Enchanting Lisbon, a city built on seven hills, capital of Portugal and one of the oldest cities in the world. Situated on the north banks of the River Tagus, the charm of Lisbon exists in its strong connections to the past. Its renovated palaces, magnificent churches and an impressive castle mirror the city’s rich cultural heritage. Sometimes referred to as ‘the City of the Discoveries’ due to its important maritime role in the discovery of the sea routes to India and the Americas, this modern city is a diverse blend of neighbourhoods, culture and architecture which distinguish it from the other European capitals and make it a truly fascinating and wide-ranging city to visit.
Lisbon and its monuments can be visited on a full-day excursion from Fatima or as part of a two centre pilgrimage (4 nights Fatima & 3 nights Lisbon/Cascais).
During your visit to Lisbon or your stay at one of the nearby seaside resorts of Cascais or Estoril, you will have ample time to visit and explore some of the city’s most treasured monuments and historic sites. These include –
Monastery of St. Jerónimos
Built of white stone and facing the River Tagus, Jerónimos Monastery is one of Lisbon’s greatest historic landmarks. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984, the originally named Saint Mary of Belém Monastery was built in the 16th century on the orders of King D. Manuel I, as a home for the monks of St. Jeronimo’s order and served the royal dynasty of this Portuguese king. Today Jerónimos Monastery is much more than a monument to the riches of the period of the Discoveries. It is also one of the most beautiful architectural examples of the Manueline style, the most impressive monastic structure of the 16th century in Portugal and one of the most important churches in Europe.
The stones of the Sé Cathedral are a testament of the history of this city, since its days as an Arab port. Following the conquest of the city in 1147, Dom Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal ordered the building of this cathedral, also known as Santa Maria Maior Church, on the ruins of a mosque. Lisbon Cathedral is one of the city’s oldest and most venerated monuments, a symbol of medieval religious architecture. This stunningly beautiful building houses some noteworthy artefacts including the relics of St Vincent, the city’s patron saint.
Saint Anthony’s Church
For devotees of Saint Anthony, a visit to this church is a must. According to tradition, the church was built on the site where Fernando de Bulhões, the future Saint Anthony was born in 1195. Fernando grew up just adjacent to the Sé Cathedral and was baptised there. His home is long since gone but in his honour the inhabitants of the city built this special church. On May 12th 1982, Pope John Paul II visited the church. He inaugurated a statue of Saint Anthony in the square in front of the church and prayed in the crypt, which marks the spot where the saint was born.
The Sanctuary of Christ the King
Built in 1959 in thanks to God for having spared Portugal during WWII, this enormous monument to Christ was inspired by the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro.
The 28m (90ft) figure of Christ opens its arms to Lisbon, and there is a sweeping view of the city from the top of the 82m (270ft) high pedestal (reached by an elevator). At the base of the monument, the Sanctuary contains a small chapel where groups may have the opportunity to attend the celebration of the Eucharist depending on itinerary.