Viseu Town Hall

Câmara Municipal de Viseu (Viseu Town Hall)

The Câmara Municipal de Viseu in Viseu is a pleasant building located just outside the historic center of the city.

Viseu Town Hall
Viseu Town Hall

Architecture

The two-story, rectangular building stands in Praça da República. The facade is decorated with pilasters and the interior is ornate. The decoration includes a tiled staircase, a painted ceiling and wrought iron chandelier.

On the second floor of the facade are three French windows with fine views over Praça da República.

The building as a whole dates from the late 19th century. Restoration work took place in the 1990s.

Viseu Town Hall
Câmara Municipal de Viseu

Access - Getting There

Câmara Municipal de Viseu
Praça da República
3514-501 Viseu
Tel: 232 427 427

The town hall is just a short walk to the cathedral in Viseu and the city's other main sites.

Câmara Municipal de Viseu
Câmara Municipal de Viseu

Accommodation in Viseu

Both the Casa da Sé and the Hotel Avenida are recommended lodgings in the city. The Hotel Avenida is virtually next door to the town hall. To eat, try O Hilário.

The building as a whole dates from the late 19th century.
The building dates from the late 19th century

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Vila Franca de Xira Station

Vila Franca de Xira Station

Vila Franca de Xira Station is on the Linha da Azambuja from Santa Apolónia Station and Oriente in Lisbon to Azambuja.

Vila Franca de Xira Station (Estação Ferroviária de Vila Franca de Xira)
Estação Ferroviária de Vila Franca de Xira

The station serves the town of Vila Franca de Xira on the River Tagus, a town known for the breeding of bulls and horses for bullfighting.

Journey time from Lisbon by train is about 40 minutes. The preceding station towards Lisbon is Alhandra and the following station is Castanheira do Ribatejo.

Outside the station is a statue of a bullfighter. The station building on the platform side also has some striking azulejos tiles dating from 1930, when the present station was built.

Buses and taxis stop outside the station.

Vila Franca de Xira has a few places to stay though most overseas visitors make it a day trip from the capital.

Some recommendations are the Leziria Parque Hotel, the main hotel in the town, Varandas da Serra and the Estação Real, a budget property with clean rooms. Casal Do Portinho is a holiday home some distance west of the town with a garden and outdoor pool.

Vila Franca de Xira Station
Vila Franca de Xira Station

Access - Getting There

Largo Marquês de Pombal, 2600, Lisboa

Other Stations in Portugal

Aregos

Baixa-Chiado

Belem Station

Parque

Sintra

Tomar

Trofa

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Ponte de Lima Bridge

Ponte de Lima Bridge

Ponte de Lima Bridge, Amarante
Ponte de Lima Bridge, Amarante

Historically, Ponte de Lima was on the Roman road from Braga to Santiago de Compostela across the border in Spain.

The first bridge across the river was indeed Roman in origin and several arches of this bridge survive on the northern bank of the Lima.

The initial Ponte Romana (Roman Bridge) was expanded in the 14th century and its graceful 13 granite arches are now the town's main attraction. The bridge is also illuminated at night making for a beautiful and romantic sight.

The bridge is for pedestrians only while a modern bridge downstream carries the N201 across the river.

Ponte de Lima Map
Ponte de Lima Map

Hotels in Ponte de Lima

Recommended hotels in town are the 3-star, riverside Hotel Império do Norte, the modern INLIMA Hotel & Spa, and Carmo's Boutique Hotel a 5-star property a short drive east of town.

See a listing of hotels in Ponte de Lima.

Other Bridges in Portugal

Bridges in Lisbon

Guadiana International Bridge

São Gonçalo Bridge Amarante

Ponte Romana Tavira

Ponte Velha Silves

Ponte de Lima Bridge
Ponte de Lima Bridge

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Forte de Nossa Senhora das Neves de Leça

Forte de Nossa Senhora das Neves de Leça, Matosinhos

The Forte de Nossa Senhora das Neves de Leça in Matosinhos, north of Porto is an impressive fortress built to protect the coast and the entrance to the Douro and Leça rivers.

Forte de Nossa Senhora das Neves de Leça
The fort guards the entrance to the Douro River and the city of Porto

History

The Castelo de Matosinhos fortress was built in the early 17th century as one of a series of defensive structures along this part of the coast. The other fortifications in the chain were Castelo do Queijo in Foz do Duoro and the Fort of São João da Foz.

The beginning of the Portuguese Restoration War (Guerra da Restauração) with Spain in 1640 increased the anxiety of the local inhabitants about attack by sea. Though not yet completed the fort was garrisoned in 1648. In typical Portuguese style, it was not until 1720, long after the Treaty of Lisbon (1668) ended the conflict with neighboring Spain that the star-shaped fortress was finally ready.

The garrison departed in the mid-19th century and the building became a customs house. The structure now stands in a largely residential area and a few cannons line its battlements.

Forte de Nossa Senhora das Neves de Leça
Forte de Nossa Senhora das Neves de Leça

Access - Getting There

The Blue Line (Line A of the Porto Metro) runs 16.5 km from Estádio do Dragão to Senhor de Matosinhos.

From Sao Bento Station the #500 bus runs to Matosinhos via Foz do Duoro.

Bus #501 goes to to Matosinhos via Trindade and Casa da Música from Aliados.

From Hosp. S. João metro station the #505 and #506 services run west to Matosinhos Mercado.

The #507 goes from Cordoaria to the Mar Shopping Center with its large IKEA store via Casa da Musica Station. The #508 from Boavista also stops at the Mar Shopping Center on route to Cabo Mundo.

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Águas Livres Aqueduct Lisbon

Águas Livres Aqueduct, Campolide, Lisbon

The Águas Livres Aqueduct in Lisbon dates from the 18th century. It is one of the most impressive aqueducts in Portugal. Águas Livres was built to carry water to Lisbon from the Odivelas district and was 18 km long. The structure was part of a longer network of canals that stretched for over 50 km.

Águas Livres Aqueduct
At Campolide the arches of the aqueduct are at their tallest rising to a height of 65 meters

History

Construction began in 1731 during the reign of King João V under Italian architect Antonio Canevari. It finally brought water to the capital in 1748. After that work was continued by a number of Portuguese architects until 1799. Taxes on certain foodstuffs such as olive oil, wine and beef raised the necessary money to finance construction. Amazingly, the structure survived the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, a testament to its architectural quality.

In places, the huge arches reach a height of 65 meters above the ground. The water fed various drinking fountains throughout Lisbon and the Mãe d'Água reservoir.

Águas Livres Aqueduct, Campolide, Lisbon
Águas Livres Aqueduct, Lisbon

The Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras Reservoir is one of a number of structures maintained by the Museu d'Água and includes several fountains in Lisbon, the Águas Livres Aqueduct, best seen near Campolide Station, the Loreto Gallery, the Patriarcal Reservoir under the Principe Real Garden and the Barbadinhos Steam Pumping Station, not far from Santa Apolonia Station.

The aqueduct was still in use until the 1960s.

A macabre side note to the area around the aqueduct are the murders committed by the serial killer Diogo Alves (1810-1841). Alves became known as the "Aqueduct Murderer" as his victims were mainly killed close to the structure. Some of them were even thrown from its heights to make their deaths look like suicide.

Alves was eventually caught, tried and hanged. His severed head is preserved in a glass jar at the University of Lisbon's Faculty of Medicine.

Águas Livres Aqueduct, Lisbon
The aqueduct and the area around it were the scene of around 70 murders in the 19th century

Visit

The area around Campolide Station is a good place to see and photograph the aqueduct. There are also tours of the aqueduct organized from the Mãe d'Água museum.

The aqueduct as seen from the train
The aqueduct as seen from the train

The aqueduct as seen from the train
Passing under the aqueduct on the train

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São Gonçalo Bridge Amarante

São Gonçalo Bridge Amarante

São Gonçalo Bridge (Ponte de São Gonçalo) is the main attraction in Amarante, 50 km east of Porto. The granite bridge spans the River Tâmega.

View of the bridge of the River Tamega at Amarante
View of the bridge showing the Igreja de São Gonçalo, semi-circular verandas and spires


History

The present bridge dates from the late 18th century and replaced a 13th century structure that collapsed in a flood in 1763. There may have been an even earlier Roman bridge as there existed a Roman road from Amarante to Guimarães and Braga.

Religious images that once adorned the collapsed bridge were placed inside the Igreja de São Gonçalo.

The new bridge was later the scene of heroic resistance over two weeks by the townspeople in 1809 against the invading French in the Peninsular War (1807-1814).

The bridge has three arches with the largest arch in the middle. Semi-circular verandas with stone benches on the bridge are pleasant places to sit and relax. At each end of the bridge there are two pairs of Baroque spires.

Nowadays, the bridge is flanked by the Igreja de São Gonçalo and several cafes, bars and restaurants with views of the river.

São Gonçalo Bridge Amarante
São Gonçalo Bridge Amarante

Access - Getting There

Amarante has regular bus connections from the bus terminal south of the river at Avenida Primeiro de Maio to Porto (1 hour), Braga (1 hour, 20 minutes), Vila Real (1 hour, 40 minutes) and Guimaraes (50 minutes).

Amarante is no longer connected by railway but from the former train station the recent Ecopista da Linha Tâmega is a cycling/hiking track running 9 km to the former station at Chapa, along the picturesque river valley through pine and eucalyptus woods.

Other Bridges in Portugal

Bridges in Lisbon

Ponte de Lima Bridge

Ponte Romana Tavira

Ponte Velha Silves

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Coronavirus Information Portugal June 2021

Information on Coronavirus in Portugal, June 2021

At the beach, safety comes first
At the beach, safety comes first

A year into the Coronavirus pandemic in Portugal has seen the situation much improved. Infections are down and vaccinations are well underway.

In May 2021 Portugal was added to the UK's green list for travel overseas. However, in a disappointing U-turn last week the country including the islands of Madeira and the Azores were placed on the amber list after only 3 weeks on green. This means visitors to Portugal from the UK must self-isolate when returning home for 10 days.

The decision came as a surprise considering the UEFA Champions League Final between two English teams, Manchester City and Chelsea, went ahead in Porto on May 29.

The disappointing, some would say disgraceful, behaviour of some English fans at that event and subsequent infections among them may have played a part in the UK government's decision, along with a rise in cases of the Delta variant, first detected in India.

On 2 June, Portugal had 5.4 new cases per 100,000 people per day, slightly higher than the UK at 5.1 new cases. From next week people over 60 in Portugal will not need an appointment. They can attend their local vaccination centre for a jab.

Hopefully, Portugal may return to the green list in the very near future.

Information from the Info Praia app showing occupancy at  beaches in Faro and Lagos on the Algarve
Information from the Info Praia app showing occupancy at beaches in Faro and Lagos on the Algarve

Beaches

Portugal's many fine beaches are open to the public and apps such as Sandspace and Infopraia provide detailed, real-time information on how crowded the country's beaches actually are at any given time.

Visitors from other EU countries such as Germany, France, Holland and neighboring Spain are able to enter Portugal.

Coronavirus infection in Portugal on June 3
Coronavirus infections in Portugal by region on June 3

Information on Covid-19

If you want to find the latest information on the Covid-19 situation in Portugal, the best place to head for is the Serviço Nacional de Saúde website (sns.gov.pt). It has daily reports on the total number of Covid-19 suspected cases, confirmed cases, the number of recovered cases, plus deaths in all of Portugal's regions and main towns.

The stats are presented by region and by city. Lisbon, the capital, and the surrounding area is the most affected, followed by the north, centered on Portugal's second-largest city, Porto.

The Algarve and Alentejo are the least affected regions of the country.

Further information for UK travellers to Portugal can also be found at visitportugal.com

Private clinics offering PCR tests in the Lisbon area
Private clinics offering PCR tests in the Lisbon area


PCR Test Clinics

You can find a list of private clinics offering PCR tests in Portugal here: destinoseguro.azores.gov.pt

Covid-19 Centro de Testes
Covid-19 Centro de Testes

Covid-19 Centro de Testes
Covid-19 Centro de Testes, Caldas da Rainha

Vaccination Center, (Centro de Vacinação) Portugal
Centro de Vacinação, Caldas da Rainha

Vaccination Center, Portugal
Queuing at the vaccination center

Queuing at the vaccination center
Waiting in turn

Queuing at the vaccination center
The wait is nearly over

Covid-19 sign
Safety sign

Entering mainland Portugal

Before you travel to mainland Portugal

If you have an NHS COVID Pass or an EU digital COVID vaccination certificate showing you have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before you travel, or an EU COVID recovery certificate showing you have recovered from COVID-19 no less than 11 days and no more than 180 days of when you are due to travel

  • you do not need to have a COVID-19 test to enter Portugal. Be prepared to show a digital or paper copy of your COVID vaccination or recovery certificate when you check-in for your flight, and
  • complete an online passenger locator card

If you do not have an NHS COVID Pass or an EU digital COVID certificate, you must:

  • take a COVID-19 pre-departure test before you travel (children up to the age of 11 are exempt)
  • this can be an antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure, or a RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. If you have an antigen test, make sure it meets the standards set out in the EU common list of Rapid Antigen Tests
  • check your test result identifies the type of test taken and gives your name, date of birth, the date and time the sample was collected and the date of the result
  • you should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test
  • complete an online passenger locator card

AZORES ALLOWED (Essentials and non-essential travel)
RT-PCR Test - 72h before boarding, or Rapid Antigen Test - 48h before boarding, or Immunity Test, or Digital COVID Certificate (from 1 July)
Passengers may perform free test on arrival and wait the result in prophylactic isolation (between 12 to 24 hours for the result).
Children under 12 don’t need to present test.
If the stay is longer than seven days, on the 6th and 12th day from the date SARS-CoV-2 first test was performed, the passenger must contact the health services of the county where is staying so that a second test can be performed.
All passengers need to fill Questionnaire at mysafeazores.com. More information at www.visitazores.com
MADEIRA ALLOWED (Essencial and non-essencial travel)
RT-PCR Test - 72h before boarding, or
Vaccination certificate (2 shots 14 days prior to entrance in PT) or,
Immunity test, or
EU Digital COVID Certificate (from 1 July).
Perform free test on arrival and wait the result in prophylactic isolation (between 12 to 24 hours for the result), or
Perform voluntary isolation, for a period of 14 days, at home or in a hotel accommodation.
Children under 12 don’t need to present test.
Passengers need to register at https://madeirasafe.com. More information at www.visitmadeira.pt
Find here more information about travelling to Portugal from the UK: Portugal travel advice - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or https://www.visitportugal.com/en/content/covid-19-measures-implemented-portugal

If you are Portuguese coming to the UK, please consult SEF and Portal das Comunidades portaldascomunidades.mne.pt and see there the latest advice.

portaldascomunidades.mne.gov.pt

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774 Lisbon Bus

774 Lisbon Bus

The 774 bus in Lisbon runs from Campo Ourique (Prazeres) to Gomes Freire. The 774 connects with Rato Station on the Lisbon metro and also stops just south of busy Marques de Pombal.

774 Lisbon Bus
774 Lisbon Bus


Schedule

The first bus from Campo Ourique (Prazeres) is at 6.24 am Monday to Friday with the last bus at 1.14 am. At peak times in the morning and evening up to 6 buses run per hour. On Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays, the timetable is slightly different with less frequency.

From Gomes Freire the first bus on weekdays is at 6.00 am with the last bus at 12.45 am.

Other Lisbon bus routes covered include the following routes 714727728, 730736, 758767, and 783.

774 Lisbon Bus
774 Lisbon Bus

Guadiana International Bridge

Guadiana International Bridge (Ponte Internacional do Guadiana)

The Guadiana International Bridge (Guadiana International Bridge) carries the A22/A49 highway linking Spain and Portugal across the River Guadiana just north of Vila Real de Santo Antonio.

It is the third-longest bridge in Portugal and is the work of Portuguese engineer, José Luis Câncio Martins.

Guadiana International Bridge (Ponte Internacional do Guadiana)
Guadiana International Bridge

The 666 meter-long, cable-stayed bridge (Puente Internacional del Guadiana in Spanish) dates from 1991. It stands 20 meters above the river allowing ships to pass underneath.

The road bridge is adjacent to an area of marsh and wetland - the Reserva Natural do Sapal de Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António.

Guadiana International Bridge
The 666-meter bridge links Spain and Portugal by road

Ferry

The is also a ferry across the Guardiana from Vila Real de Santo Antonio to Ayamonte in Spain which takes 15 minutes. The ferry is a pleasant way to commute between the two towns. Remember that Spain is an hour ahead of Portuguese time.

Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Ayamonte Ferry.
Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Ayamonte Ferry



Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Ayamonte Ferry.
The ferry is a fun way to cross the Guadiana River between Spain and Portugal


Accommodation in Ayamonte & Vila Real Santo Antonio

Hotels in Ayamonte Spain - Booking.com

Hotels in Vila Real Santo Antonio Portugal - Booking.com

Accommodation in Portugal

Hotels in the Algarve - Booking.com

Hotels in Lisbon - Booking.com

Hotels in Porto - Booking.com

Hotels in Portugal - Booking.com

Hotels in Portugal - Agoda


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Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção Elvas

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção, Praça da Republica, Elvas

The interior of the church has Manueline elements
The interior of the church has both Manueline and Baroque elements

The fortress-like church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção lies in the main square of Praça da Republica in Elvas. It was previously a cathedral before the seat of the bishop moved to nearby Evora in 1881.

It is of interest as the building is the work of Francisco de Arruda, the main architect of the Torre de Belem in Lisbon. Construction began in 1517 and was completed in 1537. Originally Manueline in style,  Baroque and other architectural elements were added in later centuries.

Arruda also worked on the nearby Amoreira Aqueduct.

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção

Interior

The interior has some beautiful azulejos tilework and an 18th-century Italian organ in the high choir.

The nave
The nave and altar

Access - Getting There

Praça da República 7350-126 Elvas
Tel: 266 769 800

Praça da República has several pavement cafes to take in the exterior of the church over a coffee or glass of wine. The Tourist Office (turismo) is also in the square.

A recommended place to stay in Elvas is the Santa Luzia Pousada.

Praça da República, Elvas
Praça da República, Elvas
Close up of the altar
Close up of the altar

© Portugal Visitor