Portugal:A European Nation with Rich Natural and Historical Attractions

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Portugal:A European Nation with Rich Natural and Historical Attractions:table of contents

Portugal is one of the most sought out places for sightseeing. Situated at the south-western tip of Europe, Portugal has a rich history and culture which can be observed through its immense attractions. Portugal offers several places for sightseeing, surfing, and relaxing. In order to guide you on your trip to Portugal, we have listed ten of the best attractions worth sightseeing when in the country.

1. Quinta da Regaleira (Sintra)

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Quinta da Regaleira is a grand estate situated at Sintra, Portugal. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quinta da Regaleira is one of best attractions in Portugal which is worth sightseeing. The luxurious property includes a regal palace, an exuberant park, a Roman Catholic chapel. Several benches, gazebos, and fountains can be around the whole estate. Its castle is recognized as the Palace of Monteiro, the Millionaire which is based on the name of one of its former owners.

2. Lisbon Oceanarium (Lisbon)

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The Lisbon Oceanarium is an aquatic attraction in Lisbon, Portugal. It is known to be the largest indoor aquarium in Europe. Since its opening in 1998, the Oceanarium has been one of the best places for sightseeing in Portugal. The Lisbon Oceanarium houses an extensive collection of animals, with over 450 marine species including penguins, sharks, crustaceans, and a whole lot more. When sightseeing on this destination, you should check its large sunfish exhibits. The Lisbon Oceanarium is one of the few attractions of its kind in the world to house a sunfish.

3. Lagoa das Sete Cidades (Sao Miguel)

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The Lagoa das Sete Cidades, or the Lagoon of the Seven Cities, is a twin lake located in the crater of a dormant volcano in Portugal. It is comprised of two small lakes which are connected by a narrow straight. The Lagoa das Sete Cidades is one of the most significant body of water in the whole Portugal. When sightseeing at the Lagoa das Sete Cidades, you may notice that the lakes differ in color: the Lagoa Verde (Green Lake) and the Lagoa Azul (Blue Lake).

4. Ponta da Piedade (Lagos)

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Ponta da Piedade is another natural attraction in Portugal which is worth sightseeing. It features cliffs carved into rock pillars, hidden grottos, and natural tunnels. These rock formations stand grandly against the deep blue waters of the ocean. The best manner of sightseeing around Ponta da Piedade is by joining boat tours that will allow you to navigate the sea caves and the rock formations. Sightseeing around Ponta da Piedade could be one of the most enjoyable activities you can do when you are in Portugal.

5. Jeronimos Monastery (Lisbon)

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Located in Lisbon in Portugal, the Jeronimos Monastery or the Hieronymites Monastery was previously the monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome. The monastery is a significant example of the Manueline style of architecture, a Late Gothic style which was prominent in Portugal. A UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside the Tower of Belem, the monastery is a favorite attraction for sightseeing when in Portugal. For those who wish to go sightseeing at the monastery, it is worth noting that the attraction is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday.

6. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Lisbon)

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The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is a cultural institution situated in Lisbon, Portugal. To conform to the last will of Calouste Gulbenkian, the museum was built beginning April 1957. Made of reinforced concrete and limestone, the museum houses several art collections including ancient and modern art. These displays are arranged chronologically and in geographical order. When sightseeing around the museum, you may be able to witness these art collections separated into two independent circuits. The first circuit displays several art collections from the Greco-Roman antiquity. The second circuit, on the other hand, includes European art.

7. Palácio Nacional de Sintra (Lisbon)

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Also called the Town Palace, the Palácio Nacional de Sintra (or Palace of Sintra) is a historic house museum situated in the Lisbon District of Portugal. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Palácio Nacional de Sintra is the best-preserved royal palace in Portugal. A former residence of the royalties of Portugal, the palace became a national monument in 1910. Thirty years later, it was restored by architect Raul Lino. Since then, the castle has been a significant sightseeing attraction in Portugal.

8. Convent of Christ (Tomar)

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The convent of Christ is a former Roman Catholic convent located in the municipality of Tomar in Portugal. Built in the 12th century by the Order of Poor Knights of the Temple, the convent was turned into the Knights of the Order of Christ when the former order dissolved in the 14th century. Due to its historic and cultural significance, it was recognized as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Portugal in 1983. When sightseeing around the attraction, tourists may be able to witness several examples of Manueline, Renaissance, Romanesque, and Gothic styles which can be seen in its church, cloisters, and its castle.

9. Bom Jesus do Monte (Braga)

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Situated outside the city of Braga in Portugal, Bom Jesus do Monte is a sanctuary which is notable for it Baroque stairway that climbs 381 feet. Its name means, "Good Jesus of the Mount," in Portugal. A significant pilgrimage site, Bom Jesus do Monte has several spiritual avenues for prayer and meditation. Pilgrims encounter a theological program as they climb the stairs. At the same time, they experience several scenes of the passion of Jesus Christ. At the top of the hill is a church where they can pray and worship.

10. Mosteiro Pálacio Nacional de Mafra (Mafra)

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Mosteiro Pálacio Nacional de Mafra is a Neoclassical Baroque palace and monastery which is found in Mafra, Portugal. Recognized as a National Monument in 1910, the palace became one of the finalists of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. When sightseeing around the palace, tourists may be able to witness several buildings which show the rich architecture of Portugal. Primarily, they may see its facade which is made up of limestone, its Baroque basilica, the monastery of the Franciscan monks, its vast royal palace, and its grand library.

◎ Closing

Known primarily for its historical and cultural attractions, Portugal has a lot to offer for those who are sightseeing around the country. From regal castles to religious cathedrals, sightseeing across each attraction allows tourists to discover the rich heritage of Portugal. It cannot be denied, however, that Portugal is home to beautiful natural attractions. Portugal is truly a gem to behold.