Since it is built on a series of hills, Lisbon has numerous viewpoints to offer for great time outs. There is for instance a huge public park in the heart of Lisbon. It occupies an area of 26 hectares to the north of Avenida da Liberdade and Marquis of Pombal square. It is named after King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom, of Great Britain, Ireland, and Emperor of India from 1901 until his death in 1910. After he visited the Portuguese capital in 1903 in an effort to strengthen relations between the two countries and reaffirm the Anglo-Portuguese aalliance. Up until this specific visit, the park was called 'Parque da Liberdade' (Liberty Park). The name would have made very little sense anyway under the Salazar dictatorship between 1933 and 1974. The park's current configuration and design date back to an intervention of Portuguese Modernist architect Francisco Keil do Amaral.
Amalia da Piedade Rodrigues died in Lisbon in October 1999 at almost 80. She was a Portuguese actress and fado singer, generally acclaimed as 'the voice of Portugal'. The Portuguese tendency to exaggerate people's roles can rightfully arise suspicion when someone is called 'the greatest at something' but the fact that she is resting in the National Pantheon among other distinguished Portuguese figures and that she has a charming quiet garden on the north side of the largest park of the capital, usually settle the case.
Less known fact: depending on the wind direction and which route arriving planes take to land at Lisbon airport, the garden lies in an almost perfect alignment with one of the main runways and constitutes a prime plane spotting zone in town.
At the other end of the park, towards the river side, the Marques de Pombal statue dominates the center of a majestic roundabout.
Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquis of Pombal and 1st Count of Oeiras, known as the 'Marquis of Pombal' lived in the 18th century as a Portuguese statesman and diplomat who effectively ruled the Portuguese Empire from 1750 to 1777 as chief minister to King Joseph I. The liberal reformer influenced by the Age of Enlightenment led Portugal's recovery from the devastating historic 1755 Lisbon earthquake and modernised the kingdom's administrative, economic, and ecclesiastical institutions with a bit of an autocratic power coating.
There's no live Poker in the Lisbon casino but you can visit the ESTORIL tag of my blog for info about the nearby Poker room on the Atlantic coast.
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