Portugal – a country in Europe, occupying the south-western part of the Iberian Peninsula. Capital – the city of Lisbon; the second largest city – Porto. The national currency – the euro.
The climate is subtropical, largely defined by the Gulf Stream. Warmest Province – Algarve. Summer is usually warm and sunny, but there is no sweltering heat, and in winter the weather is cool and wet. The water in the ocean July warms up to + 27 ° C.
Total population – over 10 million people. The vast majority of Catholics. Language – Portuguese, are also widespread Spanish, English, mirandsky (regional) languages.
According to administrative division of the country it is composed of 18 districts and 2 autonomous (island) regions. The land border lies only with Spain. The main rivers – the Douro and the Tagus. The highest peak – current stratovolcano Peak (2351 m).
Pena Palace – the medieval royal palace in Portugal, located on top of a hill. When something in its place was an abandoned monastery, but after the earthquake of the 18th century, only the chapel survived him. These lands were purchased by Prince Ferdinand, who decided to build for his wife Portuguese Queen Maria II elegant palace.
Construction work on the hill continued until 1885, ie, to the death of Prince Ferdinand. The hill on which the Pena Palace, rises above the town of Sintra, which, in turn, is 20 km north-west of the capital. The palace is surrounded by many kilometers of dense forest, which gives it a special charm. To obtain a location nearby Prince Ferdinand brought a number of exotic plants from other countries.
After the Republican Revolution in the early 20th century, this residence was handed over to the state as a national monument. Then the museum was opened in the palace. One of the main attractions is the construction of the clock tower, which come into effect from sunlight. And in the afternoon hours produced a gun shot. The style of the palace is called eclectic, as it is quite ornate and contains a mixture of Portuguese-Moorish style with the popular in medieval Portuguese Manueline style.
Aside attractions are regular trains from Lisbon from Rossio Station. The way from the train station to Sintra Pena Palace is a steep serpentine.
Jeronimos Monastery – the most famous monastery in Portugal; grandiose complex in the late Gothic style. There lie some monarchs and eminent personalities of the country, such as Vasco da Gama, Manuel I, Juan III. The complex of buildings of the monastery is located near the famous Tower of Belém in Lisbon harbor.
The history of this monastery is closely connected with the epoch of geographical discoveries. It is from these walls Vasco da Gama sailed towards India. Subsequent construction was due to the sale of Indian spices. The whole complex and its appearance is connected with the travel of the navigator. Himself Manuel I asked the pope about the construction of a monastery in gratitude to the Virgin for the successful naval expedition.
Fortunately, the strongest earthquake in Lisbon in the mid-18th century did not destroy the monastery, and only slightly damaged. The architecture of the buildings can be seen a lot of details of the nautical theme. Columns of buildings full of sea monsters, coral stucco, etc. Outside the monastery there is a spacious garden with a fountain decorated with the municipal coat of arms.
Jeronimos is one of the most visited historical and architectural landmarks in Portugal. In the west wing there are two museums. One is devoted to the marine theme, and another – archaeological findings. Getting to the complex is possible by tram number 15 or the numerous buses. Also, the pier Belen ferries moor.
Portugal attractions. Belem Tower – the incredible beauty of the strengthening of the coastal waters of the river Tagus (Tajo) in Portugal, built in the 16th century on the orders of Manuel I. The second common name – a tower of Bethlehem. Located in Lisbon’s harbor and is the starting point for many sailors.
The architect was Francisco de Arruda, before erecting fortifications in Morocco, making her distinctly Moorish style. The masonry present marine motifs and numerous sculptures. On the terrace you can see the niche carved into a statue of the Virgin and Child. From the ramparts of a beautiful view over the estuary and the surrounding areas of Lisbon.
Belém Tower and survived a powerful earthquake of the 18th century, and the siege of Napoleon. In 1845 it was completely reconstructed, restoring the former appearance. From afar, the tower looks like a table, covered with a cloth embroidered lace. However, this delicate elegant appearance does not prevent her from adequately reflect the attacks of enemies. This is one of the best defenses in the territory of Portugal, which even managed to serve as a prison.
This fort, along with the Monastery of Jeronimos is referred to the monuments of the Age of Discovery. Indoors tower viewed usual style Gothic. Preserved pieces of furniture, including the imperial throne of the 16th century. The initiator of the construction of the fort was Philip II. The tower is open daily from 10 am; day off – Monday. A five-minute walk there is a stop Largo Princesa.
Mafra National Palace
Mafra National Palace – the largest palace complex in Portugal. Constructed in the same suburb of Lisbon in the first half of the 18th century on the orders of Juan V. King dedicated this palace birth of her first child. In addition to the main building, it includes a grand library, basilica and monastery.
This palace complex is undoubtedly the dominant of the town of Mafra. The construction of the facade extended best marble was used, delivered to Portugal from other countries. These were delivered from Italy and sculpture huge bell. If you are lucky, you can hear the bells chime tower, the amount of which is approximately a hundred. In the palace around 1200 rooms.
The interior is decorated with magnificent frescoes, antique furniture, valuable paintings, mosaics, etc. The whole complex is surrounded by a landscaped park and the picturesque fountains. The style of the palace and surrounding structures closer to the Italian Baroque and neoclassicism. Behind the main façade of the convent buildings. In the palace library of more than 40 thousand volumes.
Basilica, with high towers located in the heart of the central facade. During the reign of John I school for sculptors was opened on the basis of this complex. Ride in Mafra can be scheduled on any day except Tuesday. The palace rooms are open to visitors from 10 am. Getting to your destination by bus from Portela de Sintra station.
Batalha Monastery – one of the most famous monasteries of Portugal, Juan I erected in honor of an important victory for the nation. In the XIV century after the battle over the Castilians country finally gained independence from Spain. For this reason, the king built a Dominican monastery, which he promised to dedicate to the Virgin Mary.
Construction got majestic and unusually beautiful. The name of the monastery was named after the town in which located. Batalha is located in the district of Leiria is about 120 km from Lisbon.
It is noteworthy that there rest many subsequent rulers of the country and their spouses. Right from the entrance to the monastery there is a chapel in which he rests João I and his wife. Also, here we found peace, his sons Duarte I and Henry the Navigator.
Facade of the monastery is decorated with statues of the Apostles on the openwork consoles. The first thing that catches your eye at the sight of this structure, it is openwork carving resembling petrified lace. Gothic atmosphere is complemented by massive columns and stained glass windows. In the evening, the monastery is particularly picturesque because it is illuminated by spotlights.
To get to Batalha can express buses from Lisbon or regular routes from Alcobaça and Fatima. Monastery The museum is open to visitors every day except special holidays.
Portugal attractions. Templar Castle (Convent of Christ) – one of the most famous castles in Portugal, built in the XII century. Located about 140 km from Lisbon, in the city of Tomar, which is, in fact, it has grown around this grand structure. Today Templar castle is quite popular among the tourists not only for its historical heritage, but also due to the unique architecture.
The castle is also known as the Convent of Christ. It kept the legacy of the Knights Templar or the Order of the followers of Christ. With the arrival of the Knights Templar, called at that time persecuted Templars, on the walls, new crosses Tomarskogo castle. Today, the castle and all the buildings within it worthy of age and become overgrown with moss prominent, which looks good on the background of gray stone. Especially popular among the tourists a huge rectangular window, decorated with a cross and the royal symbols.
Behind ramparts preserved round church – “rotunda”, built in the style of the Israeli temple of the Holy Sepulchre. It is noteworthy that the most powerful castle withstood a siege at the end of XII century by the Moorish leader Yaqub al-Mansur. One of the most important figures in the development of the Order of Christ in Portugal was King Manuel I. Even before the accession to the throne, he took up the expansion of the fortress complex in Tomar.
Landmark is located on a hill, so you can see the well before the entrance to the city. From the train station of Santa Apolonia in Lisbon towards Tomar regular trains.