Miradouro de Santa Luzia
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Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Beyond the Cathedral (Sé) further up the hill, is one of the most romantic and beautiful spots in Lisbon. For those on foot ascending from the Baixa, the viewing platform or "Miradouro" at the Largo de Santa Luzia makes a great respite and a chance to catch one's breath, only to have it taken away again by the amazing panoramic views. Miradouro de Santa Luzia overlooks the steep slopes of the Alfama and the river beyond. The Alfama district is characterised by red roof tiles and the white domes of churches, which contrast magnificently with the rich blueness of the river.

The colourful beauty below is matched by the gardens that surround the terrace. The purple bloom of bougainvillaea vines that grow on the church walls and on top of a pergola is a striking contrast to the blue sky. A patchwork of small flower beds are bordered by low hedges lay in front of the terrace with a statue of the bust of Lisbon historian Júlio de Castilho at its heart. A lower terrace has a wading pool which is a draw for the youngsters. The "ding-ding" from a passing tram adds a melodic addition to the serenity.

Igreja de Santa Luzia Church

Igreja de Santa Luzia Church
The Igreja de Santa Luzia Church is built over the remains of an older church that dates back to Portugal's first years of existence. Built by the knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta who played a pivotal role during the reconquista of Lisbon. References to this religious order can be found in the guise of a Maltese cross over the front portal and banners hanging inside. The original church was built in the 12th century during the reign of Afonso Henriques was badly damaged during the 1755 earthquake. Its replacement was built by the architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira.

It's foundations are in the shape of a Latin cross. The interior has a single nave and is somewhat stark by Portuguese standards. The church's most famed features are the blue azulejo tiles on it's southern exterior walls. One panel of tiles depicts the Praça do Comércio before the 1755 earthquake, whilst another commemorates the Christian siege of the castle in 1147 AD.

Santa Luzia, Largo de Santa Luzia, 1100 Lisboa, Portugal.
38° 42' 42.9" N | 09° 07' 49.4" W

Getting There

12E, 28E

Igreja de Santiago

On the opposite side of the road from the Miradouro de Santa Luzia stands the unassuming facade of the Igreja de Santiago church. Rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake, this church is dedicated to Saint James and dates back to the 1100s. It was here in 1479 where Christopher Columbus married Filipa Perestrelo. A small plaque on the right side of the green front doors mark the starting point of the Portuguese Camino, the way of St. James. It marks 610km to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, following thkje central route. A yellow arrow on the wall points to the Cathedral (Sé), the next stop on the pilgrimage route. The church is rarely open however if you're lucky to arrive when it's doors are open it's well worth popping in to admire the 19th century azulejo wall tiles depicting the “Mysteries of the Life of the Virgin” and a magnificent gold-covered altarpiece dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary.
Rua de Santiago 1100, 1100-411 Lisbon, Portugal. | 38° 42' 41.8" N | 09° 07' 51.5" W
Miradouro de Santa Luzia