Last Saturday, September 10th, I participated in this wonderful project of walking through Lisbon's streets with a guide listening to descriptions and stories of different sites we saw. It was a walk through the Western hills that compose the Lisbon terrain (7 hills in total; there's a legend to it and all) and we passed by several of the palaces built there, a few that even survived the 1755 earthquake.
The highlights for me, of course, were the mentions of the French Invasions when we reached the Saint Catherin hill and the Chiado area.
Our guide, a Master in Medieval History, André Leitão, mentioned something I had written about before - Portuguese sayings that originated during this time period - but with an interesting addition and also a bit about the history of a palace posted before by me here.
Here are the two links to the previous posts:
The 1st info, was about the saying «A ver navios passar» (To see ships go by), referring to the fact that the Portuguese king John VI left for Brazil with the Napoleon's troops at the door.
I've always thought that it mentioned the people left behind watching the royal ships depart, but our guide had another explanation: That it was Junot who saw the ships go by at the top of Saint Catherin's hill, the next day after the royal family left, when the French arrived. Interesting!
Above, the square with the hill's name. Underneath, the view by night of the Tagus river from Saint Catherin's hill. Photos by Sara Seydak.
The 2nd info, and maintaining Junot as the center of the discussion with the confirmation that the Loreto Palace was actually his official residence in Lisbon, some more info about Lisbon's Chiado.
Of course, today's Chiado wasn't called that way back then. It actually was called "Largo das
duas Igrejas" (Two churches square) and the area was called "Pedreira" (Quarry) having had a
convent of our lady of the quarry, which barely survives the earthquake and ensures that way, an
architectural border between Lisbon's downtown and today's Chiado.
The Loreto Palace during day time. Photo by Sara Seydak.
Here's some more history on the palace:
And here we were, during a simple night walk, twice information was given for me to improve my past posts. Time is truly circular!