Tag Archives: Estado Novo

Impressions of Portugal, On the Way Back to Lisbon

Castelo de Santiago do Cacém

Castelo de Santiago do Cacém

Better than two months have passed since our last days in Portugal. On March 30, we left the Alentejo to head back to Lisbon, a short trip that could easily accommodate a stop or two along the way. The taxi driver who drove us to the rental car office when we’d first headed out from Lisbon was from the Alentejo. He spoke to us in rapid English about sites we shouldn’t miss. (Indeed, it seemed to us he’d have preferred we didn’t bother with the Alentejo at all.) Before we disembarked, he wrote out a “must-see” site on a torn off scrap of paper: Ruínas Romanas de Miróbriga, ruins of a Roman city dating from the 1st century A.D. Continue reading

Impressions of Portugal, Belém

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (western profile)

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (western profile)

Illustrious Gama, whom the waves obey’d,
And whose dread sword the fate of empire sway’d.
—Luís de Camões (from Os Lusíadas)

The Museu Coleção Berardo, described as “the main museum for modern and contemporary art in Portugal,” lured us to spend a day in the Lisbon parish of Belém. The Museu is housed in the vast Centro Cultural De Belém (Belém Cultural Center or CCB), which was “erected as a showpiece for Portugal’s 1992 presidency of the European Union.” [Time Out Lisbon, p. 98] Continue reading