ICDDEA 2015‎ > ‎

m. Turism Informations

Climate

Lisbon has a Mediterranean climate that is strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream, giving it one of the mildest climates in Europe. Summer lasts until the end of September and the weather during this period is therefore pleasantly warm. Average temperatures: 17 – 26°C (62 – 79°F). Light clothing is suitable with somewhat warmer clothing for the evening.


Currency

The official currency of Portugal is the Euro (€). Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops and restaurants. Traveller’s cheques and currency can be changed at hotels or at a bank – these are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 15:00. Automatic changing and cash dispensing machines linked to international networks are also widely available.


Language

The national language of Portugal is Portuguese, although English and Spanish are widely spoken. The official language of the Conference is English. 


Time Zone

Mainland Portugal is 1 hour behind European Standard Time [CET].


Restaurants

Breakfast is normally served between 7:30 and 10:00, lunch from 12:30 to 15:00, and dinner from 19:30 to 22:00. Due to the city’s proximity to the sea, the local gastronomy includes delicious fish and shellfish dishes.


Shopping

Shops typically are open from 09:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 19:00 (working days). On Saturdays, most of the shops close at 13:00. Fine leather goods, lead crystal ware, porcelain, vintage wines, golden and silver filigree, pottery and specialist textiles are considered excellent buys in Portugal.


A couple of monuments to visit


Jeronimos Monastery

King Manuel I had the idea of erecting a large monastery close to the site where Henry the Navigator had built a church dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém in the 15th century. With a view to perpetuating the memory of Henry and acknowledging his own great devotion to Our Lady and St. Jerome, Manuel I chose to establish the Monastery of Santa Maria de Belém on a site just outside Lisbon on the banks of the River Tagus. The monastery was given to the Order of St. Jerome, which is why it was given the name of Jerónimos (or Hieronymite) Monastery.

The Monastery is a cultural reference point that has attracted artists, chroniclers and travellers in the course of its five centuries of existence. It received, and became a burial place, for kings, and later poets. Today it is admired by one and all, not only as a remarkable piece of architecture but also as integral part of Portuguese culture and identity.
The Hieronymite Monastery was declared a National Monument in 1907 and in 1983 UNESCO classified it as a World Heritage Site.



Tower of Belém

Built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon's harbor, the Belem Tower was the starting point for many of the voyages of discovery, and for the sailors it was the last sight of their homeland. It is a monument to Portugal's Age of Discovery, often serving as a symbol of the country, and UNESCO has listed it as a World Heritage monument. 

Built in the Manueline style, it incorporates many stonework motifs of the Discoveries, sculptures depicting historical figures such as St. Vincent and an exotic rhinoceros that inspired Dürer's drawing of the beast. The architect, Francisco de Arruda, had previously worked on Portuguese fortifications in Morocco, so there are also Moorish-style watchtowers and other Moorish influences. Facing the river are arcaded windows, delicate Venetian-style loggias, and a statue of Our Lady of Safe Homecoming, a symbol of protection for sailors on their voyages.


The Ajuda National Palace

In the first half of the 18th century, King John V planned to build a summer residence in the Ajuda hill. The building of this Royal Palace in this place, however, would take place only after the Earthquake of 1755 which destroyed the royal residence, Paço da Ribeira (Ribeira Palace), at the Terreiro do Paço (Palace Public Square). On King José I 's initiative, the Royal Palace of Ajuda was built on the grounds acquired by his father firstly as a wooden building - commonly known as the Real Barraca (the Royal Hut) which burned to the ground in 1794 - and then as the Palace as it is nowadays.

The original project showed clearly Baroque architectural trends, but it was soon replaced by another in neoclassic style by the architects Francisco Xavier Fabri and José da Costa e Silva. Although the first stone was laid in 1795, only in 1802 did the construction of the Palace start. The Royal family had to leave to Brazil in 1807 and soon the works went on slowly along the first half of the 19th century. Only in 1861, after the proclamation of King Louis I (1838-1889) and after his marriage to the Princess of Savoy, Dona Maria Pia (1847-1911), did the Ajuda Palace really become the official residence of the Portuguese Monarchy. Balls and several ceremonies were held in the Palace rooms which became the centre of the Portuguese Court in the 19th century. The Palace was closed after the proclamation of the Republic in 1910 and reopened to the public in 1968, as a Museum. Gathering important collections from the 15th to the 20th century, mainly of decorative arts, the Palace is still used by the Portuguese State for official ceremonies.



Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon's cathedral has a stark interior and differs from other European cathedrals in looking more like a castle. 

It was built over an old mosque in the 12th century and mixes the Romanesque and Gothic styles, while inside by the entrance is the font where St. Anthony was baptized. 

In the back are the 14th-century cloistersrevealing Roman, Visigothic and Moorish remains from archaeological excavations. Upstairs is the treasury which includes the priceless 18th-century King José monstrance made of precious gems.



Castelo de S. Jorge


The Castelo de S. Jorge – National Monument occupies a privileged area of the old medieval alcáçova (citadel) and consists of the castle, ruins of the former royal palace and part of the neighborhood for the elite.

The fortification, built by the Moors in the mid-11th century, was the last defensive stronghold for the elite who resided on the citadel: the Moorish governor whose palace was nearby, and the elite city administrators whose homes are visible today in the Archaeological Site.




Santa Justa Elevator

One of the city's best-loved landmarks and also known as the "Elevator of Carmo," this extraordinary structure was built at the turn of the century by the Portugal-born French architect Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard (an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel, explaining the structure's similarities to Paris' Eiffel Tower), to connect downtown to Bairro Alto (the lowest and highest points of the city).

Originally powered by steam, it is 45 meters (147ft) high, and remains an interesting example of post-Eiffel iron architecture. The top of the Neo-Gothic tower, reached via a spiral staircase, has a cafe with splendid views of the city, including over Rossio Square, the castle and the river.



Aqueduto das Águas Livres

Built in 1746 to bring the city its first clean drinking water, Lisbon's remarkable aqueduct is made up of 109 stone arches, which were the tallest stone arches in the world when they were built. Its total length is 58km (36 miles), but the most visible part are the 14 arches crossing the Alcantara Valley (the best views are from Campolide train station), the tallest of which rise to a spectacular 65m (213ft) from the ground with a span of 29m (95ft). Astoundingly, it all survived the 1755 earthquake.

The Water Museum and the Mãe de Agua reservoir explain this rare and complex 18th century water supply system, a space that was awarded the Council of Europe Museum Prize in 1990. The cool stone chamber of the Mãe de Agua site is also often used for art exhibitions.


The Zoo

At Lisbon Zoo, you will travel around the world without leaving Lisbon.

Go to California and kiss a sea lion, pass through Cuba and feel the skin of a snake, and be sure to go sailing in the ocean to watch the dolphins. In the African route, meet the gorillas and chimpanzees. Visit the elephants and the giraffes in the savannah. Watch the pelicans feeding between Africa and Asia. Hide in the forest to observe the okapis and explore Madagascar to find lemurs. Back to Portugal, visit the Children's Farm and learn all about domestic animals. 

Be amazed by the view from the cable car and take a ride in the Zoo train. All with the promise of an unforgettable day spent in the centre of Lisbon!


To get more information about Lisbon, please contact Mr. João Carmelo (commercial.adviser@transalpino.pt) of Transalpino travel agency.