Here we are in Lisbon for Day 13. We start with a bus tour of the city:
First Stop: This is the Park Eduard VII. It is the biggest park in central Lisbon.The park was named after Britain’s king, Edward II, who came to the city on a state visit in 1903 to strengthen Anglo-Portuguese relations. Parque Eduardo VII features mosaic patterned walkways that stretch uphill throughout the whole park.
The same river we saw in Toledo: The Tagus. It empties into the Atlantic Ocean near here.
At the top of the park is this monument. It is the “25 of April Monument” by João Cutileiro
It in a small esplanade with four large pillars and a fountain that commemorates the Revolution of 1974. This spot also has a gorgeous view of the Tagus river and the city. The fountain kinda looks like a phallus…but maybe my mind is in the gutter today. You can judge for yourself.
Here is another “25th of April” monument:
The Carnation Revolution also referred to as the “25th of April” was initially a Military Coup in 1974 which overthrew the authoritarian regime of the Estado Novo
The revolution started as a military coup organized by the Armed forces composed of military officers who opposed the regime, but the movement was soon coupled with an unanticipated and popular campaign of civil resistance. This movement would lead to the fall of the Estado Novo and the withdrawal of Portugal from its African Colonies.
The name “Carnation Revolution” comes from the fact that almost no shots were fired and that when the population took to the streets to celebrate the end of the dictatorship and war in the colonies, carnations were put into the muzzles of rifles and on the uniforms of the army men. In Portugal, 25 April is a national holiday, known as Freedom Day to celebrate the event.
From the park, we headed towards the Tagus River. We passed The “Aqueduct of the Free Waters”). It is a historic aqueduct It is one of the most remarkable examples of 18th-century Portuguese engineering. The main course of the aqueduct covers 11 miles, but the whole network of canals extends through nearly 36 miles.
The city of Lisbon has always suffered from the lack of drinking water, and King John V in 1746 decided to build an aqueduct to bring water from sources in the parish of Canecas, in the modern municipality of Odiveles. The project was paid for by a special sales tax on beef, olive oil wine, and other products.
I had thought it might have been an ancient Roman aqueduct. Wrong!
This is Jerónimos Monastery and Church of Santa Maria of Belem on the Tagus River.
The Jeronimos Monastery is the most impressive symbol of Portugal’s power and wealth during the Age of Discovery. King Manuel I built it in 1502 on the site of a hermitage founded by Prince Henry the Navigator, where Vasco da Gama and his crew spent their last night in Portugal in prayer before leaving for India.
It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama’s voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success. Vasco da Gama’s tomb was placed inside by the entrance.
Here’s the old boy now!
This is not “the old boy” This is Juanjo with a box of Pastries de Belem. These are special pastries made only here near the church. He shared them with us. They were delicious. Kind of like an egg custard tart.
This is what they looked like. We saw several similar pastries around town, but not the same ones – copies…
5 FACTS ABOUT THE BELÉM PASTRIES
1. The confection of Belém’s Pastries began in 1837 and the recipe remains exactly the same to this day.
No High Fructose corn syrup?
2. The Belém Pastries are baked in the “Secret Shop”.
Don’t tell anyone – they’re made by Hostess?
3. Belém Pastries and Custard Tarts are not the same thing.
Try to tell the difference. Maybe price is the difference.
4. Every day, about 20,000 pastries are made and sold.
Enough to go around Portugal – Twice
5. “A bride who eats a pastry will never take off her ring.”