EXPLORING LISBON: Rua Augusta Arch (Fear of Heights HITS Hard!)

In this week’s video – We are exploring Lisbon Portugal yet again. This time with vim, vigor, and vitality! in Baixa, we visit the top of the Rua Augusta Arch (Arco da Rua Augusta). Michael battles his fear of heights at this incredible panoramic viewpoint. We sneak a peek at some “unique” waffles along the way in exploring the Carmo Convent (Convento do Carmo). From there we refresh ourselves at A Brasileira de Lisboa (Café A Brasileira aka The Brazilian Lady Cafe). After some very tasty desserts, we wrap up with a quick look at the world’s oldest (and currently still in business) book store in Lisboa.

This adventure drops us first into the Praça do Comércio, Commerce Square in English. This is Lisbon’s main square. The earthquake of 1755 devastated the city. To stand in Praça do Comércio today, one can’t help but take a moment to reflect on how Lisbon had battled so many hardships to become the thriving city that it is known for today.:

Rua Augusta Arch (Arco da Rua Augusta): Looking up at the Rua Augusta Arch (Arco da Rua Augusta) we never thought we could stand next to the amazing sculptures and breathe in amazing views of all of Lisbon. We literally stood in front of the sculptures of famous people in Portuguese history. One being, Marquis of Pombal (1699-1782), who was responsible for the development of the country and for the reconstruction of the capital. Among these exquisite statues, there was also Constable Nuno Alvares Pereira (1360-1431), who is also a very important figure in Portuguese history. He is the founder of the Carmo Convent.

Carmo Convent (Convento do Carmo): Later in the day, we made it to Constable Pereira’s Carmo Convent and we were constantly reminded of how beautiful Lisbon truly is and how tragic the past was. At the time of the earthquake, the Carmo Convent (Convento do Carmo) was the largest church in Lisbon, but today the roofless nave open to the sky is all that remains of the arches and rubble that caved in on the congregation as they were attending mass. What used to be the main altar is now a small archaeological museum with an eclectic collection of tombs (the largest one is of King Ferdinand I). The tombs are all empty. However, the museum has one Egyptian mummy and two from Peru on display.

A Brasileira de Lisboa (Café A Brasileira aka The Brazilian Lady Cafe): This Café is a gorgeous cafe in Chiado Lisbon that everyone should sneak a peek at. Stepping into A Brasileira do Chiado is like stepping back in time. One of Lisbon’s oldest and most emblematic cafés invites you to come inside and enjoy the meeting point of the intellectuals of times past, in a century-old space that preserves its original charm and elegance. Classified since 1997 as the heritage of public interest, today it is one of the oldest cafés in Lisbon Portugal, and one of only three that survived the entire 20th century and remain open.

Livraria Bertrand (world’s oldest bookstore that is still in operation): Just a stone’s throw from the Café, Livraria Bertrand is the world’s oldest bookstore that is still in operation, according to the Guinness World Records. Founded in 1732, Livraria Bertrand was just a single bookshop. Sadly, this initial store was one of the many casualties of the Great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755. Livraria Bertrand then set up shop on Rua Garrett in 1773, where it still stands. Nowadays, there are around 50 branches of Livraria Bertrand across Portugal.

Life in Lisbon is an adventure. Getting lost in this welcoming city is not only rewarding but can also be very tasty and educational. Come eat, learn, laugh, and get lost with us.

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Hi! We’re Melissa, Michael, and Samantha. We’re a nomadic family from the United States, currently living and building our new lives in Lisbon, Portugal. Follow us on our adventures as we explore this beautiful city and all it has to offer.