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Azulejos as Decorative Art

Altarpiece of our Lady of Life. c1580 This altarpiece was partially destroyed during the 1755 earthquake. It is composed of 1,498 tiles in a multitude of hues. The top section with missing pieces is the Annunciation. The Adoration panel in the center is flanked by the images of St. Luke on the left and St. John on the right. The arrangement of this altarpiece resembles that of a retablo. It is attributed to Marçal de Matos, one of the masters of Portuguese azulejo painting. Franciscan scenes, Manueline Hall Tiles were introduced to Portugal from Southern Spain by King Manuel I after his visit to Seville in 1503. The Portuguese imported tiles until the 17th century when they started to produce their own. Churches, palaces, houses were decorated with blue tiles. A fine example of these adorn the walls of the Manueline Hall in the Madre de Deus, the church within the Museu Nacional do Azulejo. This tile composition depicting St. Francis with the crucified Christ and angels

Reminders of the Age of Discovery in Belém

Padrão dos Descobrimentos  Belém, on the banks of the Tagus River, hosts a multitude of attractions, so many in fact, that it would be hard to see them all in a day. But walking along the banks of the Tagus River will give one a preview of the Age of Discovery. The Padrão dos Descobrimentos or the Monument of the Discoveries is a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Age of Discovery when Portuguese explorers roamed the "unknown" world and brought untold riches back to their native shores. On the ship shaped monument are Prince Henry the Navigator followed by personalities who had a hand in the discoveries. On the northern flank are King Alfonso V, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, Bartolomeu Dias and St. Francis, among others. Two interesting figures on the southern flank, which can be seen on the image above, are Luis Vaz de Camões, Portugal's national poet and a woman, Queen Philippa of Lancaster, the mother of Henry and the brain of the discoveries.

Évora, a Storied City

Temple of Diana After days of rain, I finally got a healthy dose of Vitamin D while exploring the old town of Évora. The blue sky above this Roman temple from the 2nd century can attest to that. Fourteen granite Corinthian columns of the original eighteen have withstood the ravages of time. Meanwhile, time has given archaeologists fodder to believe that this temple may have been dedicated to Emperor Augustus and not to Diana, the Goddess of the Hunt and of Fertility. Food for thought: Not everything we believed to be true yesterday may not hold water today? Hmmmm. Praça do Giraldo and the Igreja de Santo Antão Who would have thought that this peaceful plaza surrounded by whitewashed townhouses with wrought iron balconies and graceful arched passageways was once the site of public executions during the Inquisition? It's noon and the folks have gone home to eat lunch leaving the plaza to a few wandering souls. Nossa Senhora do O This 15th century statue is

8 Images from the Church of São Roque in Lisbon

Igreja de Sao Roque The Church of São Roque has been designated as the Jubilee Church with a Holy Door of Mercy during this Jubilee of Mercy year (December 8, 2015 - November 20, 2016). Please check my post about Lisbon for more information. http://travelswithcharie.blogspot.com/2016/05/why-lisbon.html

Why you should visit Lisbon now

This city of seven hills has long been sidestepped by travelers to Europe. And this is a good thing for those of us who are traveling to Lisbon because it means less crowds, no lines nor jostling for the best views, no distressed people in the service sector and just plain "having the place to ourselves". But interest in Lisbon and, Portugal in general, has climbed significantly since the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. As travelers search for alternative destinations in Europe, Portugal sparkles as one of the best value destinations this summer.   Ruins of Santa Maria do Carmo In 1755 a powerful earthquake hit Lisbon and left the Carmo Cathedral in ruins. This is what remains of what was once the largest church in Lisbon. The bones of the Carmo are hauntingly beautiful as it reaches up to the sky. It isn't hard to pray in this church without a roof.  There's an archaeological museum at the back of the church with artifacts from other ruins and

What to look forward to this summer

Here are some places and experiences you might wish to include when planning your summer travel. Plus an essential guide on tipping and a word about sayonara. Happy travels! France Art trains in France From Paris to Versailles (Condé Nast Traveler) http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2016-05-18/france-decorates-trains-to-look-like-versailles

Images of Portugal

For far too long Portugal has taken a backseat to its neighbors. This has proved to be a windfall for the visitor who happens by. There is so much to explore in the land from whence great explorers set forth on their voyages to the then unknown world. Now travelers are discovering the quiet simplicity and unspoiled charm of this unassuming country which has as much, if not more, to offer the discerning traveler. ***** Images by TravelswithCharie

Images of Lisbon

Surprising Portugal

Surprising Portugal is an old article I wrote prior to 2005. *****