West of Lisbon
North of Lisbon
The modest little town of Mafra (altitude: 237m/778ft), about 50km/30mi northwest of Lisbon, is widely famed for its enormous monastery palace, the largest complex of the kind in the Iberian peninsula. It is where King Joao V founded the "Mafra school", a major school for instruction in the art of sculpture by teachers that included such leading artists as José Almeida and Joaquim Machado de Castro.TownscapeMafra is an unassuming little town, its center dominated by the enormous monastery palace. The carefully restored 13th/14th C. Gothic church of Santo André, containing the tombs of Dom Diogo de Sousa and his wife, is also worth a visit.
South of Lisbon
Statue of Christ the King
The Monumento Cristo Rei stands on top of a hill about 110m/361ft high on the south bank of the Tagus and can be seen from afar immediately above the exit of the Ponte 25 de Abril. Any resemblances to the Statue of Christ at Rio de Janeiro are not incidental: the Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon saw it in 1934 on a visit to Brazil and thereafter entertained the idea of having a similar monument erected in Portugal. At an assembly held in 1940 in Fátima the bishops of Portugal took a vow to commission the construction of a statue of Christ, if Portugal were not drawn into the Second World War. The architect António Lino, the engineer Francisco de Mello e Castro and the sculptor Francisco Franco worked on the project. The laying of the foundation stone took place in 1949, and in 1959 the monument was officially opened. The statue of Fátima with miraculous skills was also transported here for the opening celebrations, while Pope John XXIII sent a radio address.The four arches in the 82m/269ft high concrete base are supposed to represent the four directions and thus the universitality of the Kingdom of Christ. A small chapel is located in the foot of the base. The figure of Christ itself is 28m/92ft tall, while the representation of the heart measures 1.89m/6ft.A lift takes visitors up to a platform below the Christ figure from where a unique view of Lisbon and its surroundings can be enjoyed.
Costa da Caparica
Once a small fishing village, Costa da Caparica, 15km/9mi southwest of Lisbon, has developed in recent years into a none too attractive resort, complete with concrete apartment blocks and fast-food outlets. The Convento dos Capuchos above the town was fully restored in 1960 enabling concerts to be staged in the former Capuchin convent in the summer.
Costa de Lisboa - Praia do Sol
Lisbon - Costa Azul
By the Costa Azul ("Blue Coast") is meant the coastline lying offshore to the south of Lisbon, which surrounds the peninsula formed by the Serra da Arrábida and its northern foothills between the mouths of the rivers Tagus and Sado. Although this area remains mainly undisturbed by international tourism, many of the people of Lisbon spend their free time here in the summer months. The delightful scenery and excellent beaches make up the especial charm of this coastal region.Particularly in the southern part of the Costa Azul are to be found appealing and, for the most part, undeveloped villages and relatively empty beaches.Accommodation is, however, limited. Costa da Caparica, Praia do Sol, Sesimbra, Setúbal and Palmela can all be reached by bus directly from Lisbon. Connections to any other places here may prove difficult, i.e. buses may not run daily. Information is available from tourist offices.
Museu d'Água Manuel da Maia
The history of Lisbon's water supply is documented in a very clear and imaginative way in the city waterworks museum EPAL (Empresa Pública das Águas Livres). Opened in October 1987, the museum - named after the architect of the Aqueduto das Águas Livres - has been assembled in a former pumping station. Four enormous steam engines dating from 1880, which were used for pumping, are kept in a machine room: one of them has been reconditioned and can be seen working in demonstrations.In the rest of the museum the first water system from Roman times is explained; model figures of water carriers, pictures of old wells, plans of the aqueduct and of the castle surrounded by water, and a water meter dating from 1856 are some of the exhibits. At the end of the exhibition, water quality control, chlorination of Lisbon's water and so on is explained. Its exemplary arrangement earned the Museu d'Água Manuel da Maia the 1990 first prize from the European Museums Council.
Address: Rua do Alviela 12, Portugal
Opening hours: 10am-12:30pm, 2pm-5pm; Closed: Sun, Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Anniversity of the Revolution - Portugal (Apr 25), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), National Day - Portugal (Jun 10), Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), Republic Day - Portugal (Oct 5), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8), Independence Day - Portugal (Dec 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Good Friday - Christian, Corpus Christi - Christian
Entrance fee: FREE
Transit: Bus: 35,104, 105, 107
This town (altitude: 125m/410ft), 15km/9mi northwest of Lisbon, owes its importance and its fame to the charming Rococo palace of Queluz ("what light!"), once a summer residence of the Bragança kings, and still used today for official government receptions.TownscapeApart from the palace Queluz has no sights to recommend it, but since it is on a direct commuting line to Lisbon it now has additional housing for about 30,000 people.
Museo do Ar
Founded in 1968, the Museo do Ar contains a wide number of aeronautical pieces. Unfortunately, due to the small size of the hangar space available, only a dozen pieces can be shown at one time.Some of the more notable pieces in the collection a replica Hurricane, a Vampire FB.9and a Tiger Moth '3650'.Documents, uniforms and engines trace the history of Portuguese aviation.
Torres Vedras, Portugal
The ancient town of Torres Vedras (Altitude: 66m/217ft), on the left bank of the Rio Sizandro, is about 60km/37mi north of Lisbon. It has a place in British military history as the base for Wellington's Torres Vedras Lines, fortified to defend Lisbon during the Peninsular War. Otherwise its rather unassuming townscape means that most tourists only pause briefly on their way through.
A features of interest in the town is the 16th C. church of Sao Pedro.
A features of interest in the town is the 16th C. church of Sao Gonçalvo, a conventual church.
Castelo dos Mouros
Above the town are the ruins of an old Moorish castle, the Castelo dos Mouros, from which there is a good view. King Manuel added a handsome battlemented gateway after the reconquest of the town.
Termas dos Cucos
The little spa of Termas dos Cucos, which specializes in rheumatic ailments, is about 2km/1.25mi east of Torres Vedras.
Map of Lisbon Attractions