Aquiles da Mota Lima Museum of Matches

Many attractions and museums claim to have no match; not this one though. Tomar’s Museu dos Fosforos Aquiles da Mota Lima (‘The Aquiles da Mota Lima Museum of Matches’) is home to Europe’s biggest collection of matchboxes, many of which still hold their original contents.

Decoding the symbolism of Orthodox icons

In the Greek town of Ouranopolis I’m drawn to the window of an attractive, smartly designed shop selling soaps, natural products and religious icons. Even to my unschooled eye these icons look to be of far better quality than those that I saw minutes ago, on sale near the jetty.

Portugal’s Monument to the Discoveries

The Monument to the Discoveries is today as just as much a part of the Belem landscape as the nearby Hieronymites Monastery (the ‘Mosteiro dos Jerónimos’ as it is known in Portuguese), the ornate Manueline structure which is today classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Museu da Cerveja beer museum in Lisbon

Portugal’s history, like that of all nations, is peppered with significant dates. The 1st November 1755, for example, is infamous as the day the Great Earthquake struck, resulting in fires and tidal waves that destroyed much of Lisbon and wreaked significant damage on a several other towns and cities.