Photographer's Note

A bit by hazard, I have been setting up a series on this old part of Lisboa. This is again a view of the monastery of So Vicente de Fora, which appears in my latest posts one way or another. On the foreground is a half ruined church that I think it's called Igreja do Castelo (church of the castle), but maybe I am wrong and/or it has other official name. I don't remember having seen it open, so maybe it's permanently closed. The cupola behind the roofs at the right of the towers is Panteo Nacional (National Pantheon), also known as Igreja de (church of) Santa Engrcia.

The POV is on the top one of the towers of Castelo de So Jorge (Saint George Castle), a place where vestiges of human occupation were found dating from as earlier as the 6th century BC. Besides the military role, the castle housed the Royal palace during much of the Middle Ages. Its present name was given at end of 14th century by King Joo I (John I). This monarch ascended the throne after a complicated political crisis provoked by the fact that the former king left no direct heirs and one of the strongest candidates to the throne was the king of Castilla (one of the most powerful kingdoms of what became Spain 100 years later), who was a direct descendant of former Portuguese kings. The support of England to Joo I was much valuable in the wars that happened on the first years of his reign. He married an English noble woman, Philippa of Lancaster, the daughter of an important member of the English Royal Family of that time, John of Gaunt, the first Duke of Lancaster, and signed what some consider the oldest alliance between countries that is still effective, at least formally. The warrior-saint Saint George was popular in both countries.

Polemics apart, the alliance between Portugal and England seems to have been useful to both countries in some later crisis, namely when Portuguese got rid of the Spanish kings that ruled the country from 1580 to 1640, when the French invaded Portugal in the early 1800's and when the officially neutral Portugal allowed the use of Azores by British and US troops in WW II despite the pro-nazi sympathies of many supporters of the right wing dictatorship that ruled then.

Location (latitude, longitude): 38.71398,-9.1331

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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