Adventures of a teenage author...

This is Marta, author of the Darkwoods series and of Marta's Blog. I created this blog specifically for blogging about my 2015 study abroad adventures in Europe, but it's becoming the blog for all my travels. I hope you enjoy all the pictures and stories!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Lisbon - Monument to the Discoveries

Remember that odd-looking building I mentioned earlier? Here it is:

This is the Monument to the Discoveries, and this was probably one of my personal favorite parts of the trip. I guess after going through Lisbon - with the Christ the Redeemer, Golden Gate Bridge, and Brazilian food and drink everywhere - I was feeling a little wistful for the New World. I wasn't ready to go home, and go back to work, but a lot of the stuff I saw in Lisbon is reminiscent of  the explorers and the Americas. I think that made the Monument to the Discoveries really special.

First off - that ship everyone is standing on is called a caravel. The Portuguese developed the caravel under the sponsorship of Prince Henry the Navigator, who sponsored a lot of early explorations and navigational development, to sail directly into the wind and cut travel time in half. 

Prince Henry the Navigator is standing on the prow, holding the smaller ship in his hands. Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus are on this side too. 

Also on this side is a priest. Remember that a lot of missionaries did a lot of exploring as well.

In memory of the five hundredth anniversary of Prince Henry's death.

Now, here's the thing about the Monument: it's in the area of Belem. Belem, as you will recall, is where the exploratory ships set sail from. The Monument, kind of like the Statue of Liberty, is also a building, so when you go inside it, and then go up to the top, you get a view of what the explorers saw as they were leaving the Old World behind and setting out for the New.

For me, that was probably the best part:

Okay, the bridge probably wasn't there in the fifteenth century. :)

There's Jerome's Monastery

The Belem Tower

The mimicry of Christ the Redeemer

The Monastery again

Here's the other side. You can still see Henry the Navigator!

Henry the Navigator. He never got to leave Portugal on an exploration, but now it almost looks like he's about to set sail for unknown worlds.

This wasn't the last thing I did in Portugal, but to me, this felt like a good conclusion. My adventure in Europe was drawing to a close - but Henry and the Explorers here are saying that's it's really drawing to another beginning.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lisbon - Belem Tower

The area of Belem in Lisbon is named after the town of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. The idea is that, like the shepherds went to Bethlehem to see Jesus and then left, telling everyone they saw about the birth of the Savior, so the Portuguese Christians would be leaving Bethlehem and bringing the news of the Savior to lands that had never heard His name.

The Belem Tower is a military building that stands on the bank of the Tagus River and guards the entrance to the harbor at Belem. It is also a beautifully built building.


Can you see a kind-of strangely-shaped building half-hidden by the trees, just in front of the bridge? I'll get to that one in a future post.