The Alternative Voyage

my road less traveled

Room With A View (or Death Of A Dictator)

Nathalie and I have been visiting Estoril near Lisbon three or four times a year for the past few years. We get out and about walking or riding everywhere. I thought we'd discovered pretty much everything in our general area when yesterday riding past the old clifftop fort, we thought we'd poke our noses in and have a look. It's only about 500m from the apartment and we must have ridden past a dozen times. It was spur of the moment but I'm glad we did. 

Estoril, Portugal

November, 2018
The Fort of Saint Anthony of Barra was a derelict, graffiti strewn shell of a building that has been taken back and restored to something of it's former self. Built in 1590, it was badly damaged in the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and until early 2018 the fort had been disused and subject to some vandalism. Restored by the Municipality it was reopened for public viewing only in April of this year. Maybe that's why we had always passed it by.
What was most remarkable was to discover this was the summer retreat of the Portuguese dictator, António Salazar. It was also where he fell off his chair, hitting his head and sustained injuries that would eventually kill him, two years later. It was a bit eerie being in his bedroom where it happened. 

As so often happens in Europe, there's always some history at your doorstep, no matter where you are. ​

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Wednesday, 25 November 2020

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