April 25, 2016

Portugal dos Pequenitos

Portugal dos Pequenitos, over on the western bank of the Mondego River in Coimbra, is a model village displaying miniatures of famous monuments from all over Portugal, Madeira and The Azores. These include a scale model replica of the University of Coimbra and the famous window at the Convent of Christ in Tomar.

Portugal dos Pequenitos, Coimbra.

Portugal dos Pequenitos is aimed at young children, who can enjoy visiting the various miniature monuments and seeing the a number of recreated regional houses from all over the country.

Also in the theme park is a Maritime museum with models of ships built in the 20th century and a small Furniture Museum.

The Dress Museum is more recent, having opened in 1997, and displays around 300 miniature outfits. The Barbie Museum displays a a similar number of children's dolls donated to Portugal dos Pequenitos.

Portugal dos Pequenitos, Coimbra, Portugal.

Portugal dos Pequenitos opened in 1940 and was financed by Bissaya Barreto (1886-1974), a professor of medicine at Coimbra University, a nationalist politician and a personal friend of António de Oliveira Salazar, with whom he studied at Coimbra. The architect of the project was Cassiano Branco.

Portugal dos Pequenitos also has pavilions dedicated to Portugal's overseas dominions, which to modern eyes, may appear decidedly colonialist and rather redolent of the "White Man's Burden" - reflecting the mainstream thoughts of the regime at the time.

Portugal dos Pequenitos puts on a variety of special exhibitions and shows for kids especially during the summer holiday months.

Scale model of Coimbra University, Portugal dos Pequenitos.

Rossio de Santa Clara
3040-256 Coimbra
Tel: 239 801 170/1
Hours: 1 January - end of February &16 October - 31 December 10am - 5 pm; 1 March - 31 May & 16 September -15 October 10am - 7pm; 1 June - 15 September 9am - 8pm.
Admission: 5.95 Euros for adults

Portugal dos Pequenitos, Coimbra.

April 24, 2016

Aqueduto de São Sebastião

The Aqueduto de São Sebastião in Coimbra runs close to the Jardim Botanico (Botanical Gardens) in this historic city. The aqueduct was built in the late 16th century, possibly the work of the Italian architect Filippo Terzi (1520–1597), who was active in Portugal at the time, and is famous for his work on the Convent of Christ in Tomar.

Aqueduto de São Sebastião, Coimbra, Portugal.

The Aqueduto de São Sebastião is built over a previous Roman aqueduct and when completed was a driving force in the growth of the city, as it brought fresh water into the city centre.

Aqueduto de São Sebastião, Coimbra.

The aqueduct has 21 arches and has been classified as National Monument since 1910.

Aqueduto de São Sebastião, Coimbra.

Aqueduto de São Sebastião, Coimbra, Portugal.

April 19, 2016

Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown

The Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown in Porto may not be Portugal's most beautiful hotel on the outside but the interior is pleasantly modern and the 17° Bar and Restaurant on the 17th floor is a nice place to unwind and enjoy the view after a busy day sightseeing or on business.

Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown, Porto.

The over 100 rooms at the Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown are modern, spacious and clean. The hotel is close to Trindade Metro Station which is convenient for Lisbon Airport as well as a short metro ride away from Campanha Station to catch trains south to Lisbon.

On foot, the Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown is close to the Câmara Municipal do Porto (City Hall) and the fashionable boulevards of Avenida dos Aliados.

Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown, Porto.

Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown
Rua Guedes de Azevedo
179, 4049-009 Porto

Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown, Porto.

April 9, 2016

Lamarosa Station

Lamarosa Station really is in the middle of nowhere. The station building and ticket office are unmanned and the toilets are derelict. However, Lamarosa is a station on the Lisbon to Coimbra Line, so if you are in Tomar and wish to go north to Coimbra and on to Porto, you will need to change trains here.

Lamarosa Station.

For Porto from Tomar you will also need to change again at Coimbra B. From Tomar south to Lamrosa is 20 minutes and then a regional train to Coimbra B is about 90 minutes stopping at 20 stations. An Intercity train from Coimbra B to Porto Campanha takes just over an hour.

Lamarosa Station, Portugal.

April 4, 2016

Hotel Oslo Coimbra

The extremely friendly Hotel Oslo in Coimbra is very close to Coimbra Station and also not far from Coimbra's main sites in the old city on the hill.

Hotel Oslo Coimbra, Portugal.

The modern interior of the Hotel Oslo belies the somewhat aged, functional exterior. Rooms come with a buffet breakfast included and there is an excellent bar on the top floor with views of Coimbra's Old Cathedral and the university. It is also possible to walk up to the flat roof in the warmer seasons for even better views.

Hotel Oslo Coimbra, Portugal.

All rooms at the Hotel Oslo are clean and come with speedy Wifi, a TV and safe. The very helpful staff can provide information on where to see fado in Coimbra and the buses running out to the Roman remains and museum at nearby Conimbriga.

Hotel Oslo Coimbra, Portugal.

Hotel Oslo
Av. Fernao de Magalhaes, 25
3000-175 Coimbra

The Hotel Coimbra is just a short walk left out of Coimbra Station.

March 24, 2016

Pousada Lisboa Praça do Comércio

The Pousada Lisboa Praça do Comércio located on the northern end of the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon is a new boutique hotel in the heart of the Portuguese capital.

Pousada Lisboa Praça do Comércio, Lisbon, Portugal.

Room choices include Classic, Superior, Deluxe and Suites all with modern interiors and facilities: Plasma TV, telephone, safe, air conditioning, soundproof windows, closet, minibar, shower, hairdryer, magnifying mirror and amenities.

The pousada is close to both the Terreiro do Paço and Baixa-Chiado metro stations as well as the Lisbon tram.

Pousada Lisboa Praça do Comércio, Lisbon, Portugal.

Pousada Lisboa Praça do Comércio
Praça do Comércio 31-34
Santa Maria Maior
1149-018 Lisbon

March 19, 2016

Museu dos Fósforos

Tomar has a couple of interesting museums if you are visiting the town to see its main attraction, the superb Convento de Cristo.

Museu dos Fósforos, Tomar.

Portugal's oldest synagogue is preserved at the Museu Luso-Hebraico Abraão Zacuto in the narrow streets of the old town and also worth a visit is the Museu dos Fósforos, located in a beautiful courtyard of the former Convento de São Francisco near Tomar Station.

The Museu dos Fósforos claims to have Europe's largest collection of match boxes with over 40,000 of them from 127 countries from all over the world, exhibited in seven rooms.

Museu dos Fósforos, Tomar.

The match boxes were collected by local citizen, Aquiles Mota Lima, who donated them to Tomar in 1980. While traveling to England to witness the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, Aquiles met an English woman who was collecting match boxes. He promised to send her match boxes he found and began to collect two of each match box, one for her and one for himself. This was the beginning of the collection that would continue for the next 27 years.

Museu dos Fósforos, Tomar, Portugal.

The collection includes a giant box 40cm long, matches that light under water, puzzles made of several boxes, round boxes, hexagonal, silver and embroidered boxes, "windproof" matches from Bryant & May, even matches made with incense.

Museu dos Fósforos, Tomar.

Museu dos Fósforos
Av. General Bernardo Faria
2300-535 Tomar
Hours: 10am-5pm