Saturday, 28 April 2018

Lisbon Chronicles | Graça

On top of the tallest of the seven hill of Lisbon, lies the Graça neighborhood, one of the most beautiful historical quarters of the city and mainly known for its viewpoints, from which one can enjoy some breathtaking views of the city.

 Close to the castle is populated since the foundation of the nation, but it was after the great earthquake of 1755 that its population grew in a more visible way. Walking around on the steep streets and bright squares, allows you to feel the life of a characteristic Lisbon neighborhood, with people going about with their lives. Not to miss are the 2 main viewpoints: Miradouro Sophia de Mello Andersen (usually dubbed Miradouro da Graça) and Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. The first in front of the Graça Church and the second by a Chapel with the same name. Also to be visited is Igreja da Graça, the church on Largo da Graça.

The church and convent of Graça were founded in the 13th century, rebuilt in the 16th century and, then, restored after the earthquake. Is from that time the baroque style that you can find, although the previous Manueline style is still present on the baptistery and in the chapel.

The light inside the church is admirable, creating a luminous atmosphere not often usual in the Portuguese temples, often more somber.

The viewpoint in front of the church is quite charming, with the large pine trees casting its shadow over the terrace where you can have a drink or a light meal. The 180º view is unmissable and one of the best spots to photograph the city and the river, and, of course, the castle.

Walk some more on your way to Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, enjoying the details of this part of the city. Statues, buildings, tiles and street art wait for you in every step of the way. Keep your camera in hand and you'll have much to do.

The viewpoint by Senhora do Monte chapel is one of my favorites! The small chapel, the luxurious pine trees, the outstanding view of the city, the light and the sense of being in a secluded place, make it really special.

And you ask, "how do we get there?". If you're feeling fit you can obviously walk (up, really steep streets), or you can take Tram 28, and then walk back down (its a good idea!). There are also lots of Tuk Tuk's more than willing to take you there, some with drivers that can tell much about the history of this gorgeous neighborhood.


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