Lovely Portuguese ceramics shop at Lisbon’s fleamarket: ‘Armazém das Caldas’, symbols of Portugal & love swallow

There’s a store where you step into Lisbon’s famous fleamarket, ‘Armazém das Caldas’. The traditional Portuguese ceramics and the warm service of the owner makes me feel like buying a lot..  !  🙂

Fleamarket Feira da Ladra Lisbon ceramic shop Jan. 2017 & Loes Broere

Portuguese ceramics shop: ‘Armazém das Caldas’, Campo de Santa Clara 112, fleamarket Lisbon & friend Loes Broere, January 2017

Armazém (lit. warehouse) das Caldas opened his doors in November 2014, selling traditional Portuguese ceramics from Caldas da Rainha, the ‘capital’ of portuguese pottery, popularized by artist and designer Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro. (also known for his illustrations, caricatures and sculptures).

Lisbon Armazem Caldas Feira da Ladra famous ceramic Bordalo Pinheiro black cat

Portuguese ceramics: ‘Armazém das Caldas’ Lisbon, Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro designs

People who visit Lisbon a few days, usually like strolling through the fleamarket (Feira da Ladra, lit. thieves market), where you can find this lovely little shop.

I heard Chinese, Russian- or French people say: ‘How wonderful, but how do we get all this into our suitcase?’

Lisbon Armazem Caldas Feira da Ladra lovely ceramic 3

Portuguese traditional ceramics: ‘Armazém das Caldas’ , located at the fleamarket in Lisbon.

The shelves are full of crockery, tableware and decorative objects, in an explosion of colors and iconic products such as pumpkins, cabbages, swallows, roosters, frogs, lizards, sardines and hanging codfish.

Designer Bordalo Pinheiro had a great sense of humor..  and many of his designs, for example the collection of cabbage leaf dinnerware, are very funny…. !

Lisbon Armazem Caldas Feira da Ladra famous ceramics swallow

Portuguese ceramics: ‘Armazém das Caldas’ Lisbon & swallow nest (€ 30)

Swallow nest (andorinha): symbol of loyalty and love 

In 1891 designer Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro decided to produce a set of ceramic pieces that looked like swallows. They integrated into Portuguese homes and became a symbol for a Portuguese house which lives on still today. Why it had such a massive success? It represents family, loyalty and love! 🙂

Lisbon Armazem Caldas Feira da Ladra lovely ceramics hanging codfish

Portuguese ceramics: ‘Armazém das Caldas’ , hanging salted codfish (bacalhau, € 25)

Dried and salted codfish (bacalhau), a faithful friend (fiel amigo) & history

The Portuguese adore codfish and it’s said that are 365 different ways to cook it…one recipe for each day of the year!

There’s a very long history with codfish: shortly after Columbus (about 500 years ago) discovered America, the Portuguese were fishing for cod near NewFoundland. They were the first Europeans to do so. The nickname of codfish is ‘fiel amigo’ (faithful friend). More…….

Lisbon Armazem Caldas Feira da Ladra ceramics galinha

Portuguese ceramics: ‘Armazém das Caldas’ Lisbon, rooster (galinha, € 35)

The legend of the ‘good luck’ rooster (Galo de Barcelos): a national symbol of Portugal

If you visit Lisbon you see brightly coloured roosters in all souvenir shops in all kind of variations and sizes. According to the legend, it brings you good luck, but you must receive it as a gift…

YouTubeThe legend of the Galo de Barcelos has been passed from generation to generation and while the stories differ, the ending is always the same.

Of course there’s a ‘good luck’ rooster in my 3-bedroom apartment with patio in Lisbon  😉  (short term rentals).

Lisbon Armazem Caldas Feira da Ladra ceramics sardines

Portuguese ceramics: ‘Armazém das Caldas’ Lisbon, sardines (sardinhas)

Grilled sardines (sardinhas) & party time in June: Feast days of the popular saints

Sardines play an important role in Portuguese culture. In the month of June traditionally millions of big and tasty sardines (sardinhas) are grilled outdoors. The streets of the historical areas in Lisbon are filled with a delicious smell (but also the smoke!) 😉

On the eve of Saint Anthony’s day, June 12, Lisbon turns into one big party!

Lisbon’s craziest night: YouTube (in historical area Alfama)

Lisbon Feira da Ladra shop Armazem Caldas tableware1

‘Armazém das Caldas’ Lisbon, my favorite: crockery in beautiful soft colours

‘Armazém das Caldas’ Lisbon
Campo de Santa Clara, 112
Tuesdays and Saturdays (fleamarket days): open from 09:00 – 19:00
Thursdays and Fridays: open from 11:00 – 19:00

Fleamarket Lisbon Armazem das Caldas

Fleamarket Lisbon, Alfama district. View from ‘Armazém das Caldas’ more…..

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisbon’: tasty croissants, Portuguese vintage & ceramic penis tradition

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ is responsible for the delicious smell 🙂 wafting through the street Rua da Madelena in Lisbon..

Bakery Fabrica Lisboa Lisbon Rua da Madalena croissants

Bakery (padaria)/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ : delicious handmade rustic bread and croissants

‘Fábrica Lisboa’  has its own production, which means that  croissants, bread, pies or cakes are constantly coming out of the oven in front of the customers. Traditional portuguese soups, sandwiches made with rustic bread, pies and fresh salads are also served.

Bakery Fabrica Lisboa Lisbon Rua da Madalena home made bread

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ Rua da Madalena 121, Lisbon

Funny Portuguese vintage decoration

When you pass through Rua da Madalena and you hear a bell it’s fresh bread/croissant time!
But this space really deserves a longer visit to appreciate the vintage decoration with delightful and funny details, like old scales, bottles, bread boxes, old phones or pornographic cassettes. Even the coffee machine is vintage…… !

Fabrica cafe Lisboa Rua da Madalena croissant almond

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ & my favorite croissant with almonds spread (amêndoa)

Among the things of the past, take your time to enjoy a ‘late breakfast’ or a snack with salad or scrambled eggs with ham, accompanied by rustic bread.

Croissants ‘old nunnery style’ 

There«s more than 10 different croissants, from simple (plain, € 1.20), old nunnery style (with sweet-soft egg cream, € 1.20, created by nuns who lived in monasteries with a lot of chickens in the garden… 🙂  to extra large: 2 fried eggs, tomato, cheese, ham, salad and chips ( € 7.00).

My favorite: a sweet croissant with almonds spread (amêndoa) € 2,20.

This bakery is located about 10 min. walk from my 3-bedroom apartment with 30 m2 lovely patio (short term rentals)

Fabrica Lisboa Rua da Madalena Margriet Jan 16

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ : friend Margriet de Vrieze loves this place. Tea (chá) € 1.75

Cartoon character Zé Povinho – symbol of the Portuguese working-class

The cartoon character Zé Povinho was created by satirist and designer Bordalo Pinheiro in 1875, a symbol of the Portuguese working-class people, as a caricature for the protest against the politics and the high taxes for the simple population. Still nowadays every child in Portugal knows Zé Povinho. ‘Zé’ (José or Joseph in English),  ‘Povinho’ is a diminutive for ‘Povo’, which means ‘people’.

Fabrica Lisboa bakery cafe Rua da Madalena ZE POVINHO

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’  & Zé Povinho, symbol of the Portuguese working-class people

Ceramics from Caldas da Rainha

Caldas da Rainha, north of Lisbon, is well known for its wonderful ceramic pottery with a long tradition. The output includes large decorative pieces, crockery, tableware and decorative objects, famous all over the world for its unique (and sometimes funny) designs. Where to find in Lisbon:  More…

Bakery Fabrica Lisboa Lisbon Rua da Madalena wall with vintage and penis

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ , Wifi cornervintage decoration

Phallus ceramics, a Portuguese tradition

Why is there a ceramic penis between the vintage decoration? Some centers of ceramic production in Caldas da Rainha has a tradition of phalluses and amusing phallic symbols. The tradition is said to have started in Caldas when King Dom Luis, who ruled from 1861 to 1889, suggested that local potters create something more interesting 😉  Penis-shaped ceramics

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ , Rua da Madalena 121, Lisbon

Penis-shaped ceramics are for sale in Portugal in all shapes and sizes: f.i. mugs, cups, and plates, or decorative pieces.

Bakery Fabrica Lisboa Rua da Madalena 121 street Lisbon

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ , Rua da Madalena 121, Lisbon

‘Fábrica Lisboa’
Rua da Madalena 121 (Baixa) Lisbon, Portugal
Free WiFi.  Facebook
Open from 08:00 – 20:00; closed on Monday
Weekend: 09:00 – 19:00.

Movie (impressions) on VIMEO


Tiny Ginja bar ‘Os Amigos da Severa’ Lisbon: popular berry liqueur & fado music

Planning a trip to Lisbon? A must-try is to taste a delicious typical Portuguese liqueur: Ginja!  Very popular! You can taste it in many places in Lisbon. My favorite: very tiny bar ‘Os Amigos da Severa’ (friends of Maria Severa, considered as the first fado singer).

Lisbon Mouraria tiny tavern Os Amigos da Severa Ginja liqueur April15 2

Tavern ‘Os Amigos da Severa’ Mouraria Lisbon & owner sr. António Pais serving Ginja liqueur

In the nowadays trendy area Mouraria (a very old Moorish quarter in Lisbon), there’s a tiny tavern called ‘Os Amigos da Severa’ . Already 40 years sr. António Pais is the very friendly owner.  

‘Shot’ of Ginja, a sweet cherry liqueur: 1 euro 🙂  Glass of red or white wine: 0.50 eurocent  🙂 

Lisbon Mouraria tiny tavern Os Amigos da Severa street tourists

Tavern ‘Os amigos da Severa’ Mouraria Lisbon, Rua de Barros Queiros 27 Lisbon

10 min. walk from Rossio Square

Most people who visit Lisbon try a glass of Ginja at Rossio Square, a city center tourist attraction, but it’s really worth it to walk 10 minutes from there to sr. António, and taste his favorite Ginja Albergaria, Ginja is a liqueur made of cherry-like berry called Ginja (not surprisingly 😉  The berries are fermented into a brandy that’s slightly bitter, slightly sweet and very sticky.

My 100 m2 apartment with 3 bedrooms and lovley patio is 5 minutes walk from here (short term rentals)

Lisbon Mouraria tiny tavern Os Amigos da Severa Felipe

Tiny tavern ‘Os amigos da Severa’ Mouraria Lisbon & amigo Felipe Aristimuño

Portuguese liqueur in Lisbon: Ginja with or without a cherry & spit the pit

You can order a Ginja with or without a cherry in it. The berries are on the bottom of the bottle and it requires a fair bit of skill to get just one berry into a glass. Most Portuguese people like to have their Ginjinhacom Ginja’ (with a cherry in the glass). If you don’t want it, ask for one ‘sem Ginja’ (without a cherry). The older Portuguese men drink their Ginja in one time. After this, they suck on the berry for a while and spit the pit onto the streets 🙁

Lisbon cafe Amigos da Severa Mouraria Luc e Erika fado

Tiny tavern ‘Os Amigos da Severa’ historic area Lisbon & live fado music around midnight

Vocal cords & Ginja liqueur

The more lubricated the vocal cords are, the better the fado performance! A few glasses of Ginja give a great boost!  😉 A remarkable night in Mouraria with friends Erika Reusens and Luc de Leersnyder
Lisbon Mouraria tiny tavern Os Amigos da Severa people street live fado
Tiny tavern ‘Os Amigos da Severa’ historic area Lisbon & live fado music around midnight
Maria Severa, a gracious prostitute and first fado singer of Lisbon
The tavern is located close to square Largo Maria Severa, the area where Maria lived during the nineteenth century, considered by many the first fado singer of Lisbon. The atmosphere of fado is everywhere in this little bar: by photos and posters accumulated on the walls, and the singing coming out of Mr. António’s radio.
Lisbon Mouraria tiny tavern Os Amigos da Severa owner sr. Antonio Pais May15
Saude! (cheers!) Tavern ‘Os Amigos da Severa’ Lisbon & owner sr. António Pais
Area Mouraria : fado history & trendy area
Mouraria saw the birth of two great fado names – Maria Severa and Fernando Maurício. Nowadays the Moorish quarter is a melting pot of different cultures, living peacefully together 🙂 . There’re Fado houses, cheap (but good!) restaurants, taverns, bars and nightlife.
Where: Rua do Capelão, n.º 32
Getting there: Bus: 708, 734, 740 | Electric: 12, 28 | Metro: Martim Moniz (green line)
Hours: Monday to Friday from 18pm, Saturday and Sunday from 16pm to 02:00 am
Lisbon Mouraria tiny tavern Os Amigos da Severa street nextdoor fado house
Next door: restaurant/bar & fado house ‘Maria da Mouraria’
It is said that Maria Severa was born in this house, that’s why this place was renewed (in 2013) to promote fado as a tribute to this legendary singer.  She died here, at the age of 26 years old, November 30, 1846.
Lisbon bar ANOS 60 Festas populares Santo Antonio night June 12 15
Mouraria Lisbon in June & June 12,

Historic square ‘Largo do Carmo’ Lisbon: gothic ruins, Eurovision Song Contest 1974 & bloodless military coup

Wonderful Largo do Carmo  is one of my favorite squares in Lisbon!  Beautiful trees, historical buildings, fascinating church ruins, the extraordinary Santa Justa elevator and amazing city views!

Largo do Carmo Lisbon, September 2017

This picturesque square is very popular, well known for the terraces, in addition to being the scene of several shootings, both (science fiction) films or documentaries and commercials. Music and traditional dance are performed here during the summer.

Lisbon Largo do Carmo1

Largo do Carmo, springtime 2014

Short term rentals: my 3bedroom authentic apartment (110 m2) in the historical part of Lisbon with a lovely patio,

10 minutes walk from this wonderful square

Lisbon square Largo do Carmo kiosk 2

Largo do Carmo Lisbon

A unique fountain stands under trees right in the middle of the square. The Chafariz (fountain) do Carmo was built here in 1796.

Largo do Carmo wikipedia jacarandas

Largo do Carmo and blossoming jacarandas.

Originally from South America, these beautiful trees of the Bignoniaceae family arrived in Lisbon in the mid-17th century and ever since, between May and June when they’re in flower, they have lovely bunches of lilac-toned petals.

Largo do Carmo Military Police Station

Largo do Carmo Lisbon

Portugal’s history & Carnation Revolution

The headquarters of Carmo (Quartel do Carmo) is a very important building for Portugal’s history. Marcelo Caetano (former dictator António de Oliveira Salazar’s replacer) found refuge in the main Lisbon military police station at the time of the revolution.

On April 25, 1974, the day of  the Carnation Revolution, this building was surrounded by the MFA (Portuguese Armed Forces), which pressured Marcelo Caetano to cede power to general Spínola. It was here where the Estado Novo (New Regime) officially came to an end after almost 50 years. More..

25-abril Carnation Revolution 1974 Lisbon

Largo do Carmo Lisbon April 25 1974

1974: The Carnation Revolution (Revolução dos Cravos) &  Eurovision Song Contest

The Carnation Revolution was a largely bloodless coup. Remarkable: there were two secret signals in the military coup: first the airing of the song “E depois do adeus” (“And after the farewell”) by Paulo de Carvalho, Portugal’s entry in the 6th of April 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, which alerted the rebel captains and soldiers to begin the coup.

Next, on April 25, 1974 at 12:15 am, the national radio broadcast Grândola, Vila Morena, a song by Zeca Afonso, a progressive folk singer forbidden on Portuguese radio at the time. This was the signal that the MFA gave to take over strategic points of power in the country and “announced” that the revolution had started.

More details, videos and songs on Joana Morais’ blogspot

Lisbon Largo do Carmo church museum 1

Largo do Carmo Lisbon
Here you can also find an entrance to the famous Archeological Museum, the gothic ruins of the 14th century Igreja (church) Convento do Carmo).
Lisbon Largo do Carmo church museum Santa Justa2
Ruins of the Convento do Carmo & horrible earthquake in 1755
Open from Monday- Saturday 10h – 18h, cheap entrance. The construction of this monument started in 1389 by order of Nuno Álvares Pereira. The church was destroyed the first of November of 1755 by the horrible and well known earthquake. A lot of people died. More information..
Lisbon Largo do Carmo church museum Santa Justa3
 Largo do Carmo Lisbon: amazing view over Lisbon
 How to get there? How to avoid ticket queues !
The famous tourist attraction ‘Santa Justa elevator’ (Elevador de Santa Justa video), Rua do Santa Gusta, built around 1900 to connect the Baixa and Chiado districts (around 32 m high), can bring you to the Carmo Square.  
As an alternative to the elevator (and to avoid the ticket office queues  – which can be horrendous) – I prefer to walk via Rua Garrett, and turn right into Calçada do Sacramento, it’s not too steep!
Santa Justa lift view from roof terrace warehouse Pollux
Beautiful city view of Lisbon and Santa Justa Lift
From the roof terrace of Pollux, a huge warehouse, Rua dos Fanqueiros 276. There’s a pleasant roof terrace & bar/cafe.

Unique bar ‘Pensão Amor’ (brothel) Lisbon: former red light district, sailors & pole dance

Rua Nova do Carvalho in Lisbon, located near the river Tagus, was for decades known as a street in the city’s red light district with bars named after European capitals (like Copenhagen,  Oslo or Roterdão (Rotterdam) and Jamaica to attract the sailors who stepped off their boats here.

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon: wonderful drawings on the walls of the stairs

Former red light district In Lisbon

‘Pensão Amor’ is located in a typical Portuguese 18th-century building. Once a cheap pension with rooms rented by the hour to prostitutes and their clients to enjoy a short moment of love 😉

Along the 5 floors of the building you can admire remake copies of old posters from burlesque shows and peep shows.

Drawing artist Mario Belem

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon: burlesque decor & ceilings with frescoes

Wonderful décor

The ceilings of this former ‘guesthouse’ are painted with frescoes, the walls are covered with mirrors, paintings and old posters, and decorative pieces give the space an old burlesque, relaxed atmosphere. Amazing! The wonderful décor is recalling the history of the building.

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon: the pole dance room

Pole dance & YouTube: Marina mey

Now ‘Pensão Amor’ is one of the most popular bars in Lisbon with various spaces for events like concerts, ateliers, a book store (love/erotica), a trendy hair saloon, bars and a bar with Peruvian specialties. The pole dance room is decorated with leopard and gold. Pole dance workshops are held here to learn the tricks of seduction…

Rua Nova do Carvalho, hip and trendy street in Lisbon

Area Cais do Sodré  

Nowadays this area is a hip and trendy region in Lisbon.

Rua Nova do Carvalho is a street lined with hip bars and clubs that become crowded after 2AM when the bars in the legendary area Bairro Alto start to close.

Rua Nova do Carvalho, hip and trendy pink street in Lisbon

More remarkable bars in this street:

bar/cafe Sol e Pesca, and Bar da Velha Senhora (Old Ladies Bar).

‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon – Erika Reusens admires the bar in burlesque style

The bar has two entrances Rua do Alecrim 19  including an outside café terrace) and on Rua Nova do Carvalho.

YouTube ‘Pensão Amor’ & culture Lisbon

Bars | Cocktails  € 8.00, beer € 3. Open:  every day.  More information : Facebook

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon – stairs to the bar


More about the metamorphosis of this area: Portugaldailyview & video

Looking for a short-term apartment in Lisbon? My  100 m2 3-bedroom apartment in historic area Mouraria with 30 m lovely private patio 🙂

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon : drawing stairs to the bar

Exotic former Palace garden Lisbon ‘Tapada das Necessidades’: free access, gossip & pink birthday cake

Exotic garden Tapada das Necessidades in Lisbon is a guarded secret even the most Lisboetas don’t know about. Beautiful grounds and palace peeling pink paint, with an incredible cactus garden and a setting for a picnic you usually only see in films. Since a few years it’s open to the public/tourists and it’s free!

Tapada das Necessidades garden Lisbon: birthday picnic party June 2012

Between the famous Prazeres cemetery (also really worth a visit!) and the river Tagus (Tejo) you can find this large (about 10 ha) exotical park, including a wonderful picnic area, a network of walkways, historical buildings, a garden and lakes. The grounds of the palace contain a remarkable collection of exotic plants known as “Tapada das Necessidades”.

Tapada das Necessidades Lisbon: Lilja & the candy-pink birthday cake, June 2012

Surprise birthday picnic & special birthday cake

Our lovely friend Lilja (70) from England, born in Iceland, was invited for a surprise birthday picnic. This beautiful lady likes shopping, like handbags, hats and shoes, and she loves to try on every pair of shoes before deciding whether to buy anything at all 😉  . That’s why this special birthday cake: a pink ‘hat’ decorated with elegant ladies shoes and a small handbag on top.

Exotic garden ‘Tapada das Necessidades’ Lisbon: prime location for a picnic or a lazy afternoon

The Palace (Palácio) das Necessidades was built in the 18th century in gratitude for prayers answered by Nossa Senhora das Necessidades (Our Lady of the Needs, a title dedicated to the Virgin Mary), whose first devotional chapel stood on this site.

Nowadays this palace is a Portuguese National Monument

Garden ‘Tapada das Necessidades’ Lisbon: walk through the immense, amazing garden

The ‘Tapada das Necessidades’ has been the stage for some important events in Portuguese history, as exemplified in the famous case of the box that king Dom Pedro V installed at the door, in wich everyone could leave their messages and complaints to the sovereign.

From 1910, the palace remained unoccupied for almost 40 years. In around 1950 it became the headquarters of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Garden Tapada das Necessidades Lisbon: Rob and Felipe, June 2012

Sanitairy facilities & trees

It is really wonderful to walk in this garden, you have the feeling that it’s all yours, because there are almost no other people around… In the park are no sanitairy facilities, the guardians at the entrance cried: ” enough trees here”!…. 😉  😉

There are three lakes surrounded by exotic vegetation, sculptures, a waterfall, a fountain and a pool. Really beautiful but faded elegance….

“Hello? Thank you! I’m currently in Lisbon.. Yes! Celebrating my 70th birthday”

Small pink-washed cottages & gossip

Besides: officially the few small pink-washed cottages in this park were once the little prince’s playhouses. But there are rumors that young women lived in those little pink houses, being the mistresses of the king …  😉

One of the little pink-painted houses in the garden: playhouse for the little prince?

The abandoned buildings create a mysterious atmosphere…..and inside there’ s a lot of trash…….   More pictures of this park, the historical buildings and the exotic plants and flowers: Beautiful garden pictures

Tapada das Necessidades garden Lisbon: entrance/exit near the Palace

How to get there? Take the 28 tram to Prazeres. The main entrance of the park Tapada das Necessidades is through the Largo das Necessidades. This park is open to the public every day of the week – including Saturdays and Sundays, the entrance is guarded but entry is free.

The Palace (Palácio) das Necessidades, June 2012

Open: wintertime 8h – 18h (from Monday u/i Friday), from 10h – 18h (Saturday and Sunday). Summertine 8h – 19h (from Monday u/i Friday), from 10h – 19h (Saturday/Sunday)

National palace Queluz Lisbon area: Rococo style, sexual orgies, Secret Histories & queen Carlota Joaquina

The National Palace in Queluz is one of Lisbon’s top tourist attractions, easy to reach by train from Lisbon or from Sintra. From outside the palace looks romantic, but what happened behind these walls when the Portuguese royal family lived here, about 200 years ago?

National Palace in Queluz Lisbon district & wonderful French-styled garden

History of Portugal & exorbitant decorated rooms in Rococo style 

While walking around in the many exorbitant decorated rooms of the National Palace in Queluz (Palácio in Portuguese , you realize that a ‘one afternoon’ visit is too short. Each room represents a piece of history of Portugal, as well as of Brazil.

Information in English is quite basic, unfortunately. In case you don’t like a group tour guide: there’s real good info at f.i. Wikipedia.

National Palace in Queluz & Robillion staircase: ingeniously designed steps adorned with statuary

Discovery of Brazilian gold & the wealth of Portuguese colonies

Queluz’s Palace architecture is representative of the final extravagant period of Portuguese culture that followed the discovery of Brazilian gold in 1690.

The National Palace in Queluz & YouTube video: an impression

Brazil was a Portuguese colony from 1500 till 1822; nowadays the Portuguese is still the language of the majority of people in Brazil.

National Palace in Queluz & one of the 2 sphynxes dressed in 18th-century costume

Foreign artists, architects & newly enriched aristocracy

From the beginning of the 18th century many foreign artists and architects were employed in Portugal to satisfy the needs of the newly enriched aristocracy; they brought with them classical ideas of architecture which derived from the Renaissance.

In its design, Queluz is a revolt against the earlier, heavier, Italian-influenced Baroque which preceded the Rococo style throughout Europe.

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon, the ballroom & tourists , June 2017

Royal residence from 1794 – 1807 & Queen Maria I : a very sad story

Dom Pedro III started the construction of the Palácio de Queluz in 1747.  He married his 17 years younger niece D. Maria, Princess of Brazil, (1734-1816) in 1760. The couple had a happy marriage and they got six children.

But queen Maria suffered from religious mania and melancholia. This acute mental illness (perhaps due to porphyria) made her incapable of handling state affairs after 1792.

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon & “Sala de Mangas” (Japonese drawings) decorated with tile panels (azulejos) illustrating the wealth of Portugal’s colonies

1794: Ajuda Palace destroyed by fire & smallpox

When the palace of Ajuda burnt down in 1794, the court was forced to move to the Queluz Palace, where the ill queen Maria would lie in her apartments all day. Visitors would complain of terrible screams that would echo throughout the palace. Her condition worsened after the death of her husband and the deaths from smallpox of her elder son and her daughter and their infant son. Maria died in Rio de Janeiro, aged 82. More……

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon & one of the excessive decorated rooms

The juicy story about Queen Carlota Joaquina (‘the fury’ of Queluz)

Queen Maria‘s second son João (John, nicknamed ‘the Clement‘), took over the government in her name. In 1816, he succeeded his mother as monarch of the Portuguese Empire .
On May 8, 1785 Carlota Joaquina (1775 – 1830) of Spain was officially married to the future king João VI. The marriage was not consummated until 9 January 1790, when Carlota was 15 years old.

Doña Carlota Joaquina of Spain (Carlota Joaquina de Borbón y Borbón-Parma). Picture: Wikipedia


Marriage Joaquina Carlota with corpulent João (John) VI & the miracle of nine handsome children

Joaquina’s husband was good-natured, indolent, corpulent and almost as ugly as she was. His religious observances bored her, and they were quite incompatible. Nevertheless, she gave birth to nine children and, because they were all handsome, it was rumoured that especially the younger ones had a different father.

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon & the empire bedroom

Sexual orgies 

After the birth of the ninth child the couple began to live separate lives. It was rumoured that Joaquina had bought a retreat where she indulged in sexual orgies. Source: Vortex magazine, WikiPedia

Movie trailer YouTube (English spoken) Carlota Joaquina Princesa do Brazil

Several Movies and TV series have been made about Carlota Joaquina‘s life. She had a bad reputation: infidel, manipulative and nymphomaniac. Carlota was religious, faced men and also transgressed the social norms of the time, which caused her to have many conflicts, also with the Portuguese authorities.

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon & “Sala de Mangas” decorated with beautiful tile panels

Napoleon Bonaparte & transfer of the Portuguese court to Brazil in 1807

Anticipating the invasion of Napoleon’s army, Joaquina’s husband João VI ordered the transfer of the Portuguese royal court to Brazil before he could be deposed.

Carlota Joaquina fought until the last minute not to leave for Brazil, asked for help from her parents, but diplomatic agreements made it difficult for Spanish kings to participate in Portuguese affairs.

National Palace in Queluz district Lisbon & entrance restaurant June 2017

Carlota Joaquina & caipirinha, Brazilian’s famous cocktail

Caipirinha is the national drink in Brasil and also very popular in Portugal. It is said that Carlota Joaquina invented the drink when she lived in Brazil, mixing her beloved Cachaça liquor (a spirit distilled from fermented sugarcane juice) with fruit and sugar. Supposedly, she drank incredible quantities of the liquor, and the palace had to order dozens of bottles for her each month.

Delicious! Caipirinha Recipe (and video)

Ingredients of the caipirinha. Picture: Wikipedia

‘Secret Histories of Portuguese kings’

“The nymphomaniac wife of King João VI, Carlota Joaquina, will have been the ‘inventor of caipirinha“, according to writer and journalist Alexandre Borges. Book: ‘Histórias Secretas de Reis Portugueses’ (‘Secret Histories of Portuguese Kings’), in a new edition.

As the Napoleon wars ended, Carlota returned with the king and the family to Portugal in 1821. She died at the Queluz Palace in 1830 at the age of 54.  It is speculated whether she died because of natural causes or whether she, in fact, killed herself.

National Palace in Queluz Lisbon district

On the assassination Carlos I in 1908, the palace passed into the ownership of the state. Portugal was in the turmoil of revolution and the monarchy fell two years later.  Since 1940 it has been open to the public as a museum.

Worth a visit!

Short term rentals: my 3 bedroom apartment in Lisbon with lovely patio (100 m2):  5 minutes walk from starting point tram 28 in Mouraria: 

Prices, opening times & how to get to the Palace in Queluz from Lisbon

  • Location: Largo do Palácio, Queluz, Portugal
  • Open everyday, except main public holidays, from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. my experience: during luchtime (12:00 – 14:00) there are not many visitors
  • Palace and Gardens 5 €, Gardens 3.5 € (over 65 yrs.) 10 € adult. More info
  • Train: Lisbon-Sintra line, get off at Queluz/Belas (ca. 1 km walk to the Palace, easy to find)

National Palace in Queluz Lisbon district


Bar Flamingo Mouraria Lisbon: surprising place for night owls & crazy psychedelic bathroom

The Flamingo Bar in area Mouraria Lisbon is one of the best surprises of recent times. A perfect place for a night out (till 03:00) with friends and good music !

Strike a pose!! Bar Flamingo in Lisbon, owners Jorge Gomes Moreira & Ana Batel

Vintage decor with an aristocratic twist

The space, a former lavandaria (dry cleaning shop), is cozy, quite small, but with a very original decor: vintage with an aristocratic twist.

Bar, dance- and nightclub Flamingo is situated at the same square as the famous bar Anos 60, that has recently closed its doors: Largo do Terreirinho in Lisbon.

Bar Flamingo Lisbon: June 12, Lisbon’s craziest night , friends Margriet, Rob, Lilja & bar owner Jorge

Owners Flamingo Bar: Ana BatelJorge Gomes Moreira

Owner Ana Batel: ‘Flamingo is a journey, you’ll never know what’s going to happen but you always can count with good mood: Time Out Lisbon rated our bar the bar with best good mood for square meter !! although we only have a few square meters 😉  ‘.
‘Good music, especially when me, Ana, choose the playlist, sorry Jorge… and of course there’s the craziest psycadellic bathroom in Lisbon – a bathroom that turns into a disco floor’.
Bar Flamingo, the craziest psychedelic bathroom in Lisbon & Saturday Night Fever!
Strike a pose!! We’re always vogueing!
Owner Ana Batel: ‘Dead Combo (a Portuguese Indy Electronica band) shoot all the photos of their latest album in Flamingo, but especially from us… 😉  we’re always vogueing! Strike a pose!!’
Bar Flamingo in area Mouraria Lisbon: Colin Ginks & Garçon Niere
Variety of music styles & Ana’s famous cocktails
Surprising music: hip hop, rap, funk, jazz and unclassifiable.
Although this small bar opened not so long ago in Mouraria, Ana’s (gin) cocktails are already famous in Lisbon…… !
Bar Flamingo in area Mouraria Lisbon & cocktail Red Hot Chili Gin 🙂
Cocktails  € 4 –  € 8);  Gin € 5 – € 10
Bar Flamingo owner Ana: ” Cucumber Daiquiris, Red Hot Chilli Gins, Peach Margueritas & so on & of course infinitive madness!! – that’s why Atlas Lisboa rated us one of the best of 2016!! “
Bar Flamingo in area Mouraria Lisbon, owner Ana Batel & June 12, Lisbon’s craziest night
Happy hour: always from 6 to 8 p.m
Beer Estrella Galicia (20 cl) 1€;
small sangria 1€;
cocktail of the day 4€;
Bar Flamengo in area Mouraria Lisbon & 2 very nice girls!
Cocktails from 5€ to 8€; Gin from 5€ to 10€; whisky, vodka & rum 5€;
liquors 3€ to 4€
Shots 2€
Beer from 1,5€ to 3€
Sangria from 1,5€ to 3€ (small or large glass)
Wine 2€ (glass)
Bar Flamingo in area Mouraria Lisbon & decor with an aristrocatic twist 🙂
June 12: Lisbon’s craziest night & Santo Antonio (Saint Anthony’s Day)
In June, the month of the Festas dos Santos Populares (Feast Days of the Popular Saints), the Lisbon nights are filled with lively festivities that take over the city’s historical center. On the Eve of Saint Anthony’s Day, June 12, Lisbon turns into one big party!
Bar Flamingo in area Mouraria Lisbon & June 12 2017, Lisbon’s craziest night
Bar- dance & nightclub Flamingo – Largo do Terreirinho 16, Lisbon
Tuesday to Thursday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m
Fridays & Saturdays from 6 p.m to 3 a.m.
Sundays from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Happy hour from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m (wine 1 euro, beer 1 euro) Facebook (more info)


Bar Flamingo in historic area Mouraria : Largo do Terreirinho 16 Lisbon
5 minutes walk from square Martim Moniz (tram 15, 28 stop & metro)

Cafe restaurant ‘O Corvo’ (The Crow) Lisbon: great food & a sweater-wearing tree

Cafe/restaurant ‘O Corvo’ (The Crow) in area Mouraria Lisbon is one of my favorites. This part of the city is still quite authentic, although tourism has increased the last few years.

Largo dos Trigueiros, historic area Mouraria Lisbon & a ‘sweater’ wearing beautiful tree 🙂

A bit hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon’s city center there’s a wonderful small square surrounded with colourful old houses, and a small old fountain in the middle. Just lovely!

10 minutes walk from this little square: my authentic 3-bedroom apartment with lovely private patio in Mouraria (short term rentals).

2016: Cafe/restaurant ‘O Corvo‘ (The Crow) Largo dos Trigueiros, Lisbon

Small terrace pleasantly shaded by a tree & graffiti knitting

Square Largo dos Trigueiros, once forgotten and lined with cars, is nowadays one of the coolest places of Lisbon. In march 2016 cafe/restaurant ‘O Corvo’ opened his doors. 

In summertime the terrace is shaded by the spreaded branches of a beautiful tree with a colourful ‘sweater’ wrapped around the trunk : knitted graffiti

September 2017:  Cafe/restaurant ‘O Corvo‘, area Mouraria Lisbon


The menu offers affordable meals: a variety of dishes, also vegetarian. Opened in March 2016, cafe-restaurant ‘O Corvo’ is a friendly, easy-going place serving homemade foccacia (delicious!) among others, and homemade cakes.

Our lunch:  entrecôte (500 gr) for 2 persons, potatoes and salad € 28; um copo de vinho tinto (a glass of red wine) € 2,60; um copo de vinho branco (a glass of white wine) € 2,60, small bottle of water € 1,80, coffee € 1,00.

September 2017:  Cafe/restaurant ‘O Corvo‘, area Mouraria Lisbon: entrecôte for 2 persons

Mix and match of antique furniture

Inside the restaurant there ‘s a mix and match of antique furniture, vintage pieces, wooden movie chairs, stone-clad tables and sofas from the last century. Everything recovered and in good condition.

When entering it seems that it ‘s only one space and an open kitchen (very nice people!) but there’s another greater room. ‘The place is suitable for a group (50 seats).

September 2017:  Cafe/restaurant ‘O Corvo‘, Largo dos Trigueiros in Lisbon

Historic area Mouraria

The cobblestoned former Moorish quarter, roughly between the Castle of Saint George (São Jorge) and Rossio square, is a friendly and super-central neighborhood where Fado was born and which today presents a mix of long-time residents and a multicultural community, complemented by artists, students and other young people.

Cafe/restaurant ‘O Corvo‘, area Mouraria Lisbon & nearby street with photos on the walls

Area Mouraria in Lisbon is a muddle of narrow streets, stairs and small squares, which gives the visitor a glimpse of a forgotten age. Houses painted in several pastel colours or covered with antique tiles (Portuguese: azulejos).

Area Mouraria Lisbon & photo printed on wood

Photographer Camilla Watson : fabulous photos printed on wood

Um tributo à Mouraria (‘A tribute to Mouraria): a permanent exhibition of fabulous photos printed on wood on the walls of the streets in a tribute to fadistas or people with a strong connection to the neighborhood. Amazing!

British photographer Camilla Watson has been living in this area for 6 years.

Cafe/restaurant ‘O Corvo‘, area Mouraria Lisbon & one of the spaces

Location & how to get there:

10 min. walk from startingpoint tram 28, square Martim Moniz: walk via Rua da Madalena, then go up the stairs (Beco dos Surradores) until Largo dos Trigueiros , and turn right. 

YouTube: Square Largo dos Trigueiros & stairs to reach the restaurant

Cafe/restaurant ‘O Corvo‘, area Mouraria Lisbon
Largo dos Trigueiros 15A-15B Lisbon
Facebook  Phone: +351 21 886 0545
Super friendly staff, they all speak fluently English 🙂

Historic square Intendente Lisbon: Bar & Bistro ‘Josephine’ & lovely hidden loveseat

If you love historic districts out of the tourist path, visit wonderful  Largo (square) do Intendente, area Mouraria. Formerly a place of prostitution and drugs, nowadays very popular.

Lisbon Intendente Square new bar bistro Josephine 1 June 14

New bar & bistro ‘Josephine ‘ Lisbon, Square Largo do Intendente 59, July 2014

Trendy place & beautiful historic buildings

Square Largo do Intendente, located in the historical area Mouraria, was for several years a place to avoid. In recent years this square has really grown into a trendy place with new cafe’s, bars and restaurants. Beautiful historic buildings, f.i. the Pombaline style, a Portuguese architectural style of the 18th century.

Lisbon Square Largo Intendente, historic area Mouraria

‘Josephine: a Portuguese bistro with an international touch’

Gary Nairn:  “Josephine Bar & Bistro was opened in June 2014. Set on a corner building at the opening of the square Intendente, it brings an ambience typical of a French bistro . But its owner Marie Odile Coudert, a French native, says it has influences from all over. Being well travelled , she has also lived in the Netherlands for nearly 10 years. She prefers to call ‘Josephine’ a Portuguese bistro with an international touch”.

Lisbon Intendente Square new bar bistro Josephine owner Marie Odile Coudaert & Gary Nairn

Bar & bistro ‘Josephine’ , Square Intendente Lisbon: owner Marie Odile Coudaert & partner Gary Nairn

Gary: ” In Bistro “Josephine’ you can find at lunchtime (till 18:00) all the local basics like the traditional Portuguese sandwich,  the Prego or a Bifana (pork) as well as a sturdy “Melbourne Burger “, a choice of salads and not forgetting the daily menu. For evening a range of Quiches and all prepared as well by the French chef”.

Bar & bistro ‘Josephine’, Square Intendente Lisbon: burger, French fries and salade (11 euro). March 2017

The Prego is the most popular garlic steak sandwich in the Portuguese cuisine for many years. The Portuguese eat the prego’s (literally: nails, referring to the full stomach after eating one ;-)  with mustard or piri-piri).

Lisbon Largo intendente beautiful buildings

Wonderful historical buildings! Lisbon Largo Intendente & view from Cafe/Bar Josephine

Owner Marie Odile: “What we wanted, was to create an atmosphere that would complement what was in the surrounding area. A place where you could eat simple food, hamburgers, steaks, chef quality, service orientated but at a normal price. We moved to this area nearly 4 years ago and fell in love with it, there have been many changes. Starting ‘Josephine‘ was an opportunity to be part of it all to leave my own little mark in Largo do Intendente”.

YouTube movie about area Intendente – Mouraria, historical area of Lisbon

Bar & Bistro ‘Josephine: Largo Do Intendente 59 Mouraria LisbonMetro: verde (green) stop Intendente. Facebook

Josephine Esther and Gary November 14

Gary, Esther & Josephine, November 2014:  bar & bistro ‘Josephine ‘ Lisbon

Square Largo do Intendente 59

Square Largo do Intendente Lisbon

In wintertime it can be nice weather in Lisbon 🙂

Lisbon square Indentente area Mouraria ‘O das Joanas‘ Cafe

‘O das Joanas‘ Cafe  sells breakfast, brunch and a great variety of soups, salads, quiches and cakes. More: Time Out

The Casa Independente is an artistic project idealized by Inês Valdez and Patrícia Craveiro Lopes.

Activities like concerts, exhibitions, ateliers, artistic residences, recitals and soirees. Casa Independente, Largo Intendente 45. Website,   Facebook. 

Intendente Square LOVE SEAT RoB Filipe

Square Intendente Lisbon & THE LOVESEAT created by local artist Joana Vasconcelos

Good friends & the hidden loveseat created by a famous Portuguese designer 🙂

Short- time rentals, 5 minutes walk from starting point tram 28 in Mouraria: my 3-bedroom authentic apartment with lovely patio, 100 m2

Famous vintage shop ‘A Vida Portuguesa’, Largo Intendente 

Lovely loveseat hidden in the middle of the square 🙂

At the center of the square, there’s a wonderful wrought-iron sculpture created by local artist Joana Vasconcelos serving as a small garden, while the buildings surrounding it were renovated to house new residents and projects.

Top Ten most beautiful tiled façades of Lisbon

The building next to vintage shop ‘A Vida Portuguesa’ was covered with beautiful tile panels in 1865. The romantic images on the façade include potted plants and Asians recalling Portugal’s trade with the East.

Facebook area Bairro Intendente Lisbon

Square Largo do Intendente: wonderful street art!

There’s much more streetart to admire in Lisbon..