Lisbon, Portugal

  • Date
  • 12 February 2000

In 1502 King Dom Manuel decided to build the Mosteiro dos Jer-nimos in Belem (Portuguese for Bethlehem) along the Tagus. The monastery architects used the abundant wealth from the treasures brought home by the explorers to build the massive Manueline-style structure. The outstanding carved stonework and magnificent vaulted ceilings inside Mosteiro dos Jer-nimos are astonishing, but unfortunately the monastery is showing age and even crumbling . A stroll along the tree-lined Avenida Da Liberdade – Liberty Avenue – offers shops, outdoor cafes and hotels leading to Rua Augusta where we found more of the same plus scores of beggars and young hippie-types along the pedestrian-only street. On the surface, Lisbon appears prosperous, but upon departure from main tourist areas the seediness of time and wear become most apparent.