Portugal impressions

Visiting our quieter, more sensible neighbours to the west

  • The arrivals gate at the airport is above level from the people waiting, making it easier to see those coming out the gate.
  • Obrigado/a: In order to say “Thank you” you need to disclose your gender in Portugese
  • The smoking are outside is NOT next to the taxi stop but across the road.
  • The song playing on the radio in the tqxi was a duet, a Spanish/Portugese.
  • The taxi fare from airport to the hotel was 6,6€. The fare from my place to the Madrid airport was 30€
  • 2 million people commute to Lisbon BY FERRY everyday.

Subtle differences with Spain

“No incomodar” sounds a lot gentler than “No molestar”.

“Alcampo” is called “Auchan” but has the same exact logo.

“Pasteis de nata” are in fact oversugared, undersized & burnt “pasteles de arroz”.

Late medieval origins

Castillo san Jorge. Morería, they were only allowed there.

The story of how the castle was conquered from the Muslim rules, the hero getting his body in the way of the door (Cascorro style)

Pedro IV getting rid of religious orders privileges in the 1830’s and granted a constitution

The seal of Lisboa. Whose corpse was acoopanied by a flock of Ravens?

1506 massacre

Church of de São Domingos. Alleged miracle, a concerted jew denied it and was killed. There was a masacre of 2000+ jews. When the king knew about this he EXECUTED the instigators (priests) and closed the church for 8 years.

We were allowed into the church even though the mass was in progress.
That would never been allowed in Spain, people are so much nicer in here.

Dominican friars promised absolution for sins committed over the previous 100 days to those who killed the “heretics”, and a crowd of more than 500 people (many of them sailors from HollandZeeland and the Kingdom of Germany) gathered and killed all the New Christians they could find on the streets, burning their bodies by the Tagus or in Rossio.

That Sunday, more than 500 people were violently sent to their deaths.

The New Christians, no longer found on the streets, were dragged from their houses and from churches and, along with their wives, sons and daughters, were burnt in the public squares alive or dead.

Not even infants were spared, as the crowd ripped them to pieces or threw them against the walls. The crowd proceeded to loot the houses, stealing all the gold, silver and linens they could find. More than 1000 people were killed on the second day.

Lisbon Massacre – Wikipedia

The 1755 Earthquake

The earthquake from 1755. On November 1st, at 9 while everyone was in church. After the earthquake there was a tsunami and 3 days of fires. It was perceived as the end for the world.

Abril 1974

(I will say that at least Salazar was an Economist… unlike his spanish counterpart)

By chance we are visiting Lisboa during the celebration for the 45th anniversary of the Revolução de 25 de Abril de 1974 (Carnations Revolution).

On april 24th 1974. They used two signals: first the Eurovision song, then: “Grandola vila morena“. (Note: research the name of the lady who started this).

Preparations for the 45th anniversary of the April 25th revolution on Praça Do Carmo

The headquarters of Carmo (Quartel do Carmo) is a very important building for Portugal’s history. Marcelo Caetano (former dictatorAntónio de Oliveira Salazar’s replacer) found refuge in the main Lisbon military police station at the time of the revolution.

This building was surrounded by the MFA (Portuguese Armed Forces), which pressured Marcelo Caetano to cede power to general Spínola. It was here where the Estado Novo (New Regime) officially came to an end after almost 50 years

Historic square ‘Largo do Carmo’ Lisbon

Lluis Llach’s Abril 1974 was one of the first foreign songs to talk about this, and is one of my favorite songs.

The palace that used to belong to Portugal’s last dynasty was converted into a national Panteon after the country became a republic, were prominent national heroes are now buried. Amália Rodrigues & Eusébio are there.


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