24 octombrie 2014
Marvão s a municipality in Portalegre District in Portugal. Perched on a granite crag of the Serra de São Mamede, Marvão’s name is derived from an 8th-century Muslim duke, named Ibn Marwan. Ibn Marwan used the fortress as a power base when establishing an independent statelet (“emirate”, duchy) – covering much of modern-day Portugal – during the Cordoban emirate (884-931 CE). The castle and walled village were further fortified through the centuries, notably under Sancho II of Portugal (13th century) and Denis of Portugal.The village has generated significant tourist interest in recent years. It was included in the #1 New York Times bestselling book, ‘1000 Places to see Before you Die’. Nobel prize-winning author José Saramago wrote of the village ‘‘From Marvão one can see the entire land… It is understandable that from this place, high up in the keep at Marvão Castle, visitors may respectfully murmur, ‘How great is the world.’’. In the 1950s, author Huldine V. Beamish wrote of Marvão ‘There is an atmosphere about the district (of Marvão) that is very ancient. At times you have the same peculiar feelings as those evoked by Stonehenge and that amazing druid monument at Callernish in the Isle of Lewis. Picking your way along the steep stony pathways, you would not be at all surprised to meet a Phoenician trader or Roman Soldier. It would be the most natural thing in the world.’. An annual international classical music festival, under the artistic direction of German conductor Christoph Poppen, was launched in Marvão in July 2014.
23 septembrie 2014
Porto (occasionally also known as Oporto in English) is the second-largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon, and one of the major urban areas in Southern Europe and the capital of the second major great urban area in Portugal.The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city. The Porto Metropolitan Area includes an estimated 1,8 million people. It is recognized as a Gamma- level global city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group, being one of five cities on the Iberian Peninsula with global city status, (the others being Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon and Valencia).
27 iunie 2014
The charming town of Monsanto, an ancient settlement perched on the side of a mountain in the Portuguese countryside, boasts some of the most incredible sights on Earth. Featuring tiny streets carved from rock and granite houses squeezed between giant boulders, it looks like a real life Bedrock.In 1938, Monsanto was named ‘the most Portuguese town in Portugal’ which seems strange, considering most buildings in Portugal aren’t sandwiched between two boulders, or have massive rocks hanging above them, but its awarded standing of open air museum, has allowed it to keep its outwardly appearance throughout the years. Due to building restrictions in the area, Monsanto’s appearance hasn’t changed in centuries and has managed to retain its original charm.
Although many of the buildings in Monsanto are unique to this place, like big boulders fitted with doors that lead into living quarters carved from sheer rock, the small town does feature some elements of Portuguese architecture, like the houses and church built in Manueline style, and others influenced by medieval Romanesque. The narrow streets just wide enough for a donkey to walk through climb four hundred feet up a very steep hill, at the top of which lie the ruins of a Templar castle.
Source : Odditycentral.
17 aprilie 2014
The Rua Augusta Arch is a stone, triumphal arch-like, historical building and visitor attraction in Lisbon, Portugal, on Commerce Square, built to commemorate the city’s reconstruction after the 1755 earthquake. It has six columns (some 11 m high) and is adorned with statues of various historical figures. Significant height from the arch crown to the cornice imparts an appearance of heaviness to the structure. The associated space is filled with the coat of arms of Portugal. The allegorical group at the top, made by French sculptor Célestin Anatole Calmels, represents Glory rewarding Valor and Genius.Originally designed as a bell tower, the building ultimately transformed into elaborate arch within more than century-long delays.
5 decembrie 2013
The Fort of São João do Arade, sometimes referred to as the Castle of Arade, is a medieval fortification situated in the civil parish of Ferragudo in the Portuguese Algarve municipality of Lagoa.The first fortification on the site consisted of a watch tower erected in the reign of King John II of Portugal. Later, following the settlement of Ferragudo (around 1520), it is believed that the castle was encircled by a defensive wall (built on the rudimentary walls of the older walls): giving rise to its original name Castle of Arade.
The origins of the Fort of Arade (or Ferragudo, as it is also known) date back to the Philippine Dynasty, and the need by the Habsburg rulers to defend the coast of the peninsula from attacks by pirates and privateers in service to the Crowns of northern Europe. Yet, even at the beginning decades of the 17th century, no fortress was constructed owing to the indecision on whether to locate the fortification on the left or right margin (location of Vila Nova de Portimão).
Engineer Alexandre Massai defended a new construction in Portimão, while the left margin proposal (in Ferragudo) was defended by the municipality of Silves. According to a report by Alexandre Massai, the battlements already existed in 1621, since he refers to “um sítio cercado chamado Ferragudo” (“a walled site called Ferragudo”).
7 mai 2013
An underground tunnel with a spiral staircase, supported by carved columns, down to the bottom of the well through nine landings. The nine hole round landings, separated by fifteen steps, evoke references to Dante’s Divine Comedy, and may represent the nine circles of hell, paradise, or purgatory.
The well is connected to laberíticas caves that lead to a spooky garden surrounded by a lake.
The land that is now Quinta da Regaleira had many owners through time. But in 1892 it belonged to the Barons of Regaleira, a family of rich merchants from Porto, when it was purchased that year by Carvalho Monteiro for 25,000 réis. Monteiro wished to build a bewildering place where he could gather symbols that would reflect his interests and ideologies. With the assistance of the Italian architect Luigi Manini, he designed the 4-hectare estate with its enigmatic buildings, believed to hide symbols related to alchemy, Masonry, the Knights Templar, and the Rosicrucians. The architecture of the estate evokes Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline architectural styles. The construction of the current estate commenced in 1904 and most of it was concluded by 1910.