Saturday 12th November

Early in the morning we explored the area near the Praça do Comercio, the area of the 16th – 18th century royal palaces. The area was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake and it became a trading and slave centre. Close by are the remains of wharves and fish curing sheds. Also close by is the Rua Augusta, a pedestrianised area filled with the ubiquitous designer shops.

Near that was the Elevador de Santa Justa. This lift was designed by a pupil of Gustave Eiffel though the latter seems to take all of the fame!! There were once three of these lifts to enable goods to be moved up the city’s hills. Delivery lorries now take their place.

Upon departure we could clearly see how the city is spread across the steep hills that overlook the Rio Tejo.

Having passed underneath the Tagus suspension bridge to our right was the Torre de Belem and the monument to the Age of Discovery of the 15th – 17th centuries with Henry the Navigator at its prow.

On the left was the statue of Christ the King at 92ft in height and on a 270ft pedestal it was inaugurated in 1959 and was inspired by a similar statue in Rip de Janeiro, Brazil, which had been part of the Portuguese Empire during the Age of Discovery.

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