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Lisbon Walking Tours

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This is the third section of the Castelo de Sao Jorge Walking Tour of Lisbon and this part details the route between Alfama and the castle of Lisbon. The Alfama district is a maze of little lanes and alleyways that eventually leads out on to the much wider street Rue Cruzes da Sé which leads to the rear of the imposing Se Cathedral.

 

The Sé is Lisbon's cathedral and is impressive with its fortified towers, rose stain glass window and solid walls. Inside the cooling cathedral that was built on the site of the Moorish mosque are ancient cloisters and font where Saint Antony was reputedly baptised.

In front of the Se Cathedral is the pretty but modest church of Igreja de Santo Antonio. The church was constructed on the birth place of Saint Anthony the patron saint of Lisbon, weddings and lost causes. The outside facade of the church resembles more of a stately home than a place of worship but inside the church there is depictions and statues of the great saint’s life. In the crypt below the church, lies the actual birth place of Saint Anthony and is open for tourists to view.

 

The statue of Saint Anthony in front of his church was venerated by Pope John Paul during his visit to Portugal. In the month of June the Igreja de Santo Antonio Saint Antony is the focal point for much of the capitals celebrations as part of the "Popular Saint Festivals". For those who are keen photographers the road between the Sé and Igreja de Santo Antonio provides the classical photo of Lisbon, as the traditional yellow number 28 tram passes by the Se Cathedral.

The walking tour continues by following the tram route up the Colina de Sao Jorge hill and to the Roman Amphitheatre (Teatro Romano). Lisbon was major settlement during the Roman era, large enough to establish a 5,000 spectator amphitheatre. The Teatro Romano is only partly uncovered and is not the finest example of roman construction in the Iberian Peninsula but the Museu de Teatro Romano does display items discovered near the site in a clear and informative manner.

 

Continue to follow the tram route along the Rua do Limoeiro until the Miradouro de Santa Luzia (Saint Luzia View Point). This view point provides stunning panoramic views over both the roofs of Alfama and the River Tejo.The Museu de Artes Decrativas Portuguesa overlooks the square and the beautiful gardens of the Igreja de Santiago have great examples of Azulejos, traditional blue painted tiles. The entire area is a great location to have a refreshing drink before the final leg of the tour to the top of the Colina de Sao Jorge hill and the castle of Lisbon.

 

To reach the castle, which is not visible from this side of the hill, head up the narrow street behind the Museu de Artes and follow the signed routed up the steep cobbled streets. The area surround the castle contains many immaculately painted buildings and traditional cobbled streets. The tour concludes at the Castelo De Sao Jorge which provides some spectacular views over Rossio and Baixa and is a pleasure to wander around under the shade of the ancient trees. To return to Baixa either walk down the hill following the tram lines or catch the tram. The tram can be very crowed during height of season and is notorious for pick-pockets so take care of belongings.

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