12 Jun 2017

The Botanical Garden In Lisbon: This Is Not Just About Botany

The Botanical Garden In Lisbon: This Is Not Just About Botany

There are many parks in Lisbon, for example: Parque Eduardo VII, Parque dos Poetas, Parque Principe Real, but the largest park in the city is the Botanical Garden. Every day many tourists and residents of Lisbon come to the Botanical Garden to admire outlandish plants and flowers, take a walk in the park, to see beautiful birds and enjoy the atmosphere of the ancient times’ antiquity. Greenhouses, a collection of plants, which has preserved amazing specimens to nowadays, and three fountains, together with beautiful peacocks, which are sitting on the branches, dangling their tails are making this place a true national treasure. For the economy of your time, hire a car in Lisbon Airport.

In the capital of Portugal, near the Praça do Comercio and the ancient University of Lisbon, the oldest Botanical Garden is located. The idea of ​​creating a botanical garden was given by the Polytechnic School of Lisbon in 1859. The garden was necessarily needed for the school to carry out various research works in it. The works on the construction of the Botanical Garden in Lisbon were started in 1873.

The Botanical Garden In Lisbon: This Is Not Just About Botany

On the uppermost part of the Botanical Garden, dicotyledons, magnolias, gymnosperm conifers and ferns were planted. In 1876, on the lower part of the Botanical Garden, a palm alley was planted, there is also a large lake, in the center of which, is situated a beautiful sculptural fountain. The lake is inhabited by waterfowls and various aquatic exotic plants. Forty species of eucalyptus are planted in the garden.

The Botanical Garden in Lisbon looks like a beautiful park. The garden has an ideal symmetry, emphasizing the French and Italian styles of landscape design.

In addition to many beautiful, unique plants, the most rare and unusual flowers grow here, there is a large number of exotic birds. For the public at large, this Botanical Garden was opened in 1878. During each year, an amazing collection of different tropical plants was gathered in the garden. They were brought from different countries: Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South America and many others.

There are a chemical laboratory, a history museum and the House of Arts near the Royal Ajuda Botanical Garden. It has rather become a research laboratory, than a garden with beautiful decorations.

The main pride of the Botanical Garden is dracaena, which is 400 years old. It was taken to the garden directly from the island of Madeira. In addition, there is an ancient fountain of 18th century, made in a marine style. In those days, it was customary to arrange gardens in the same style, with strict symmetry, following the pattern of Italian or French palace parks.

The Botanical Garden In Lisbon: This Is Not Just About Botany

To design the Royal Botanical Gardens, Italian naturalist, future professor of the University of Coimbra, Domingos Vandelli was invited. He had very significantly filled the garden collection with plants from his native city of Padua.

Located in two levels, the Botanical Garden looks like real court park. From the top terrace, there is a nice view over the surrounding area. It is best to observe the baroque boxwood gardens exactly from that spot. The paths between the parterre of the park, resembling a labyrinth, are strewn with gravel. In the center of the boxwood partners, there is the main fountain of the Royal Botanical Gardens – Fonte das 40 Bicas. Built in the XVIII century, it is replete with sculptures of fantastic animals.

Walking on the lower terrace it is easy to imagine yourself a guest of the Portuguese royal court.

Now the Royal Botanic Garden of Ajuda is one of Lisbon’s most popular historic gardens. Fortunately, the Portuguese climate is favorable for many species, which are growing here. People come here in order to rest from the vanity of the capital city, to wander about through the ancient alleys, to admire the collections of plants from every corner of the globe.

Not all periods of garden’s existence were successful – the collection, having more than 5000 species in the best years, a couple of times was reduced even to 1200 species.

Huge damage to the botanical garden was caused by the Napoleonic invasion in 1808. Funds for research and maintenance of the garden were extremely curtailed; most of its collections was destroyed. Felix de Avelar Brotero, who was the director of the garden until 1828, with the support of King John VI, was able to recreate the collection at the end of the hard times. According to the king’s decree, every Thursday, if only it was not a holy day, everyone had an opportunity to observe the garden collections.

Unfortunately, because of the new decline in the country, in 1836 the Botanical Garden was transferred to the administration of the Academy of Sciences. As a result, from a decorative collection, it was transformed into a research laboratory for the study of seeds and plants.

The 1960th were no less tragic in the history of the Botanical Garden – the strongest hurricane caused great destruction. The reconstruction work took more than one decade and ended only in 2002.

The Botanical Garden In Lisbon: This Is Not Just About Botany

Nevertheless, now the garden looks beautiful and, perhaps, even sumptuous. But in Lisbon, everything looks this way – the atmosphere of the Portuguese capital is full of contrasts – covered with moss, the eternal companion of maritime cities, the ancient coziness of once prosperous city, the centuries-old traditions and the cheerful optimism would enslave your heart.

20 Feb 2017

Architecture Guide: TOP Cities and Places in Portugal to Be Inspired

Architecture Guide: TOP Cities and Places in Portugal to Be Inspired

The oldest European country – Portuguese, is not only the country of luxury beaches, tasty wine and nature. This is also the country of rich history. The big amount of castles, churches, towers are situated in the country cities to be saved and kept in order. This is the article to meet you the cozy little cities of central Portuguese. The time has stopped here. Every wall, every stone tells its own story, legend. Each of these cities is architectural masterpiece, the province of all mankind.



This is the city, full of Templars’ secrets. This is the place, where the most powerful and respectable knights have been founded their final abode – the Castle of Templars. Every small detail in the city speaks about its glorious founders. You can learn everything about life and fight of the most powerful knights of the Middle Ages.


The next stop is a little cute city in the Central Portugal – Batalha. There is the most beautiful building in Europe – Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitoria. Charming gothic, stony goffering brings the glory to Portuguese king. The building was constructed by way of gratuity to Portuguese king Joao I to honor his big victory over the Spanish soldiers. This was a place of the king dynasty.


The city got the name from the name of two rivers Alcoa and Baca. There is the biggest church on Portugal, the oldest gothic building. This is the place, where the most glorious lovers of the Middle Ages were buried – the king Pedro I and Ines de Castro.

Túmulo de Inês de Castro


This is the best charming city in Portugal, a real treasure that was built by Portuguese kings. Narrow streets, white houses, decorated with bright flowers, souvenir shops, old churches – this is all about Obidos. The city is called the city of lovers, the city of brides, flowers and the capital of chocolate and famous cherry liquor.


Faro is the capital of Algarve. This is the province, where the life is in full swing. As a matter of fact, this is a transit city. You can hire a car in Faro and start hunting for architectural relics in Algarve. Thousands of tourists come here. You can have some rest in the street cafe and drive your car to the West of the country or to the East. This is not big, but interesting city. The narrow streets, old houses, ancient churches – peace and quiet.

Obidos Castle, Obidos

The castle is located in Obidos. The city history starts in the 1st century as a Roman colony. The castle was restored and rebuilt as you can see it in our days. It is surrounded by battlement wall, bastion, arcs and bas-reliefs. This was a lovely place for Royal picnics. The city is famous of its ceramic ware, cherry sweets, chocolate festival and colorful feasts.

Mosterio da Batalha, Batalha

Batalha Monastery is situated in the city of Batalha. This is the symbol of Portuguese independence. Anyway, this is an important place in the country life. The Portuguese solders won the battle for independence in 1385. The king ordered to build a church to memorize their glorious win.

Knitting on stone

Mosteiro da Alcobaca, Alcobaca

Alcobaca Monastery is the biggest gothic monastery that is located in Alcobaca. It was founded by the king of Portugal in 1153. Traditionally, the king promised to build a monastery to honor his victory. The foundation stone was laid in 1147. The building was named a church and then – monastery. This is the family vault for Portuguese Royal family recent years. You can see carved sarcophagus of Prince Pedro I and his lover Ines de Castro.

Pena Castle, Sintra

Pena Castle is the most famous complex of Portugal, the best architectural sample of Romanticism of the 19th century. This is the unique building that was constructed according to Prince Ferdinand wish, the husband of the Queen of Portugal Maria II. That was the summer residence, beautifully situated on a top of a hill not far from Sintra. The interior of the castle is historically interesting and informative. You can learn a lot of design tricks from the ages of the latest Portuguese Queen Amelia.

Mosteiro des Jeronimos, Lisbon

Jeronimos is a masterpiece of Portuguese architecture of the 16th century. It was built of while shiny stones with view to Tejo River. The monastery is the greatest historical monuments and architectural samples. It was included into the list of in the world important historical monuments in 1983. The monastery was constructed the 16th century as a big present from the king Manuel I. This is the most admirable architectural samples of the style of Manuel. This is also the most important church in Europe. It has 300 meters facade to be glorious and impressive building.

Casa da Musica, Porto

Casa da Musica cannot tell you about historical battles or old centuries. This is the brightest sample of modern architecture. This is the main concert hall in Porto. The appearance and design are strange and unusual. This is the symbol of the city now. It took about 4 years to finish. There are many problems solved and many interesting configurations are brought to life. It looks really impressive!

Architectural criticism says that this is the most attractive project, where intellectual decisions are masterfully combined with the sense and beauty. In short, this is the best concert hall for the period of 100 years. It is equal in its beauty to Walt Disney Concert Hall and Philharmonic Hall in Berlin.

Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal

Casa da Musica is the popular stage for three main orchestra bands. It is enough space for everyone. Two main halls can be easily adapted for holiday events, seminars and other meaningful occasions. The big hall contains 1238 visitors all together. The Small Hall contains about 300 visitors. Actually, the amount of visitors can be easily corrected according to your wish. This is the place, where architecture inspires. So, be inspired – come to Portugal!

12 Dec 2016

Art Of Gardening: Interesting Gardens In Porto

Art Of Gardening: Interesting Gardens In Porto

Porto has its own green lungs in the territory of 83 hectares – Central City Park. The city also has beautiful and romantic gardens and cozy green squares. The central squares and open terraces are obligate components of the city landscape. New and new shops are opened in this territory all over the city. People appoint their meetings during the day and enjoy nature.

Central City Park

The city park is the lungs of Porto and the biggest city park of the country. It takes about 83 hectares, going out to the Atlantic coast. The park was created according to Sidonio Pardal’s project. The park was opened in 1993; the latest part of it was opened in 2002. The park was assigned the best gardening objects of Portugal of the 20th century. You can find beautiful village landscape in the park and nice hidden places for picnic or playing games with kids. More than 10 kilometers of lawns, lakes, flora and fauna and interesting sport equipment make this place the best park than you’ve ever met.

A day in the park

Kalem Garden

The garden is situated in the outflow of the River Douro. This little park is very pleasant place to enjoy sunset. There is a beautiful place river, fishing village and South seashore, where the birds live. Kalem is full of high trees, monuments, beautiful sculptures. The best of them is sculpture of Michael the Archangel that you can meet on the go.

Infante Dom Henrique Square

You should hire a car in Porto and go on course to Ribeira. There are many city sights of your way. This is the place of Palacio da Bolsa, property of Porto Commercial Association, the ex-building of Ferreira Borges market, where the HardClub is placed. The next place to stop is ancient sculpture that was built in 1894. This is the statue to infant (Henry the Navigator) and big globe on it. This monument is a part of Portuguese history, symbolizing the truth of opening.

Virtudes Garden

The municipal park is placed in territory of ex-gardening company of Porto. The plan of the park was elaborated by Jose Marquez Loureiro (1830-1898). This is a unique vertical garden that is situated in the center of Porto, a couple of meters from the Tower of Clerigos. The garden was bought by Porto government in 1965. The park was restored in 1998. You can see a unique panoramic view to the river, Porto customs building, Vila Nova de Gaia.

Corse - les Calanches 116

Moreda Garden

This is a not big garden, covered with grass. You can see the unique monument to the local merchant. Actually, the garden crosses the territory of Santos Pousada – main transport artery that was named after the prominent person – mason and republican. This is a great chance to learn the history.

Quinta da Prelada

The villa Prelada consists of hegumene’s house and park around it. The landscape complex was created by Italian architect Niccolo Nasoni. Prelada Villa and territories were the property of prominent families of the 20th century. The owners presented the garden and villa to Porto government. The building was restored and renewed to become the cultural center of the city. The garden boasts with the biggest labyrinth in Iberian Peninsula. The garden is spread along the VCI Road. The road crosses the villa territory into two parts. The garden looks really beautiful.

Palacio de Cristal Gardens

The palace and garden occupies the territory of 8 hectares in the center of the city. The gardens are called romantic. They were projected in the 19th century by German architect-naturalist David Emile. The palace building is made of granite, steel and glass. The territory was renewed and changed a lot. Nothing but David Emile Garden with forest trees, terraces, speaks about the original landscape.

The most interesting feature of this garden is panoramic views from different observation platforms. You can see unique botanic collection that plays an important role for learning culture. There is also a Center of Ecology Education right here.


Allen’s Villa

This place is one of many villas to have a good rest there. The territory lies around the city, beginning from the 18th-19th century. The villa belongs to Allen family. The English merchant John Allen bought this place from auction. The big territory has beautiful house – the building of unique ecology architecture typical for romanticism of the 20th century and interesting gardens. The gardens are the samples of different landscape and gardening directions. The ancient formalism is combined with garden lawns and pathways crossing the territory here and there.

The garden is full of ancient sculptures, fountains and places for party picnics. Allens allow visiting their houses and gardens. They help to take interesting events in their territory to sell plants. The architecture composition was proclaimed as the object of special attention in 2010. This is the place of high interest.

Carregal Garden

The garden is considered to be the last romantic place in Porto. It was founded in 1897. It differs from the rest of green gardens with its beautiful lakes, nice bridge over the lake, big trees around. The garden looks like the mountain forest: cedar trees, pine and sequoia trees. There is a sculpture to prominent person, doctor, teacher, explorer and artist Abel Salazar Garcia. The Abel’s name was awarded to one of Porto Universities. There is a hospital of St. Antonio and National Museum in the park territory.

Queen’s Amelie Square

The nice cozy garden square is situated in the big square of Queen Amelie. This is the nice cozy green space with the variety of trees, green lawns, season flowers and flower beds. This is the best place to have meeting during the day.

Baskets in the park

Pena Garden

This is the part of romantic routs of Portugal. It is situated along the touristic routes in Marselush Valley. This route was included to meet the program of European cultural capital. The variety of trees is impressive. There is ancient palm that was the first tree on an island. The park is full of trees, lawns, flowerbeds and wooden benches.