Historic Alfama Lisbon: the Pantheon, marvelous river views & the remains of Amalia Rodrigues

You can find the Pantheon (Panteão Nacional) on Campo de Santa Clara, near Lisbons’ most famous flea market ‘Feira da Ladra’ (Thieves market)

lissabon-12-17-december-2007-001.jpg

The Pantheon is opened daily, from 09:00 – 13:00 and 15:00-19:00, a ticket cost 2 euro. Address:  Campo de Santa Clara Lisbon.

It is possible to walk around the inside of the dome, you can climb the 169 stairs (I did it, pfffffff!) or use the elevator. From the exterior of the dome the view on the Alfama area and on to the Tagus river is marvelous!

Pantheon view 25 april bridge

View on the historic Alfama area and the Tagus river

History: the Church of Santa Engrácia (Igreja de Santa Engrácia) is a 17th century monument. In the 20th century the church has been converted into the National Pantheon (Panteão Nacional) in which important Portuguese personalities are buried, like Amalia Rodrigues, the famous fado singer.

Alfama Pantheon Amalia Rodrigues

Amalia Rodrigues

Its construction took 284 years and gave origin to the Portugese expression “Santa Engrácia works“, a Portuguese synonym for long unfinished works…..

Building work proceeded from 1682 through 1712. Eventually a dome was added, whereupon the church was reinaugurated in 1966. The magnificent 18th-century baroque organ was brought from the Lisbon Cathedral.

Alfama Pantheon organ

The magnificent 18th-century baroque organ

In 1966, during the government of the dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, the Church of Santa Engrácia was turned into a National Pantheon. There are cenotaphs to f.i. Luís de Camões (famous Portugese poet), Pedro Alvares Cabral (Portuguese explorer), Vasco da Gama (commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India) and Prince Henri The Navigator, an important figure in the early days of the Portugese Empire.

Alfama Pantheao Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama, his remains are elsewhere….

High-speed train Alfa Pendular from Lisbon Oriente station & online reservation

Station Oriente is a very beautiful and very famous station, the hub for the various networks of public transportation serving the eastern area of Lisbon, with a metro station, trains, buses, taxis and easy airport links.  The station was created by master architect Santiago Calatrava with a roof of glass and steel.

Oriente Station

Station Oriente. A ticket from Lisbon Oriente Station to Faro (or vice versa) cost about 19 euro.

Alfa Pendular train

The Alfa Pendular is a very comfortable, fast and luxury train.

Address station: Ed. Gare do Oriente, piso 1 – Av. D. João II. You can buy a ticket via internet, also from International station Santa Apolonia. The best thing to do is to reserve a ticket (and a chair number) from 30 days to at least one day before your journey.

Alfa Pendular connects the cities of Braga, Porto, Aveiro, Coimbra, Santarém, Lisbon, Albufeira and Faro, among others.

Website Alfa Pendular (online ticket reservation, from 30 days to at least one day before your journey.)

Aquaduct Lisbon

View from train Alfa Pendular

You can overlook the fine views (picture: Aquaduct in Lisbon) during the 3 -hours trip, or work: sockets for laptops are at many of the seats.

Public transport Alfa Pendular train view 25 April Bridge Lisbon downtowm

View from train Alfa Pendular : April 25 Bridge on Lisbon downtown

In the Alfa Pendular train there’s also a buffet car, mini bar, audio and video channels (ear-phones are distributed), toilets and special places reserved for reduced mobility passengers.

Alfa Pendular view Alcantara Lisbon

View from Alfa Pendular train

Alcantara Lisbon cruise port just beyond the April 25 bridge.

Napoleão shops Lisbon: port, Portuguese wines & Napoleon, the french emperor

Around 1974, after the Portuguese revolution, the Napoleão family in Lisbon started selling wines and Port wines in Lisbon. A quite  peculiar name for a Portuguese family of course, but the explanation is a simple one. Portugal was once occupied by France for a short period of time and like in other European countries Napoleon obliged civilians to register a surname.

Napoleao-Lisbon-Wine-Port

Christina Napoleão

French emperor Napoleon & familyname

That’s why 8 generations ago the ancestors of Christina Napoleão chose the name of the French emperor Napoleon, in Portuguese: Napoleão 😉

Napoleao-Lisbon-Wine-Port3

Napoleão shop, Rua dos Fanqueiros 70 Lisbon

This youngest store of the Napoleão family, located in a beautiful old renovated building , also sells top quality olive oil, tasty jams, azulejos (traditional tiles) and many other typical Portuguese goodies.

Napoleão shop Port tasting

The Napoleão wine shop in the same street, Lisbon

The Napoleão family now owns six shops in Lisbon, and specializes in the best Portuguese wines and Port wines.  They can explain you all about the best Vintage years of the 20th Century.

Napoleão shop Port Wines street Lisbon

Napoleão shops: Rua dos Fanqueiros 70 Lisbon, tel: +351 21 8861108
Website you can order online

Napoleao-Lisbon-Wine-Port2

Transfer from Lisbon airport Portela to the city, a hint & long term parking

taxi-lisbon-portugal-airportThere’s three ways of getting to the center of Lisbon from the Portela airport. A taxi is not necessarily more expensive then the bus connections. It depends on the number of persons you’re travelling with. Portela airport is located at about 7 kilometers from Lisbon’s city center, a ride to the city in normal traffic shouldn’t take longer then 15 minutes.

It is possible taxidrivers will try and charge more for the ride than the normal price. Make sure they switch on the meter. It is illegal for taxidrivers to charge more then the official rates in Portugal and there are penalties. So if you encounter a problem, make sure that you let them know that you might contact the police.

Hint about taking a taxi at the airport: if the queue is too long at the arrivals you just have to go upstairs to the departures area and take a taxi there.

Lisbon airport Portela tourist information center taxi voucher

Airport Portela Lisbon, Tourism information center – Arrival Hall.

Here you can buy a voucher for pre-paid taxi transfers to the city center with fixed prices. Each taxi carries up to 4 (or more) people, including all the luggage that can fit in the trunk.

If you travel by car: Long term parking information

A taxi to the center shouldn’t cost more then 12-14 euros, luggage included. The taxidriver will charge you for the luggage (if you have luggage that needs to be placed in the trunk of the car).

Buses

There’s a special bus (Carris Aerobus 91) that brings you to the city in about 20 min. From 07:00 to 23:00, costs € 3.50 one way or € 5.50 round trip. You can buy the ticket inside the bus, free use of the metro’s and other buses in the city during the same day is included. You can also take normal buslines, which are a bit cheaper. The buses 5, 22, 44, 45 and 83 will take you to areas in or around central Lisbon.

Metro (subway)

The (new in 2012) airport metro station is located just outside the arrivals and departures building. From 6 am to 1 am, it costs around 2 euro to Lisbon’s city center.

Map of all metro stations in Lisbon. The new aeroporto (airport) station: red line (linha vermelha).

Website metro Lisbon