Exploring Lisbon

Originally I planned to go exploring Lisbon with Sandemans New Europe, as I had done in Edinburgh before. But unfortunately I couldn’t find the meeting point and so after some back and forth through the beautiful streets of the city the bus tour of the Yellowbus company was used, as it was still comparatively cheap for 15€ and included the use of the local trams and the funiculars known as Elevadores and the Elevador de Santa Justa.

The three funiculars, all built before 1892, all overcome a difference in height of approximately 45m and were constructed to connect undeveloped parts of Lisbon to the public transport network, which at that time consisted of horse-drawn trams. Besides their interesting routes, the historic carriages are worth a look.

While the funiculars are somewhat hidden, the Elevador de Santa Justa, not far from the main square of the city, stands out. It is strange to find such a framework structure in a rather small square and not in the most prominent location as in other cities like Blackpool or Paris. What is interesting, however, is certainly its original purpose, because even today you can still use the 45m high lift as a lift and not just as a lookout tower, as most tourists do, from which, by the way, you have a very good view of the city. The old wooden-clad cabins will remain in your memory just as positively as the framework structure of the tower itself, and hopefully will remain for a long time to come as a sign of great engineering.

In general, Lisbon is a city teeming with large squares and even larger statues. Now and then, although the varnish on the cobbled houses seems to have worn off, the Portuguese capital presents itself as a very international and beautiful city. The topography of the city and the resulting buildings are just as interesting as the endless number of small alleys, which make you find something completely different at every corner. The historical buildings and monuments show the pride of Lisbon and the country of Portugal and the historical importance of this without being too showy, so a visit to this truly remarkable city is well worthwhile.


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