• Emmy Ciabattoni

A Pedacito of a Day in Lisbon, Portugal

I only had one day in Lisbon but thankfully, upon arrival, we felt immediately immersed in a new world. The architecture surrounding us was so unique; it felt clean and structured, yet ornate, purposeful, and story-like. I'd later find out that the style was called Manueline. We were going to savor every moment in this city.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Lisbon, Portugal.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Lisbon, Portugal.

We walked along a blue and ivory swirled pathway on the Tagus River, where we stumbled upon different monuments. For a significant amount of time, I walked with my face down, gazing at the pathway beneath my feet; the small, stone-like pebbles that constructed the path made me think of the Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz.


The walkway felt almost royal, incredibly clean, and unexpectedly modern. I took a mental note; maybe there was some way I could incorporate this into my future home.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos features thirty-three figures relevant to the history of the Discoveries in Lisbon, Portugal.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos features thirty-three figures relevant to the history of the Discoveries in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Padrão dos Descobrimentos, or the Monument to the Discoveries, celebrates the Portuguese Age of Exploration and Discovery. Maybe you had the same question as me. I thought to myself — Why is everyone leaning on each other, like they're pushing up a hill? It didn't match my mental picture of “exploration” or “discovery”.


With a little research, I found out that the statue features 33 of the figures that played a role in the history of the Discoveries; also, it's located where the brave ships would depart to trade with India and the Orient. Finally, the name made more sense.

The Belém Tower in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Belém Tower in Lisbon, Portugal.

We kept walking to stumble upon another monument, Belém Tower, which was magnificent. And as you can see, we weren’t the only ones who thought so. A crowd gathered at the base, admiring the clean yet ornate Manueline architecture.


It's a common symbol of Europe’s Age of Discoveries; it was a ceremonial gate in which Portuguese explorers boarded and de-boarded ships. I admired Portugal's appreciation for adventure; not every culture highlights discovery and exploration like they do.

Monument to symbolize the first aerial crossing of the South Atlantic in Lisbon, Portugal.
Monument to symbolize the first aerial crossing of the South Atlantic in Lisbon, Portugal.

I took the above picture for my dad, a commercial pilot, because I knew he'd appreciate it. This monument symbolizes the first transatlantic crossing for Portuguese aviators. They started in Lisbon and made it to Rio De Janeiro using three different planes.


Although this wasn't the first transatlantic flight of all time, it was the first flight to test artificial horizon technology; knowing the amount of time artificial simulation my dad uses daily, this was definitely a monumental point in history.

Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal.
Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal.
Manueline-style architecture of Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal.
Manueline-style architecture of Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal.

Next, we stumbled upon Jerónimos Monastery. At this point, I was deeply in love with the Manueline architecture; encountering this structure felt like hitting the jackpot. It took one hundred years to build this Manueline-style palace. It housed monks whose main purpose was to pray for the king’s eternal soul.


They also offered spiritual assistance for the sailors and navigators leaving to explore the new world. This building, in addition to Belém Tower, has earned its title as UNESCO World Heritage site.

Walking through Lisbon was one of the best walks of my life
Walking through Lisbon was one of the best walks of my life

This was one of the best walks of my life—crisp air, beautiful architecture, and the water, all in the same place. We could’ve stayed here all day, just for the scenery. However, there was an even better place to soak it all just across the street.

Standing in front of the fountain at Praça de Império in Lisbon, Portugal.