The New Old World

157 The New Old World 0After Christopher Columbus had discovered the New World thinking he had reached the shores of India, the Age of Discovery started. Lots of Spanish conquistadors and Portuguese explorers and sailors, the British and French reached the shores of South and North America. Step by step they brought plenty of treasures from the New World to the Old Continent and the great empires of those times flourished. In turn, all these imperial countries brought their culture and traditions, architectural styles, languages, currencies, etc. to the newly found and colonized continents. Thus the Old Continent reflected in the New World but the latter was changed and it developed greatly through the centuries and especially when AMS countries acquired their independence. And what happened? Numerous symbols of South and North America appeared here and there in Europe, the two most prominent instances being concentrated in the city of Lisbon.

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The motley Cariocas have one of the new wonders of the world and their statue is the iconic symbol of the Marvellous City of Rio de Janeiro. Their Monument to Cristo Redentor turned into reality in 1922 although their idea of constructing dated back to 1850. Twelve years (i.e. 1934) the splendid religious memorial inspired their ancestors.

157 The New Old World 10How did all this happen? In brief, the late Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon was on a visit to Rio and he stumbled upon the monument. Immediately it created the strong desire in his heart to have a similar memorial commemorating Jesus Christ erected in Lisbon. Thus Santuário Nacional de Cristo Rei (the National Shrine of Christ the King) was inaugurated in 1959. Since then, it has been overlooking the city of Lisbon from the Southern bank. What can be said about the park? It is a quiet and sacred place just a few kilometers far away from the bustle of the tourist sites of Lisbon. It offers the best ever belvederes to the city and the 25th of April Bridge that Bridges your dreams.

157 The New Old World 11Ponte 25 de Abril is a almost a twin of and often compared to one of the most photographed bridges in the world and one of the symbols of the American Dream – the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Very often people are of the wrong opinion that the Lisbon Bridge was built by the same US Company that built the San Francisco giant. It is partially true. The 25th of April Bridge was really designed and constructed by a US company but that firm constructed the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco to Oakland (not the Golden Gate). No matter which company made this bridge, nowadays it is among the numerous symbols of the capital. It also makes the connection between the two banks as it is a rail-road suspension bridge. As for its name, it commemorates the military revolution of 1974.

In the end, I would only add one last thing. There is nothing more fascinating than being n the Oldest city in Western of Europe and feel the scent and flavour of the New World.

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4 thoughts on “The New Old World

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