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A tour at Alfama-Graça Mouraria in Lisbon

This is a story of a tour in Lisboa where the narrow streets and alleys along the Portuguese pavement, monuments and viewpoints are simply authentic and unique.

The area of Alfama-Graça Mouraria is part of Lisbon’s seven hills at east zone of Baixa Rossio. Its important reference icon is the São Jorge Castle situated at top hill.

The map below shows the monuments and the viewpoints we have visited.

Map Alfama Graça Mouraria LisbonVisited monuments and viewpoints

São Vicente de Fora Church (1)

We set off our walk down the narrow street of Arco Grande, a beautiful arch giving access to São Vicente de Fora Church. It is considered national monument and it is located at São Vicente neighborhood .

It is an imposing church with Gotic and Barroc strong presence from XVII century. It is one of great architectural work of Philippine dynasty of Spain in Portugal. Its main facade contains some important Saints at time, one of them being of Saint Agostinho very influential to Christianity.

Igreja São Vicente de ForaFacade of São Vicente de Fora Church

Arco Grande Igreja São Vicente de ForaAt street of Arco Grande
Igreja de São Vicente de ForaAt the start of our tour

Graça viewpoint (2)

Then we walked to Graça viewpoint. Between alleys and narrow streets we passed along the Square of Graça, an emblematic space of Lisbon.

Largo da GraçaSquare of Graça
Largo da GraçaOn one of the streets to Graça viewpoint

Graça viewpoint give us a beautiful panorama of part of the historical city of Lisbon. There our views lost themselves enjoying the well-crafted roofs, the medieval walls of São Jorge Castle, the Tagus river and the beautiful bridge 25th of April.

Miradouro da GraçaView of Graça viewpoint. Behind is the São Jorge Castle
Miradouro da GraçaThe relaxed atmosphere at Graça viewpoint

Graça Convent (3)

Right next door is the Graça Convent. It is a national monument of XVI century. Currently is a museum.

In its indoors we can watch an exhibition entitled Corpus Christi Procession, of the first half of XVIII century.

One of note is the worked marble at floor in the Concierge Room.

Convento da GraçaAt Graça Convent at Concierge Room

Convento da GraçaGraça Convent in the exhibition room
Claustros Convento da GraçaOne of the cloisters at Graça Convent

Senhora do Monte viewpoint (4)

We continue our walk to the beautiful Senhora do Monte viewpoint about 10 minutes from Graça viewpont.

Before we reach Senhora do Monte viewpoint we passed along Voz do Operário street where the 28 tram icon makes its way. We also observed an interesting star symbol of Masonary at the street of Senhora do Monte.

This symbol is a remembrance of the industrial Galician Agapito Serra Fernandes who had a great contribution to the neighborhood construction, named Estrella D´Ouro (Golden Star) district in the early 1900s.

Rua Voz do operário LisboaThe famous street of Voz do Operário at Graça
Estrela D'Ouro maçonariaMasonry symbol at street Senhora do Monte

Senhora do Monte as Graça viewpoint is one of the most beautiful of Lisbon.

In this place we got marveled by the passionate sight particularly at Baixa de Lisboa, the residences roofs, the hill sight of São Jorge Castle an the Tagus river.

Also right there the garden environment with nice trees and the Nossa Senhora do Monte Chapel take us to a place of peace and tranquility.

Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do MonteSight of Senhora do Monte viewpoint (a) Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do MonteSight of Senhora do Monte viewpoint (b)

Jardim Miradouro Nossa Senhora do MonteAt Senhora do Monte viewpoint

Capela Miradouro Nossa Senhora do MonteBehind the Senhora do Monte Chapel
Capela Nossa Senhora do MonteThis time seated!

São Jorge Castle (5)

From Senhora do Monte viewpoint we walk about fifteen minutes up São Jorge Castle.

São Jorge Castle is the the highest point from that hill of Lisbon city. This medieval castle was built by the Muslims in the mid-11th century as a defensive fortification.

This place was the scene of the history during the Iron age, the Roman period and ending up to the conquest of king D. Afonso Henriques in 1147 to the Muslims.

The castle offers a fantastic entrance sight to the Praça do Comércio, the Tagus river and also part of Baixa de Lisboa.

Estatuta D.Afonso Henriques Castelo de São JorgeBehind the statue of D. Afonso Henriques
Castelo de São JorgeIn the courtyard of the entrance to the Castle of São Jorge

Castelo de São Jorge Feeling good

Castelo de São Jorge canhãoThe cannon attentive to the invaders
Castelo de São JorgePart of Baixa de Lisboa and Praça do Comércio

As we move inside the castle and when accessing its towers stand out the views of São Vicent neighborhood as well as Graça side and Square Martim Moniz.

Castelo de São JorgeA view of São Vicente de Fora Church

Ponte Castelo de São JorgeA view of São Jorge Castle bridge
Castelo de São JorgeThe entrance accessing the towers of São Jorge Castle
Escadas do Castelo de São JorgeReady for the exploitation
Castelo de Saõ Jorge ameia The privilege to be seated at a battlement

Guaritas Castelo de São JorgeIn one of the guardhouses

Castelo de São JorgeSight to the Sqaure Martim Moniz
Castelo de São JorgeThe landscape with river Tagus behind

São Jorge Castle gardens are also an interesting part with its occupiers peacocks.

Pavões Castelo de São JorgeThe occupiers peacocks of São Jorge Castle Pavões Castelo de São JorgeThe satisfaction in the company of peacocks

After the beautiful panorama and the walk outside we have visited the museum. The Museological Nucleus (museum) has an exhibition of some traces of objects from their inhabitants since VII century B.C with a strong Islamic presence.

At the end the museum tell us the story of several cultures that passed through Lisbon.

Museu Castelo de São JorgeAt the room in Museological Nucleus Museu Castelo de São JorgeTraces of some objects at Museological Nucleus

Santa Luzia and Portas do Sol viewpoints (6)

From São Jorge Castle we went to Santa Luzia and Portas do Sol viewpoint about five minutes walk .

There, the natural luminosity and the beauty of the blue sky and the waters extension of Tagus river will delight any visitor. At the viewpoint exist a small garden with a terrace where it also can be seen a panel of tiles very pretty picturing a view of Lisbon from that time

Miradouro de Santa LuziaSight of Santa Luzia viewpoint Azulejos miradouro Santa LuziaA view of Lisbon by tiles
Jardim Miradouro Santa LuziaIn the garden of Santa Luzia viewpoint.Behind the bust of Júlio de Castilho Portuguese writer of 19th century Árvore miradouro Santa LuziaTree with bougainvillea flowers at Santa Luzia viewpoint

Neighbor to Santa Luzia viewpoint but not less visible is the Portas do Sol viewpoint.

I would say it is an excelent place romantic too with a beautiful view to relax a little. And that’s what we did!

Miradouro Portas do SolThe deserved relax

Miradouro Portas do SolAt Portas do Sol viewpoint Terraço Miradouro Portas do Sol

The terrace of Portas do Sol viewpoint

Still with energies to end our tour, we went down to street rua do Limoeiro where there is a tree named The Belo-Shade on Rua do Limoeiro. It is classified as Public Interest.

Arvore A Belo-Sombra da rua do LimoeiroThe Belo-Shade of rua do Limoeiro

Sé de Lisboa Church (7)

Sé de Lisboa Church or the Cathedral of Lisbon is an imposing church of XII century that had been under several repairs also due its destruction of the big earthquake at 1755.

It is a church of part Neo-Geotic and part medieval. It is considered a national monument.

Igreja da Sé Lisboa CatedralSé de Lisboa Church
Igreja Sé Lisboa CatedralThe window at top (rosacea) as a symbol of spirituality

Alfama-Graça Mouraria area in the center of Lisbon mirrors the harmony of freedom, tranquility and pleasure with the history and culture of the past.

The monuments, viewpoints, the Tagus river, the São Jorge medieval Castle, the narrow streets and its alleys are the reflection of the beauty to this historical part of the city of Lisbon offering to their visitors.

Thanks to Manuel Manero for blogging recommendations

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Rui Vasconcelos

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