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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for 5 Places You Must Check Out in Lisbon – Four of the Most Glorious Sights of a Cultural Capital
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Places You Must Check Out in Lisbon – Four of the Most Glorious Sights of a Cultural Capital

Lisbon is a truly beautiful city that is saturated with heritage. If you ever find yourself in the breathtaking city, be sure to explore her historical side for an experience you won't forget.

1

Jeronimos Monastery

The Age of Discovery which started off sometime during the 1200s was time where Portugal emerged as the first true global empire. In the modern day, the Jeronimos Monastery is probably the most notable testament one can find that stands as a symbol of the wealth and influence the nation possessed at one point. It also the resting place of Vasco de Gama, the legendary explorer and the first man to reach India by ocean. King Manuel I, who built the monastery, chose this site since it was where Vasco and his crew spent their last night in Portugal before embarking on their voyage to India. The Jeronimos Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2

Belem Tower

This was constructed in 1515 and its purpose was to safeguard the entrance to the Lisbon harbour. For many of the sailors during the Age of Discovery, it was the last sight of their homeland when they began their journeys, and the first thing they would see upon their return many months or even years later. It's a testament to the time of Portugal's naval magnificence and if you're staying at one of many Lisbon Portugal hotels such as the AVANI Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel a visit to the renowned Belem Tower is essential.

3

St George's Castle

The spectacular architecture of St George's Castle can be glimpsed from almost anywhere in the city. Some sections of this great castle date back all the way to the 6th century. The castle was occupied by a range of different races ranging from the Romans, to the Visigoths and eventually the Moors. Before the first king of Portugal, Alfonso Henriques captured the castle in 1147 while it was being served as a Moorish royal residence. Since the king managed to do so with the help of English crusaders, the castle was renamed in honour of St.George. The castle presently is a place of tranquillity with many features that can be explored on a visit.

4

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

If you're a fan of history, especially in regards to the arts, this is one of the finest locales you should experience. The collection featured here astonishing, and encompasses Egyptian, Greek, Islamic, Roman, Asian and European art. The museum is the brainchild of Calouste Gulbenkian who was one of the richest men in the 20th century, and it showcases his vast collection of art that was amassed over a period of forty years. Upon his death, his treasured collection was donated to the country of Portugal. The astonishing collection artefacts such as a golden Egyptian Mummy Mask, an alabaster bowl that is almost three thousand years old, and even a 2400 year old attic vase. This is definitely an artist enthusiast's dream destination.

5

Sao Roque Church and Museum

This is considered by many to be the world's most expensive chapel, and there's very good reason for it. Interestingly, the exterior of the church is one of the most uninspiring you will discover in Lisbon, but the inside was designed using a smorgasbord of the most expensive materials available at the time, which includes ivory, agate, lapis lazuli, silver and plenty of gold. The 'paintings' this chapel are iconic, but these are not paintings at all, but extremely detailed mosaics which are sure to enthral anyone who gazes upon them. One of the highlights of the church is a couple of torches made of bronze and silver that weigh and incredible 840 pounds. This is definitely a place not to be missed.