The park is rather dull, except for the wonderful views it commands and the Estufa Fria. The designers were inspired by the baroque style of France, rather than by local examples of how open space is used in a hot climate.
This park was renamed after Edward VII of UK visited Portugal in... 1903, not in the 1940's. Edward VII died in 1910, so that is impossible. Queen Elizabeth II visited Lisbon in 1957, but that has nothing to do with this.
First, the park was named Parque da Liberdade (Liberty Park), erected in late 1800's, along with the Avenidade da Liberdade (Liberty Avenue).
The original park configuration was not like this at all. There were even recreational lakes, for instance.
In the 1940's and 1950's, the Park was known like an outdoor gymnasium lol where boxers practiced stamina and run the Park up and down, up and down, up and down lol and even young students did have a quiet place to study.
The crime thing is just a modern issue because the city grew and there were other parks elsewhere and this one was abandoned for... well. Besides, who goes to the center, when "almost" everybody has a small park in the neighborhoods?
But its a beautiful scenary of Lisbon, for sure. And deserves more cultural or leisure activities, not only the Book Fair, i agree.
By the way, Lisbon is an Atlantic city not Mediterrannean.
Park Edward VII, is named after the english king that visited Portugal on the beginning around 1940's, is basically a green area right in the middle of the city.
Having a degree on Tourism I really regreat that a Landscape architect(Isabel Lopes) has nothing better to say than giving such a negative ideia of this area. To say the least she is tremendously ignorant!
I have not here with me the information I would like to give, but please check on a good touristic guide such as michelin and you will find much better information.
At the top of the park you have a garden called "Estufa Fria" (a very good one, on which you have areas that were the work of the father of Portuguese Landscape Arquitect Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles, which is a remarcable person, very well know and the most respected person as far as landscape and nature is concerned in Portugal.
You also have a really good gourmet restaurant called (I think) Eleven.
You are really close to the Ritz Hotel, Meridien Hotel(which faces the park) you have the sports pavillion, on which regular events occur.
There is a very selective gimnasion on the right side of the park (facing the hotels.
Another very close garden is Gulbenkian Foundation, you can walk (it's just 5 min).
Gulbenkian Found. was founded by Mr. Caloustre Sarkis Gulbenkian,an Armenian who had business in oil, and that fortunatly came to Portugal to save his imense fortune, which supports problably 95% of the culture in Portugal.
They have the best orchestra in Portugal. You can also see their museam of art with the collection of Mr. Gulbenkian, that means a lot of Egipcian art, Asia art (tapestry, ceramics, etc.)
It is one of the best gardens(if not the best)in Portugal.
They have the Modern Art Center Azeredo Perdigão, full of wounderfull events.
Metro station is Marques de Pombal and Gulbenkian metro station is Praça de Espanha (all blue line).
Between this park and the Gulbenkian Park you have El Corte Ingles, the famous store, which has the biggest sales revenue in all the iberian peninsula!
Between this park and Campo Pequeno (metro station campo pequeno, yellow line) is an area full of embassy offices. I work 500 metres away from this park.
As far as the crime is councerned of course you should be carefull if you go to some places, specially at night.
Ask before you go. What you can find here is pickpocketing, and unfortunatly, young boys prostitution.
But we shoul blame the men with pockets full of money that go after them, isnt'it?
Most of this boys were poor, and were violeted when children by important persons that do this so thay they put them in the prostitution path.
On the left south end of the park, near the roundabout (marquês of pombal square, metro blue line) you have the meeting point for the city tours and other tourist tours (like cityrama).
The park is not worth a visit for itself, but it's right in the middle of the city, near downtown (just go from the roundabout down to Avenida da Liberdade) where you can see roman circus, roman spa, castles, cathedral, wounderfull cuise. Lisbon is a mediterrannean city with a fabulous blue sky and light, with the tagus river.
If you like dolphins, just go to the south bank and in the sado estuary you can see a wild family living there.
The Tagus estuary is a proteted area (Ramsar convention) which means one of the most importa areas is the worls as they are breathing places (wet areas, influenced by tides).
If you thing I'm exagerating see the "New Yorker's" article on Lisbon...
The park's surroundings should have active edges, buildings that surround the edges the park should provide the locals with shopping, commercial and other types of activities. The fact that no real activity happens (other than passers by) contribuites for the high rates of crime around it.
Climatic issues havent't been taken into account, it is on a steep grade with too much hard surfaces and not enough shade provided on its main axis, it only looks good on plan but it doesn't take into account the tridemensional experiences of its users.
Its a pretty grand place but it feels like the Eduardo VII park ought to be in Paris, not in Lisbon. I nearly died of heat stroke walking round it.
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