Lisbon, Two ravens and a ship

Two ravens and a ship

 

Ravens on a boat4

Ravens on a boatThese beautiful street lamps can be seen all over Lisbon, but if you look closely you will see there is an image of a ship with a raven at each end. This image represents the journey of the remains of Saint Vincent, the patron saint of Lisbon, to Portugal. Saint Vincent was tortured and burnt alive for being a Christian in the fourth century and there are several legends about what happened to him after his death. One legend says that  his remains miraculously arrived on the Algarve coast (at the Cape of Saint Vincent) in an empty ship guided by ravens. A further legend says that the ravens remained loyal to Saint Vincent and stayed with his remains in Lisbon’s cathedral until the late 1970s, when the last raven died. The image of the ship with a raven at each end is part of the Lisbon coat of arms and can be seen all over the city: in patterns in the cobblestones, on the exterior of buildings, on signs and statues and even on manhole covers.

Statue of Sao Vicente at Portas do Sol
Statue of São Vicente at Portas do Sol, Lisbon

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s