Explore Old Alfama – Lisbon’s Historic Neighbourhood

| August 3, 2022 | 0 Comments

After exploring the Graca neighbourhood, I braved the heavy rain until I reached another old neighbourhood of Alfama and its warren of narrow streets and alleys. This is one of the oldest parts of Lisbon and remained largely intact after the earthquake of 1755 that destroyed most of the city. A dense network of narrow lanes criss-crossed the neighbourhood. Despite the lovely lanes, it was not a very enjoyable experience with the constant rain. The footpaths are uneven and pocketed with little dips full of water, perfect for catching a guy with runners not watching where he is going.

I followed my directions that brought me past the city’s oldest cathedral, the Sé, mostly to escape the rain and use the toilet, which they didn’t have. It wasn’t that impressive if you’ve seen any old European churches. There was an upper section given over to a display of religious treasures. It was an orgy of gold and silver chalices, artefacts, bible covers and robes festooned with the feathers of some exotic bird, all supposedly to honour God. It seemed more like the belongings of a king or prince than men of God.

Pilgrimage to Eusebio – a footballing Great

Back to the city to visit the tomb of another of my hero’s, Eusebio. He’s buried in the Pantheon, the church that houses the great’s of Portugal. I visited the nearby flea market afterwards. Feira de Lada flea market. It wasn’t that impressive, lots of junk and rubbish for sale but also some nice art inside the covered building.

Fish lunch near Alfama Lisbon
Yet another delicious fish lunch in Lisbon

At this stage, I wandered aimlessly, wanting to find a place to shelter and eat. I reached Lisbon’s most famous shopping street, Rua Augusta, and picked a nice spot where I got a set lunch menu of fish, potatoes, salad, two glasses of beer and small coffee for fifteen Euros with tip. Even here, the heart of the shopping district, it’s pretty cheap.

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Category: Lisbon, Portugal

About the Author ()

John Dwyer is a travel writer and blogger. His first book High Road to Tibet: Travels in China, Tibet, Nepal and India became an Amazon best-seller. His latest book Klondike House: Memories of an Irish Country Childhood recalls his years growing up on a rural farm in Ireland.

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