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