Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lisboa - Stª Apolónia

Quem vai da estação Stª Apolónia para as escadinhas do Beco (com saída) do Hospital da Marinha, que dá acesso ao Campo de Stª Clara, não pode deixar de passar pelas portas laterais da gare, que há muito foram fechadas, e que servem agora de residência a alguns sem-abrigo que por alí circulam.


Friday, April 11, 2008


From my correspondent in London (thanks David :)) I was directed to this article on BBC online of yesterday, that is a must to share with my chessboard friends.
Boxers play chess in new UK sport

Opponents compete over the chessboard then hit each other in the boxing ring in a combination sport being introduced to north London. Chessboxing features alternate rounds of chess and boxing, with the winner decided by either knockout, checkmate or a judge's decision after 11 rounds. The first UK chessboxing club has begun at Islington Boxing Club in Archway.
Founder Tim Woolgar said: "Boxing requires tactical thinking, a skill that is vital to playing chess." Read all article here.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Lisboa in photos - II

View over the river Tagus from Restô do Chapitô, a funky all-purpose rendez vous point which were a formaly a 17th century women's prison, situated close to the walls of São Jorge Castel.

A view of the Cathedral (Sé) and the river Tagus to start. Lisbon's cathedral, (the Sé) was built by Portugal’s first king, Dom Afonso Henriques (1109-1185). It was damaged extensively during the great earthquake of 1755 and rebuilt in an earlier style, and is a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque styles. Parts of the twin towers, the rose window, the naves, and the vestry are part of the original 13th-century building. The gothic cloister was a 14th century addition and is decorated in tiles depicting the Song of Solomon. The chapel of St. Vincent was built in the 16th century while the main chapel was built in the 17th century. Read more about Lisboa religious story, here.

Visiting Alfama is to visit the architecture, the sounds and the smells of old Lisbon. This is one of the most typical quarters of Lisbon. On its narrow and winding streets you'll find the hidden treasure of Alfama and on its steep stairs you will be able to breathe the soul of Lisbon.

Walking down the steep Calçada of Santana towards downtown Praça do Rossio, with the view of river Tagus over the roofs, in a sunny morning. (September 2005)

View of downtown, the Baixa, a 18th-century area around Rossio, where we can see the Santa Justa Elevator, designed by an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel (Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard) and put in service for the first time in 1902, the ruins of the Carmo Church left by the devastating earthquake in 1755, with the 25 April brigde in the distance. (May 2005)

Tivoli Theater, Avenida da Liberdade in Lisboa (May 2004). Plans were drawn up for the new Tivoli Cinema in 1918 but it didn't open until 1924. The architect was Raul Lino who designed what was by then the most up to date 'De-Luxe' cinema in Lisbon.The entrance is located on a corner and has an imposing classical facade, topped by a cupola dome. Inside the auditorium seating is on orchestra level with two balconies above, each of which have long side slips extending towards the proscenium opening. Since closing as a cinema in around 1988, it has been beautifully maintained and has found use as a live theatre venue, mainly as a playhouse for Brazilian based productions.

Old Jeweller's shop "Joalharia do Carmo", in Carmo Street, between Rossio Square and Garret Street. On the 25th of August 1988, Chiado was devastated by a fire that started in a store in Carmo Street and that spread to Garrett Street. Even though there are still some scars of that disaster, a massive renovation programme has brought todays Chiado back to life and it is better than ever (photo Dec 2005).

Tabacaria do Rossio, detail. (photo Dec 2005).

Animatografo du Rossio cinema, detail. Opened in 1907 and located in a quiet back street just off the Rossio Square, this must be Lisbon's earliest surviving cinema facade. The beautiful facade is adorned with a highly detailed Art Nouveau style, which consists of Azulejos tiled panels by M. Queriol and Jorge Pinto which depict Edwardian styled females surrounded by fruits and flowers. Since 1990, the Animatografo du Rossio cinema was used as an 'adult' cinema and lately it became a sex shop and peep show house (photo Dec 2005).
When you are visiting Rossio, you will probably notice the old looking cafe, Nicola, on the western side. Nicola opened in 1929 and still maintains some of its fabulous art deco facade.
Street musicians playng in front of pastelaria Suiça in Rossio square.
A view of Xunta da Galiza Palace, offered by Manuel Cordo Boullosa, an eminent galician, built by the end of XIX century, from the Torel Garden. A not easy to find garden in the streets above Avenida da Liberdade, Torel Garden is a quiet, relaxing place with good views over Lisbon.

Lavra funicular detail.
Torel Garden (Jardim do Torel), a nice viewpoint of Lisboa downtown.
Feira da Ladra' literally means 'Thieves' Fair'; however, most people are selling their own belongings and household goods ! Also on sale are Bric à Brac, military artefacts, clothing and antique books. Best to go early for bargains, antiques and retrieving stolen property! (Dec 2005)

Lisboa tram at Praça da Figueira stop, departing for a touristic tour around Lisboa hills and a girafa at the balcony. (Sep 2005)

Detail of street public lamp and streetcars electric lines with a lonely pigeon, in Praça da Figueira, downtown.
Confeitaria Nacional, founded in 1829, is one of the best traditional old pastry shops in Lisbon, in Praça da Figueira.

Botero sculpture in Campo Grande Garden. Fernando Botero is Latin America's most famous living artist. His distinctive style of smooth inflated shapes with unexpected shifts in scale is today instantly recognizable and reflects the artist's constant search to give volume presence and reality.

Commissioned by Manuel I, the Tower of Belem was built as a fortress in the middle of the river Tagus in 1515-1521. Starting point for the navigators who set out to discover the trade routes, this Manueline gem became a symbol of Portugal's great era of expansion. Belem Tower is considered a masterpiece and is classified in UNESCO's International Heritage list.

View of Belem Tower from the other side of Tagus river.

Old house of seeds Soares & Borges in Praça da Figueira, Lisboa (Sep 2005).
Graffiti on the wall of Miradouro da Graça ("Lisboa is very good" or "gorgeous" I would translate)Up on the hill above São Vincente de Fora Church is the residential Graça district, reached by tram 28.
The Santa Justa Elevator is a remarkable masterpiece designed by Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard, an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel, and makes the connection between the Baixa (downtown) and Bairro Alto (high neighbourhood).It was opened in 1902, when it was steam powered, then in 1907 it became electrical and was the only vertical elevator in Lisbon in public service. Made entirely of cast iron, and embellished with filigree, the lifts within the tower go up to 45 metres and carry 25 persons in each cabin of which there are two.In a romantic neogothic design, this elevator is really something that you cannot afford to miss! The café at the top affords magnificent views over the centre of Lisbon and the Tagus River.

Bridge 25 de Abril on river Tagus at nightfall with the moon over the bridge. This bridge is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA.
Detail of mariner's compass view from the top of Monument to the Discoveries.Lisboa, Monument to the Discoveries. Cut into the paving stone, the compass was a present from the Republic of South Africa in 1960 and it's best seen from the top of the Monument to the Discoveries, that you can access by elevator located inside the building. The central map, depicting galleons and mermaids, shows the routes of the discoverers in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Braço de Prata train station in a Sunday morning.
Port of Lisbon's control tower at river Tagus mouth.The Port of Lisbon, at latitude 38 degrees 42 minutes north and longitude 9 degrees 6 minutes west, 25 km long and between 2 km and 14 km wide, in the center of the Portuguese coastline is and has been for centuries, considered a safe haven from heavy weather and seas.
The best panoramic view over Lisbon and the 25th April bridge is from the southern bank of the Tagus river. One way to cross the River Tagus and visit Cacilhas in Almada, is by ferry, avoiding awful traffic on the bridge. The trip is fast and we can admire the boats and the fabulous views. (16 April 2006)
Fishing and relax, admiring the beautiful scenery of Tagus river is an everyday activity for pensioners and fishing lovers. Belem area close to 25th April bridge and also the southern bank of the river has long been a mecca for fishing lovers. (16 April 2006)
A view of Clube Futebol Belenenses stadium, close to Jeronimos Monastery, from the other side of the river Tagus, in a clear morning (April 2006).

Every day, since dawn till sunset, D. Henrique "the Navigator" looks at the horizon.
Another view of Belem Tower from the other side of the Tagus River.
About the origin of the name "Porto Brandão", a small place in the other side of Tagus river in front of Lisbon, very few is known, except the histories that are counted from generation to generation. According to these histories, until the capture of Almada by the Moors, Porto Brandão was even called "Equabona", and the designation that at present it has, have appeared between 1472 and 1519. About this time, there was in this place a farm called "Quinta da Azenha Cabeça de Morgado", whose last owner, for inheritance, was Francisco de Sá Menezes, who died without leaving descendants.

An old lady relaxing in Afonso de Albuquerque Garden, in front of Belem Palace (October 2005).

A view of Belem Tower area close to Tagus river.

Bronze statue of poet Fernando Pessoa outside the historical café "A Brasileira" (celebrating 100th aniversary next Saturday), in Garret street, in the heart of the "Chiado", old quarter of Lisboa. Meeting place for locals, tourists, artists, and fashion designers. The popular term "bica", to designate coffe, was originated also in this café.

Details of the historical café "A Brasileira" façade, in Garret street 120, in the heart of Chiado, old quarter of Lisboa.
View of Tagus river and Almada on the other side of the river. Photo taken from Stª Catarina view point. (May 2004).
View of Lisbon's principal container terminal of Alcantara located on the Northern Bank. The Alcantara terminal is linked to the national rail network and block train services helped Liscont to develop a useful level of trade with the Port of Vigo, in northern Spain, and with northern Portugal. Photo taken from the other side of the river Tagus.

Newest bridge Vasco da Gama over Tagus river by early morning. Vasco da Gama has a length of 17.2 km (10 miles), 10 km of which are over the Tagus river. It was inaugurated on the 4th of April 1998. Located right next to the Nations Park (former site of the Expo 98) it got its name on the same year of the 5th centenary of the arrival of Vasco da Gama to India.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Lisboa - Rossio em 1835

"Era o Rocio por esta epocha, o ponto de reunião de quantos pretos e pretas circulavam por Lisboa no officio de caiadores, e outros misteres de somenos. Esses ajuntamentos foram prohibidos em 1837 (...)".