have great stories of eating and drinking at by now my friends restaurant Pinoquio at Praça dos Restauradores close to Rossio. The typical Portuguese seafood and vinho verde wine place, love it. Many stories here; like the time gathered all my friends to come here thinking only 7 will come, and the rest show up by taxi and we were 22 without reservation!. I told the staff ,quick needed to find space, they knew me from many times there, and they move, so fast they created three spaces with extra tables/chairs to accommodate my friends, they were all impressed of my contacts lol!

Let me tell you a bit about the city of Lisbon, shall we take a walk.

Praça dos Restauradores or Restoration  square is located on the extreme southeast of the Avenida da Liberdade, and not far from the Praça de Dom Pedro IV (better known as Rossio). This square is dedicated to the restoration of Portuguese independence in 1640 after 60 years of Spanish domination .  The Obelisk in the center of the square was done in 1886, with the names and dates of the battles to reach the restoration in 1640. It is about 30 meters high.



The square is in a rectangular shape surrounded by buildings from the 19C and early 20C .You can admire the Palácio Foz, a palace built from the 18C to the 20C with decorated interiors now the  Museu Nacional do Desporto de Portugal (the National sports museum of Portugal) ; the former Eden Cinema which is now a hotel, with its 1930’s facade as well as the former Cinema Condes,built in the 1950’s in a modernist style that now houses the popular restaurant Hard Rock Cafe of Lisbon.

Coming up to this Restoration square you have the wonderful Avenida da Liberdade  or Liberty avenue that I stayed nearby always . It is a 90 meters wide and  1100 meters  long, with ten lanes divided by pedestrian pavements decorated with gardens. It links the Praça dos Restauradores  with Praça do Marquis of Pombal square. The avenue was done to modeled after the big Parisian boulevards. The Avenida da Liberdade, as well as the Praça dos Restauradores, have their origins in a public park (Passeio Público) inaugurated in the area in 1764. The park was initially surrounded by a high wall. It was revamped in the 1830s and 1840s with new arrangement of the flora as well as fountains, a waterfall and statues. The allegoric statues representing the Tagus and Douro rivers still existing in the boulevard of the Avenue date from this time.

The Avenida da Libertade has several nice hotels and restaurants and it is a prize area to stay in Lisbon as I do …. on my business trips.  Several statues adorned the Avenida such as the  Statue to  Simón Bolívar ,done by the Venezuelan community in Portugal in  1978 ; Statue of Oliveira Martins, 1952 ;  Statue of Alexandre Herculano, 1950; Statue of  Almeida Garrett, 1950;  Statue of  António Feliciano de Castilho, 1950;  Monument to Rosa Araújo, 1936;  Monument to the Fallen of WWI , 1931;  and the Monument to Pinheiro Chagas,1908.  Also ,nice building like the jewerler store Prada, and the the one where was born  D. Maria Pia de Saxe-Coburgo Gotha e Bragança,in  1907.  She  was a writer and better known as claiming to be the illegitimate daughter of king  Charles Ier of Portugal and therefore the Duchess of Braganza, and pretender to the throne of Portugal.  She was, also, known as in publishing book under the pseudo name Hilda de Toledano.

There are three metro stations along the avenue such as Restauradores  at the southeast end, served by the blue line. Avenida at about the midpoint of the avenue, served by the blue line. Marquês de Pombal  at the northwest end (close to a giant roundabout with 4 lanes), served by the blue and yellow lines.

At the very nice Praça do Marquês de Pombal square, also known as the round about of the Marquês de Pombal or traffic circle is located between the Avenida da Liberdade and on the other side the Parque Eduardo VII. In the center there is the monument to the Marquês de Pombal, built in 1934. Done with a stone pedestal and 40 meters high ,the statue itself in bronce. The Edward VII park is a very place to unwind with lovely gardens on a 26 hectare park just crossing the Marques of Pombal Square. Its name pays homage to king Edward VII of the United Kingdom who visited Portugal in 1902, to strengthen the relations between the two countries. Until that visit, its name was Liberty Park (Parque da Liberdade).  Inside the park you have the Carlos Lopes Pavilion (the former Portuguese pavilion of the 1922 Rio de Janeiro International Exposition) and the Estufa Fria (a 1.5 hectare greenhouse garden). On the northern top of the park is a flagpole where the present largest Flag of Portugal of the world is usually flown.  The Lisbon Book Fair is annually held in the Parque Eduardo VII.

If the Praça do Marqués de Pombal is at one end of the Avenida da LIbertade passing by the Praça dos Restauradores, then the Rossio Square  as it is known locally but actually officially is the Pedro IV Square  or  Praça de D. Pedro IV  is located in the other extreme. Being one of the main squares since the Middle Ages. It has been the setting of popular revolts and celebrations, bullfights and executions, and is now a preferred meeting place of Lisbon natives and tourists alike. The current name of the Rossio pays homage to Pedro IV, King of Portugal. The Column of Pedro IV is in the middle of the square. Here you have another metro station Rossio on the Green line as well as the train station by same name (previously called Central) and the nice National Theater of Dona Maria II. It was built on the former landlot of the Estaus Palace built itself in 1450 to house the foreign dignataries and nobles visiting Lisbon . In the 16C the palace was the place of the Portuguese inquisition , save from the earthquake of 1755 it was later destroyed by fire in 1836. The theater was completely redone and opened in 1978.

All up and down the Avenida da Libertade passing by the glorious Square of the Marques of Pombal, then the Restauradores square and finally reaching the Rossio is chic grand wonderful Lisbon and easy central to all with good local public transportation. A wonderful area, beautiful walks and looking forward to be back when possible.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here ,and it is a must in my opinion ,are:

The Lisbon tourist office: https://www.visitlisboa.com/en/p/why-lisbon

The city of LIsbon on public transports in Portuguese: https://www.lisboa.pt/cidade/mobilidade/meios/a-pe

The Portugal tourist board on Lisbonhttps://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/lisboa-regiao

There you go , a nice piece of real estate in lovely quant Lisbon for you to set your wings on. Hope it helps your plans. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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