RU  UK  EN
Статьи  >  Visit  >  Alfama: Moorish heritage of Lisbon

Alfama: Moorish heritage of Lisbon

Автор: 17.08.2019 | travel, Portugal
Today we are inviting you for a walk in the oldest neighbourhood in the city of Lisbon, the famous Alfama, an emblematic quarter we often see in the movies and works of popular culture when it comes to the Portuguese capital.

Founded by the Moors in the eighth century, the most genuine neighbourhood Alfama blows visitors away immediately with its picturesque labyrinth of narrow streets, fortresses walls, and cosy squares. A few hours walk on the ancient cobblestoned streets along luxury mansions and poor weathered and rickety house runs fast, so even for a brief inspection you need to allocate at least half a day, even though the area is quite small.castillo-alfama.jpgPhoto civitatis.com

It is located on one of the city seven hills, a little away from the city centre, spreading on the slope between the São Jorge Castle and the Tejo River. Its name comes from the Arabic meaning "holy source". As history evidences, the founders as though saw it in a crystal ball: this fragile and delicate in Alfama miraculously survived almost without damage terrible earthquake of 1755, when 80% of Lisbon was wiped off the face of the earth. That is why its chaotic housing has not undergone renovation and survived to this dayPhoto mediasubs.ru

The best option to start your trip from the centre of the capital to the district, is a ride on the number 28 tram, which is the most enjoyable and memorable activity both at daytime and at night: the age-old transport passes through narrow and undulating route finishing in Alfama, almost at its top point. After admiring the postcard-perfect views of the city and the bay from the lofty observation terraces of the Miradouro de Santa Luzia and the Miradouro das Portas do Sol, you need to breathe out, to tie tighter the laces on comfortable shoes, and go through this wonderful maze, reminiscent of the Moroccan city. On all sides, you will be literally attacked by the sights and not only by the touristy beguiling attractions such as the Lisbon Cathedral and Portugal's National Pantheon: eyes are literally dazzled by the beauty of houses, humble and shabby mansions and cosy bonhomie cafés with a couple of tables.Photo files.wordpress.com

Local residents treat guests heartily and are kind to them, suggesting where to go or where meals are tastier and cheaper. All it because Alfama always has been inhabited by students and commoners whose lives were often associated with trade, fishing and small craft, so here you will not come across metropolitan hubris or arrogance: everyone is smiling to each other, casually inviting for a glass of wine or plate of sardines. Steep flights of steps and winding alleyways, in addition to the famous decorative tile azulejo, are adorned with drying laundry that is hanging wherever possible. Moreover, the Portuguese authorities even issued a special decree allowing to hang out here both linens and clothes, and tourists are simply crazy about this tradition, because everything looks bright and not pompous.

hjgkmgj.jpgPhoto kaboompics.com

No less surprising is the fact that quite unexpectedly medieval stone jungle turn into a splash of green street-gardens with palm trees and orange trees, hanging right above the head. These oases fill the area with so desired coolness and allow tourists to rest and decide where to go next. We recommend a walk on the grounds of the castle of St. George, once the main citadel of the capital. The powerful fortress wall is just remnants, though, it impresses with its grandeur and reminds about the days when the Portuguese desperately fought the Moors literally for every meter of Lisbon.

The Museum of Decorative Arts (Museu de Artes Decorativas), opened in the middle of the last century, is famous for its collection of ceramics, carpets and decor, illustrating the fact that Alfama has always been full of handy crafters. Take, for instance, one of Lisbon's most fascinating architectural oddities the Casa dos Bicos, with its curious façade, studded with diamond-shaped stones, and asymmetrical windows. Hard to believe, that these architectural masterpieces are here really at every turn, and you just do not have time to browse Internet for an object, or to learn more about it asking the conductor or guide.Photo mediasubs.ru

The only thing that is frustrating is the fact that when you are leaving Alfama, no matter how sore your legs were while walking through its warren of narrow streets and crooked lanes steeped in history, you know that you did not get enough, and you cannot take this beauty with you. This neighbourhood belongs to those magical places that even in professional photos do not look so amazing as in reality, because each single tile, every crack, every window is attracting attention, and the head gets dizzy with pleasure just to look around. To come to Lisbon and not to walk through the Alfama is the crime and make a note of it: this the most authentic and unassuming area cannot be compared with perfectly clean centre of Baixa, modern and business-like City, or even Belém, with its sweets and whitewashed promenade.

Cover photo kaboompics.com

Вам это будет интересно:
Departure: Slovenia
Having taken tens of millions of visitors in a couple of hundred years, the Postojna Cave made Slovenia being proud of it because of the main tourist attraction in the whole country. The maze of stone tunnels, halls and corridors, carved by nature itself, plus modern services for guest travelers have made these grottoes one of the most popular in the world.
10 facts about Serbia
Balkans is the travel destination that is becoming more and more popular year by year. Perhaps, every traveler has its own favorite countries of the region, however, we cannot avoid telling about the main state of this semi-island Serbia.
Departure: Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is called Middle Asian Switzerland. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, caves, cols and green meadows aren’t a speck inferior in terms of aesthetics to European ones yet travelers haven't duly appreciated this country so far. Across-the-board exploration of the land by the state’s guests has only just begun. And alongside hotels that are being swiftly erected, ordinary yurts are still offered for residence to feel local natural.
Rice canvas. Tambo Art
The Japanese are very creative people, especially when it comes to rice. If they have some extra spare time and large spacious rice paddies, then routine process of growing an agricultural crop turns into art...
Montmartre of Belgrade
There are few ones similar to it. Around 400 meters long. With its special atmosphere. Small town inside a city. Cars don’t drive here. Here you can feel old uneven stone-blocked pavement beneath your feet with paintings on buildings around being so delusive that one cannot make out where there is a real window-balcony-door and where it is merely a picture…
Departure: Con Dao
The week passed in a desperate anticipation of vacations. I’ve been enthusiastically terrorizing GoogleMaps zooming in and out the precious dot of terrain against the background of deep blue ocean turn and turn about. At a reduced scale I saw open jaws of the Hollywood Alien, impudently teased by a midge at its very nostrils.
These red roofs of Ribeira...
Porto is rightly considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world thanks to its south gothic architecture, intertwined with the natural beauty and the atmosphere of freedom. Every piece of it takes a breath away by its grandeur, but the most stunning wow-attraction is the legendary district of Ribeira.
Bolivia: spilt salt spells tourists
It turns out possible to walk in heaven living on Earth. It is enough to go to the south of a small country of Bolivia, to one of the most extraordinary deserts of the world – Uyuni. When looking at pictures of tourists who had been there you can’t help asking: “Are you sure it isn’t Photoshop-made?”
Valga. City at the crossroads
People who like to travel usually visit the same places. Citizens of Paris, Venice, Rome, Krakow, Dresden have become accustomed to tourists for so long that they often look cavalierly at them, pouting their lips, while less known but no less interesting towns or villages always welcome guests.
What do they eat: Portugal
Having been to Portugal, at the very edge of Europe, the OUTLOOK could not help paying attention to the local cuisine. Read below about gastronomical predilections of residents and tourists of this once one of the greatest empires in the world.
If you have 10 dollars and you are in New York
Finally, one of our favorite categories reached the city, where dollars are considered as the main currency. Thus, we will not have to go around exchange offices and constantly convert prices. So, we go to such a different and exciting New York to spend our 10 dollars.
Salzburg attractions: A birthplace of geniuses
Here were born composer Mozart and poet Georg Trakl, here Haydn wrote his operas, and many other famous people are connected with Salzburg. But only a small part of local attractions is linked to these geniuses. A city with a fairly small population, thanks to its memorable places was listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.
Gjirokastër: “Albanian Rome”
A function of UNESCO World Heritage Committee is to work in the most careful manner year after year on studying objects that constitute outstanding culture civilizations and are unique in their origins. Under number 569 of an impressive list of the organization city of Gjirokastër, the one from the south of Albania, is located – it is it we are going to study today through the length and breadth.
Ferris wheel goes round...
Except for Russian-speaking countries, nowhere else a round metal attraction is called a devil’s wheel. Named after its creator, Ferris wheel first opened panorama of Chicago city from 80-meter height in 1893. Since then rotating upright wheels with multiple passenger cabins began to spring up almost in every big city. OUTLOOK offers you to learn about the most impressive observation wheels.
Interesting not only in city centers. Residential districts of the world
There are hardly many travelers who would go somewhere further than city centre where their hotel is situated when on a short-term journey. And if location is a metropolis on top of everything else, such “outside” trips are sure to be put on hold till better occasions.
Azulejo: Story of tiles
You often got convinced that skilful hands of a master who puts life into his creation, can transform humble tree stump into a charming violin, piece of plaster becomes an ancient sculpture, and even clay tile looks like a work of fine art.
Departure: Jamaica
Jamaicans like rum, marihuana (hardly anybody seems to be bothered by the fact that it isn’t officially legal there), Bob Marley and… attending churches. They also wouldn’t mind winning several Olympic medals as well as competing for a crown of a beauty queen. Today we get acquainted with peculiarities of both serious and funny Jamaica.
We were there: Budapest is an underground, aesthetics and recovery city
The creative copywriter Masha Goldman travel around half a planet. The girl can compare travels with the useful drug. Masha tells that every trip, even the shortest and least far gives her complete renewal of powers and it seems that the new life begins.
Don’t get lost: The most interesting markets of Istanbul
Eastern cities are hard to imagine without a huge number of the commercial places. It is in the genes of the local citizens to sell and buy regardless their age and status. Despite the fact that Istanbul is semi-European city, the metropolis has prominent oriental features. So as to know exactly where to go and what to buy, OUTLOOK talks about the most spectacular markets after returning from Istanbul.
Travel to Columbia. Another Cartagena
In the world there are two Cartagenas. In both, their inhabitants speak Spanish, love bullfighting, and in the evenings they go to the beach to skip the mojito and breathe the salty wind. But only in one of them a rhythm of hot salsa, placers of emeralds and pearls can burst into a languid city walk, and bright, hot beauties can cross the road. And this is Colombia!
Закрыть
Outlook facebook page