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

Alfama: Moorish heritage of Lisbon

Автор: 02.11.2020 | 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 day

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 mediasubs.ru

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.castelo-sao-jorge-lisboa-bestguide-portugal-min.jpgPhoto sustainablehistoriccitydistricts.wordpress.com

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:
Gobi Syndrome. Mysterioius Land of Mongolia.
When winds start wandering among those stone, caressing peaks of sand barchans and forcing down rare vegetationm entire space around gets filled with marvellous sounds. Herdsmen, who happen to spend nights in one of the most mysterious deserts of the globe, tell about drumrolls, enchanting sounds of flute and voices, murmuring something indistinguishable.
Foot walk around Aachen
To visit three countries over one day – it is possible if you are in Aachen. Situated amid Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, small student town took in features of medieval culture that reflected in its astonishing architecture. Yelena Buravtsova visited the town for it to win her heart with its off-beat monuments, streets paved with stone blocks, cozy cafés, one of a kind printed spice cake, museums and spectacular races.
Houses that they build…Unusual houses
Treehouses, dug-outs and secret shelters – all the things we used to build when children. Unfortunately, as we grow older, fantasy fades and most of us now live in uncomfortable grey “boxes”. However, there are people who have created dwellings of their dreams by themselves.
The travel to whale’s chaps
Even being adults, sometimes we are able to bring to life the children’s fantasies, see the stories from childish dreams, and embody what has seemed to be the fairytale. Have you ever dreamt of being in the whale’s chaps? Just imagine that you were swollen by the giant fish, and you were living there for a long time, looked at it inside, settled down there, swam and dived there?
Several facets of a multi-faceted Boston
Impressions of this city depend much on what you have visited before being introduced to it. After Los Angeles it may seem very business-like and culturally rich, after New York – provincial and old-fashioned somehow. In any case, it has a bright and memorable face of a gentleman from Massachusetts.
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...
We were there: Portugal is a place for romantics
Elena Shikita, a graphic designer, having once visited friends in Portugal, fell in love with this wonderful country so much that she decided to go back and spend the winter there. Staying in the small town of Cascais, she enjoyed the beauty, delicious food and, of course, the gentle sun of this South European pearl. Lena shared her impressions with us...
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.
Karakol. What is worth to know
Nature and heritage are above and beyond temporary drawbacks in infrastructure and services of Kyrgyzstan, which in terms of tourism is approaching to Georgia and Armenia. Let's consider this through the example of the cosy city of Karakol.
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.
VIDEO. Bethlehem: perfect holiness
On this great holiday for all Christians of the Orthodox rite, we want to present you a video about the holy places of Palestine, namely the city of Bethlehem.
Puerto Rico: Swimming with fireflies
Many travelers just don’t want to go into all the troubles to get an American visa for some two weeks of holidays. But having glanced at pictures of Puerto Rican Mosquito Bay they’ll change their minds instantly. Dark sea slick, silence… when suddenly mysterious green glow from the depth extends the darkness to shock the public on the shore.
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.
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.
Rainbow-colored Flower
Everybody remembers a child’s fairy tale about the magical rainbow-colored flower that could make wishes come true. But some of us don’t know that it actually exists. Not so much in the shape of a flower but more like in granular state. We mean the sand that one of the villages on Mauritius, called Shamarel, is covered with.
Liguria: Mediterranean recipe of ideal cities
When planning a trip to Ligurian coast, even do not hope that within several days you will manage to explore the length and breadth of it. So you would only irritate your craving for travelling. Each ingredient of Liguria coast can only be savoured forgetting about the existence of the rest of the world. The port city of Genoa (Italian: Genova) is the chief city of the Liguria region.
Departure: Porto
The city of elegant bridges and mazelike streets, fouled on the map as if a headphones carelessly flung into a pocket. A place that gave name to the whole country and an alcohol drink that used to pack a punch for rugged sailors. The capital’s main rival and the pride of the North in its opposition to the South. We’re talking about Porto – Portugal’s second business and industrial centre after Lisbon and all-in-all one of key South European metropolises.
Sentosa – The whole Singapore in one island
To fully experience a country with the territory of over 700 square meters in merely a couple-of-days-long walking tour is very much possible. And no superpowers like teleportation or ability to move at light speed are needed for that. It is enough to head for Sentosa Island that pertains to the Republic of Singapore and completely reflects its specialties. And all that against no more than 100 dollars!
We were there: Prague
Prague... It is romantic, decadent, sad and cheerful, sublime and spiritual, reflected in the flapping wings of well-fed seagulls on the Charles Bridge, in the mirror pools of Vltava River... Prague is a very attractive and slightly strange European city. Creative copywriter Masha Goldman once spent several days there and told us about Prague charms.
History of the street: Bagdad Avenue in Istanbul
If all the magnificent Istanbul is considered as the heart of regional trade, one of its most luxurious streets, Bagdad Avenue, is, certainly, the main artery. Having appeared there, even rejecting shopping with the whole heart, one feels hardship while trying to keep him balanced and not succumb to temptation to go to the ships and markets. Even though, apart from that, there is something to do here.
Закрыть
Outlook facebook page