It’s been a while since I made a new entry on my Gardens of Lisbon series, and for this article, I decided to write about a park that I’m personally very fond of: The Príncipe Real Garden. It is located in Principe Real, a place with a lot of movement, between the bar-filled Bairro Alto and the busy Rato square, and with easy access to the grand Avenida de Liberdade.
Amongst all of this, you can find the Garden as an oasis. Though it’s not huge and it is well known, the garden sort of keeps a calm atmosphere even if all around it cars are beeping and speeding. I feel this even more than in the Botanical Garden, which is beautiful and serene, but you have to buy a ticket, and it isn’t as identifiable as the one on Principe Real. It really feels like sort of an island, amongst a sea of people and cars and buildings.
My liking of this park mostly comes from my university days, when we went there to make life drawings of plants and structures. It was a really soothing experience, especially for someone who had just been in the overcrowded downtown Lisbon. I most vividly remember drawing the roots of the big magnolia tree, while sitting below its shade and realizing just how serene Lisbon was at that moment.
Besides the magnolia, many different trees provide shade while you sit on the grass to draw, read, picnic, or just decompress! There are also benches and tables, and a café/restaurant near the famous magnolia.
Around this park, it is also common to see small artisanal markets, selling a myriad of things, from decorations to clothing and even food and plants! These types of markets pop-up in a lot of parks in Lisbon but this one is one of the most interesting.
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