|Cockles and conches, |
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, Lisbon
It's easy enough to find out lots about the famous buildings in Lisbon, including the World Heritage Site of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, but I'll just focus here on detail with a view on the natural world. I loved the seashells near one of the entrances to St Jerome's Monastery - apparently sailors stopped here to pray before they set off to discover new lands to 'conquer' and pillage, and the decorative elements include maritime themes and objects, all wrought in a lovely local limestone that would be very easy to work - I wondered if this influenced the style at all? It wouldn't be too easy for any stonemason, no matter how skilled, to try to do that sort of work on granite or basalt, for example. I suppose that's a question for someone else to answer.
Within the city itself are many beautiful tiled buildings, many of the patterns being quite abstract, but I liked these irises, and I also found a street of flowers (the real ones long gone alas): Rua das Flores.
|Irises: tiles above a lintel in a Campodile street|
But for me, one of the ways that I know I'm in a new and foreign place is the vegetation - I remember being amazed at the beautiful maples incongruously and gracefully accompanying large fuel tanks near one of the runways in Narita Airport in Japan, for example. In Lisbon and Cascais it was the jacarandas and palms and also the amazing Ficus trees in the square in Principe Real, where we sat and had lunch after a visit to the Jardim Botânico.
|Jacaranda tree in Praça dos Restauradores, Lisbon|
|Palms on a warm October evening in Cascais|
|Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, in the Botanical Gardens, Lisbon|
|Poinsettia, Eurphorbia pulcherrimum, in the Botanical Gardens, Lisbon|
|Acer palmatum chinostachys - garnet|
|Acer palmatum atropurpureum - ruby|
Have a good week all.