Leiria in Portugal

15 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Fulviusbsas

© Fulviusbsas

Leiria is a city and a municipality in the Centro Region of Portugal and in the historical province of Beira Litoral. It is the capital of Leiria District. The population in 2011 was 126,879, in an area of 565.09 square kilometres (218.18 sq mi). It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leiria-Fátima.   read more…

São Miguel Island, the largest island of the Azores

30 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Fonte de Buraco Belvedere overlooking the village of Maia © José Luís Ávila Silveira/Pedro Noronha e Costa

Fonte de Buraco Belvedere overlooking the village of Maia © José Luís Ávila Silveira/Pedro Noronha e Costa

São Miguel Island, nicknamed “The Green Island” (Ilha Verde), is the largest and most populous island in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The island covers 760 km² (290 sq mi) and has around 140,000 inhabitants, with 45,000 people residing in Ponta Delgada, the archipelago’s largest city. The ancient laurisilva forest has mostly been replaced by cultivated fields and imported trees and plants, such as the ubiquitous cryptomeria trees. There are some hot springs (caldeiras), generally located in the center of the island, in the area stretching from Povoação to Nordeste. The highest elevation on São Miguel is the Pico da Vara at 1,103 metres (3,619 ft). Lying at the eastern end of the island, it is the focus of a Special Protection Area containing the largest remnant of laurisilva forest on the island, which is home to the endemic and critically endangered bird, the Azores bullfinch. Whale watching tours, starting from Ponta Delgada and Vila Franca do Campo are available. One may see sea turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.   read more…

Quinta da Regaleira in Portugal

1 October 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, House of the Month, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

© Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0

Quinta da Regaleira is a quinta located near the historic centre of Sintra, Portugal. It is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO within the “Cultural Landscape of Sintra”. Along with the other palaces in the area such as the Quinta do Relógio, Pena, Monserrate and Seteais palaces, it is considered one of the principal tourist attractions of Sintra. The property consists of a Romantic palace and chapel, and a luxurious park that features lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and a vast array of exquisite constructions. The palace is also known as “The Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire”, which is based on the nickname of its best known former owner, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. The palace was designed by the italian architect Luigi Manini.   read more…

Sintra in Portugal

31 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Part of the historic centre © Peter K Burian/cc-by-4.0

Part of the historic centre © Peter K Burian/cc-by-4.0

Sintra is a town and municipality in the Greater Lisbon region of Portugal, located on the Portuguese Riviera. The population of the municipality in 2011 was 377,835, in an area of 319.23 square kilometres (123.26 sq mi). Sintra is a major tourist destination in Portugal, famed for its picturesqueness and for its numerous historic palaces and castles. Sintra is also a major luxury dining and tourism destination within the Portuguese Riviera, as well as one of the wealthiest municipalities in the country, and is known for the numerous notable events hosted in Sintra, such as Bilderberg Meetings and the Open de Portugal.   read more…

Routes of El legado andalusi/Al-Andalus

4 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, European Union, General, Living, Working, Building, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

© Morningstar1814/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Morningstar1814/cc-by-sa-3.0

In the 8th century, the Iberian Peninsula saw the arrival of Arabs and Berbers who mixed with the Roman-Visigoth inhabitants, engendering what was known as Al-Andalus. This successful medieval Muslim civilisation extended, at its peak, to most of what is today Spain and Portugal, until its downfall in the late 15th century.   read more…

Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal

19 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General

Typical azulejo facades © Andreas Trepte/cc-by-sa-2.5

Typical azulejo facades © Andreas Trepte/cc-by-sa-2.5

Aveiro is a city and a municipality in Portugal. In 2011, the population was 78,450, in an area of 197.58 square kilometres (76.29 sq mi). It is the second most populous city in the Centro Region of Portugal (after Coimbra). Along with the neighbouring city of Ílhavo, Aveiro is part of an urban agglomeration that includes 120,000 inhabitants, making it one of the most important populated regions by density in the Centro Region, and primary centre of the Intermunicipal Community of Aveiro and Baixo Vouga.   read more…

Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon

4 March 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© flickr.com - Paul Arps/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Paul Arps/cc-by-2.0

The Mercado da Ribeira is a market hall on Avenida 24 de Julho of the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, where fresh fish, vegetables and fruits have been sold since the 19th century. It can be reached by public transport from the Carris via the Cais do Sodré station.   read more…

Livraria Lello e Irmão in Porto

15 August 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries

© flickr.com - Michał Huniewicz/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Michał Huniewicz/cc-by-2.0

Livraria Lello & Irmão, also known as Livraria Chardron or simply Livraria Lello (Lello Bookstore) is a bookstore located in central Porto in Portugal. Along with Bertrand in Lisbon, it is one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal. It is frequently rated among the top bookstores in the world, placing third in lists by the Lonely Planet and The Guardian. Elements of the facade and much of the interior are decorated in Art Nouveau, with some features of the Gothic Revival.   read more…

Bairro Alto in Lisbon

6 June 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© flickr.com - Manuel Menal/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Manuel Menal/cc-by-sa-2.0

Bairro Alto (Upper District) is a central district of the city of Lisbon, the Portuguese capital. Unlike many of the civil parishes of Lisbon, this region can be commonly explained as a loose association of neighbourhoods, with no formal local political authority but social and historical significance to the urban community of Lisbon. The bairro or “neighbourhood” resulted from urban expansion in the 16th century, forming outside the walls of the historical city, and is characterized by an almost orthogonal tract (developing from two phases of distinct urbanization).   read more…

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