FROM The man in the front seat / May 2, 2020

Ponte Dom Luis I, Porto, Portugal

Length: 385.25 m (1264ft)   Weight: 3045 tons (3356 tonnes)   Height: 44.6m (146.3ft)   Arch: 172m (564ft)   Like the Colosseum is to Rome or the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, the Ponte Dom Luís I is the symbol Porto, Portugal. Luís I Bridge in English, is a metal arch bridge which spans the Duoro river in northern Portugal. Stretching 172m (564ft) the bridge links the cities of Porto & Vila Nova de Gaia and at the time of its construction the longest bridge of its type in the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / December 19, 2018


Population: 3,000 One of the prettiest, and most visited places in Portugal, is the beautiful hilltop town of Óbidos. Encircled by a fortified wall, Óbidos is one of the best-preserved medieval towns on the Iberian Peninsula. Its historical centre is stunning, whitewashed houses with flower covered balconies decorate a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets. It’s streets, squares, walls and castle attract thousands of visitors each year. History The name Óbidos is a Latinisation of the “oppidum” which itself is a derivation of the old Celtic word “Eburobricio” meaning citadel. Although the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / February 5, 2018

Cascais – home of the rich & famous

Population 207,000 General The beautiful Portuguese seaside town of Cascais is located 30km north-west of Lisbon. This once small fishing village gained its fame in the late 19th century when the Portuguese royal family decided to frequent the town. Today Cascais, and the municipality it is in, is one of the richest municipalities in Portugal on of the principle towns on the Estoril Coast, or the Portuguese Riviera. History Cascais has been inhabited since Palaeolithic time when people used the natural caves along the coast to deposit their dead. Not […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / March 28, 2017

Palace of Queluz

Located in the town of Queluz, this wonderful 18th century palace was the last of the great rococo places to be built in Europe. In 1794, the palace became the official residence of the Portuguese prince regent and his family, and remained so until the Royal Family fled to Brazil in 1807 following the French Invasion of Portugal. From 1826, the palace slowly fell out of favour with the Portuguese Royal Family an in 1908 it became the property of the state. A fire in 1934 saw the palace extensively […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / February 27, 2014

Liberty Square (Porto)

The square is a continuation of the Avenida Dos Aliados  and is the most important in the city. History The square was begun in 1718 to urbanise the city and was originally known as New Square (Praça Nova), originally confined by the old medieval walls and a series of palaces, all of which now have been destroyed. In 1788 the Order of Saint Eligius (Santo Lóios) built a convent on the southern side, where the old walls once stood. This building is today known as Cardosas Palace (Palácio das Cardosas)and […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / February 27, 2014

Church of Saint Ildelfonso (Porto)

Ildephonsus of Toledo was the Bishop of Toledo, Spain from 657 until his death in 667.  A cleric and a scholar he is known for his devotion to the Virgin Mary and reportedly experienced a vision of her on the 18th December 665. This church, located on Batalha Square,  is dedicated to him with this present construction being completed 1739. History The earliest known reference to a church on this spot dates from 1296 when it is mentioned in a document by Vincente Mendes, the Bishop of Porto, although it […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / February 13, 2014


Pop.: 33,000 With its incredible setting in a National Park on the north slope of a granite mountain and set amongst wooded ravines with natural water springs, it comes as no surprise that that for many years Sintra was the favourite summer destination for the Portuguese Royal Family. As a consequence the area became a popular place for summer homes for many of Portugal’s wealthy and aristocratic.  Since 1995 the town has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts, deservedly so, tens of thousands of visitors each […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / February 10, 2014

Guttmann’s Curse – the curse of Benfica

All football clubs have their myths and legends, I doubt however that many would be able to match Benfica’s famous “Guttmann Curse”. For those of you who may not know, Benfica is a football club from the city of Lisbon, Portugal. Their famed “Stadium of Light” will hold the 2014 Champions League final. Guttmann joined Benfica in 1960 as manager and promptly won the championship and then again in 1961. He also won the European Cup (Old Champions League) in 1961 beating FC Barcelona 3-2 in the final (obviously poor […]

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