25 de Abril Bridge, LISBON

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This aqueduct stretches for 18km, from Caneças to the Mãe-d’água (the aqueducts’ final cache), just above the Largo do Rato. This is a work from the 18th century, from the government of king João V, “the magnificent”, and its goal was to provide fresh water to the whole city, which was badly needed during the scorching summers. The final stretch of the aqueduct is a monumental piece, with 5 arches uniting the Alcântara valley. 14 of these arches follow the Gothic style and its columns are incredibly tall and strong, below which still today roads and trains pass by.In the 19th century a serial killer acted out his crimes in the aqueduct, when it was used as a passageway between the two hills. At night time, the robber would steal everything from his victims and then throw them down.

Just before it penetrates the cache, the aqueduct makes a Triumph Arch, although what it commemorates is not a military triumph but the entrance of the water in Lisbon. It is solemn and beautiful, with noble, simple lines with no excesses whatsoever. After this, the aqueduct ends in the immense and gorgeous cache, known locally as the Mãe d’Água (“the Mother of Water”), integrated in a lovely, little garden. Today, the cache is a museum and a venue for cultural events. Inside you’ll find the cache itself (called “Water’s Ark”), 7.5 meters deep and with vaulted domes. The water trickles out the cache via a fountain with a sculpture allusive to the god Neptune.

The National Tilery Museum is integrated in the Madre de Deus Convent. It has a very large collection of the noble art of tile-making and painted tiles, deeply rooted and combined with Portuguese culture for the last centuries.  (218 100 340. R da Madre de Deus, 4. Wednesdays to Sundays: 10 am – 6 pm; Tuesdays: 2 pm – 6 pm. Closed on Mondays, 1 Jan., Easter Sunday, 1 May and 25 Dec.; €4).
Done in a Neo-Arabic style, and in brownstone, this is, as expected, a circular building, with four towers placed in a square, each with domes constructed with Asian flair. It was built in 1892, and it is a product of the Romantic proclivity for imitating other times and civilizations. It has a very large open space around it, with a beautiful green garden that contrasts the reds of its main body. Recently, a modern shopping centre was built at basement level. (Praça do Campo Pequeno)

The building follows the 60s’ architecture, with large bodies of concrete and glass extending horizontally and hidden amongst the dense gardens and tree lines. The interiors emphasize the horizontality of its structure and bring about an existentialist serenity. It has a very important collection of Ancient Egyptian, Assyrian and Babylonian art, as well as European art from all periods, a particularly rich jewel collection by René Lalique, among many, many other collector objects such as books and ceramics.
Next to the library, it has a cafeteria with a lovely terrace facing its enormous gardens, at ground level. The garden itself is a wealth of interweaving species with a myriad of cosy corners for relaxing or meditating. (Av de Berna, 45 A. 10 am – 5.45 pm. Closed on Mondays. Permanent collection: €4).
In an autonomous yet integrated newer building, you find the Centro de Arte Moderna (Modern Art Centre or CAM), which, apart from its central and documental role on the Portuguese art of the last decades, presents many contemporary art exhibitions.

This is the Mecca of movies in Lisbon: it has a permanent programme of cinema, especially auteur movies, and cycles on European and American classics. It is also a beautiful building, with a charming terrace, where you can find something to eat and drink and where you can talk or simply relax. Sometimes in the summer there are sessions of open-air cinema in the terrace, which is always great during the steamy Lisbon nights. (R Barata Salgueiro, 39)
The Madredeus (lit. “Mother of God”) Convent was founded in 1509, in Xabregas. From the outside it looks like a bunker whose only relief is the series of Manueline windows. But the most important part of it is found inside, considering it guards a large number of riches.
Its cloister is small but the light pours in from the top: as it passes through the Manueline stone lacework, it creates delightful effects. It houses also a Baroque church with the customary gold-leafed wooden pieces, the heavy inlaid wooden frames with paintings and the white and blue tiles on the walls. (R da Madre de Deus, 4. Closed on Mondays and Tuesday mornings).
Avenida da Liberdade ends up in a large roundabout known as Marquês de Pombal: you will see his statue on top of an immense plinth, a lion at his side, both looking down the avenue, in direction of the river. The traffic goes its own way here but above it, further up the hill, there is a large, open garden with small woods at each side, called Parque Eduardo VII. On top of this garden two very tall modernist columns close the space. Hidden within the garden there is a very lively botanical garden, with two climates, as offered by the “cold” and the “hot greenhouses”.
from  € 1710
from  € 535