I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday, 1 October 2018

Western Mediterranean Cruise - Day 13 - Lisbon Part 2

So here is my potted history of Lisbon and Portugal.  My trouble is that I get so involved in the history of places that some times it gets a bit silly - this is one of those occasions!  A lot of what I have written was briefly
told to us by our guide, Nonu, but it wasn't enough for me so I have just had to dig deeper.

Also, I didn't have enough room yesterday to put all my photos so I'm inserting them in this post.

That's where we were on our way into Gibraltar
Philippa of Lancaster was Queen of Portugal from 1387 until 1415 by marriage to King John I.  Born into the royal family of England, her marriage secured the Treaty of Windsor and produced several children who became known as the "Illustrious Generation" in Portugal.  Philippa was the oldest child of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster.  Philippa married King John I by proxy, and in keeping with a unique Portuguese tradition, the stand-in bridegroom pretended to bed the bride!  John I of Portugal signed the remarkably long-lasting Portuguese-English Alliance, which continued through the Napoleonic Wars and ensured Portugal's tenuous neutrality in World War II.  Philippa, at the age of 27, was thought to be too old to become a bride for the first time, and the court questioned her ability to bear the King's children; however, Philippa bore nine children, six of whom survived into adulthood, one of which was Henry the Navigator, first Duke of Viseu, who, though never an explorer, guided Portugal to the Age of Discovery.

Lisbon Port Authority building

Upon the start of World War II in 1939, the Portuguese Government announced that the 600-year-old Anglo-Portuguese Alliance remained intact, but that since the British did not seek Portuguese assistance, Portugal was free to remain neutral in the war and would do so. In an aide-mémoire of 5th September 1939, the British Government confirmed the understanding.  As Hitler's occupation swept across Europe, neutral Portugal became one of the Continent's last escape routes. Portugal managed to remain neutral throughout the war despite extraordinary pressures from both sides, notably over the strategically located Azores islands and over the wolfram (tungsten) trade.

In 1940 Lisbon hosted a World fair. This event was intended to increase trade during the harsh depression years and for Portugal to enhance its position of neutrality within the growing tensions of the world.  There were major exhibits from all of the colonies Portugal controlled - Brazil was the only independent country invited.  Portugal did indirectly gain from the exhibition as it confirmed their neutrality and spared the country entering the war.

Train on suspension bridge 

The Portuguese Colonial War or in the former colonies known as the War of Liberation, was fought between Portugal's military and the emerging nationalist movements in Portugal's African colonies between 1961 and 1974. The main countries involved were Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.  Unlike other European nations during the 1950's and 1960's, the Portuguese Estado Novo regime did not withdraw from its African colonies.  The end of the war came with the Carnation Revolution military coup of April 1974. The withdrawal resulted in the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Portuguese citizens plus military personnel of European, African and mixed ethnicity from the former Portuguese territories and newly independent African nations.  The new independent countries were Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Cape Verde.  Portugal had been the first European power to establish a colony in Africa when it captured Ceuta in 1415; it became one of the last to leave.

9000 lives were lost in the Portuguese Colonial War and in Lisbon there is a memorial to them.  The Monumento Combatentes Ultramar memorial comprises three distinctive sections; the flame, the monument and memorial wall.  The central flame burns continuously to signify the lasting memory of the dead soldiers while the names of each solider who died in the protracted African conflict are etched into the the three walls that surround the memorial.  We didn't have time to visit this but we will do one day.

The first Portuguese revolution of the 20th century was organized by the Portuguese Republican Party and overthrew the monarchy on October 5th 1910. After approximately 16 years of an unstable government, a military coup overthrew the First Republic and replaced it with the Estado Novo. The Carnation Revolution, the third Portuguese coup of the 20th century, took place almost 50 years later.

This is flat though it does make you a bit sea sick!

The Carnation Revolution started as a military coup in 1974 organised by the Armed Forces Movement composed of military officers who opposed the regime, but the movement was soon coupled with an unanticipated and popular campaign of civil resistance.  The name "Carnation Revolution" comes from the fact that almost no shots were fired and that when the population took to the streets to celebrate the end of the dictatorship and war in the colonies, carnations were put into the muzzles of rifles and on the uniforms of the army men.

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