The old fishing town of Alcochete maintains its charm of small, attractive houses, having Lisbon as background. You will not be disappointed in your visit on the way to an unforgettable sunset.
One of the best known and more visited viewpoints in Lisbon, it allows you to take a privileged view over the houses of Alfama Neighbourhood and its curvy streets that go all the way down to the Tagus River.
Nossa Senhora do Monte (Our Lady of the Hill) is one of the least know and most beautiful viewpoints in the capital. Surrounded by ancient trees and round-shaped, this miradouro shows an encompassing view of the city that you can check on the tiles panel available.
An inheritance left after the World Exhibition held in 1998 (Expo’98), Parque das Nações [the Park of the Nations] was one of the most paradigmatic examples of success of the last few years in the contemporary story of Lisbon.
The most western area of the city was highly degraded and was occupied as from the 1980’s by a storage field for containers, slaughterhouses and pollutant industries of different kinds. The efforts developed in the works carried out, completely transformed it into a pleasant area, where there is a shopping centre, the Lisbon casino, wide leisure areas, the Oceanarium, the Atlantic Pavilion, the Lisbon International Exhibitions Fair with four halls, the Vasco da Gama Bridge and the Gare do Oriente [West Station].
This charismatic tower, resembling a ship’s sail, was built during Expo’98, and was the location selected for a luxury panoramic restaurant at 142 meters of height. The building next to it was erected in 2010, and is the modern 5-star hotel Myriad.
A beauty at night or during the day, Vasco da Gama Bridge is one of the huge construction works carried out for Expo’98.
The construction started in February 1995, and the 18km-long bridge was open to traffic on the 29th March 1998, in time for the inauguration of the Exhibition on the 22nd May.
In 1572, with the permission of King D. Sebastião, the Convent of Saint Francis was built to lodge the friars of the Order, over an ancient church of the 13th century devoted to Saint Mary of Sabonha. The Convent [São Francisco] would name this area and parish belonging to the council of Alcochete.
In 1834, with the extinction of the male religious Orders decreed by the Marquis of Pombal, and nationalisation of their assets and estates, the Convent was abandoned, and only the monumental front arch covered with 17th century tiles in white and blue representing several saints, including Saint Francis, was left standing.
Since the Vasco da Gama Bridge was built Alcochete gained new centrality in the metropolitan area of Lisbon, counting with 18,000 inhabitants.
This is a modern council but maintaining contact with its roots and history that is visible in every corner, in the monuments and palaces that drive us back to the past, to the times of some important characters in the history of Portugal such as the King D. Manuel I, Blessed Manuel Rodrigues, one of the 40 famous martyrs of Brazil, and Father Cruz.
The human occupation of the Council dates back to the Lower Palaeolithic, around 28,000 years ago. Yet Alcochete gained importance in the 15th century when it was chosen by the court of King D. João I as the ideal place to rest and for leisure activities, benefiting from the mild weather and abundant game.
Prince D. Fernando, Duke of Beja chose Alcochete to set his residence palace and it was here that D. Beatriz gave birth to King D. Manuel I, who unexpectedly took the throne in 1495, succeeding to his cousin King D. João II, upon the death of his son and heir D. Afonso.
The “Fortunate King”, so called for the achievements and events Portugal was able to reach during his reign, was the first king to take the title of King of Portugal and the Algarve, of Both Sides of the Sea in Africa, Lord of the Trade, the Conquest and the Navigation in the Arabia, Persia and India [Rei de Portugal e dos Algarves, d’Aquém e d’Além-Mar em África, Senhor do Comércio, da Conquista e da Navegação da Arábia, Pérsia e Índia].
During the reign of King D. Manuel I the Discoveries reached a peak, namely with the discovery of the Sea Route to India by Vasco da Gama (1497-1499), Pedro Álvares Cabral reaching Brazil (1500), and the expeditions to the Newfoundland (1500-1502).