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Lisbon inaugurates historic urban beach

Basking in recent praise from the world’s travel press, Lisbon took an historic step this morning to consolidate its reputation as being one of Europe’s premier tourist destinations. It inaugurated its first urban beach – an inspired decision to give the city a taste of the seaside within the beautiful surroundings of an 18th century garden.
Organised by the city’s Santo António parish council, Jardim de Torel is open to all-comers, and will have space for as many as 50 bathers at any one time.
The ‘beach’ has been created by draining the garden’s pretty lake and bringing in sand, decking and an access ramp. Organisers say there’s space around it for as many as 5,000 people, and the holiday atmosphere will be enhanced by various activities, kiosks, shower facilities and habitual beachside ‘Bolas de Berlim’ sellers (delivering custard-crème-filled doughnuts to anyone who signals they want one).
The initiative runs only for the month of August, from 10am to 8pm. Lifeguards will be on duty and the bottom-line message to visitors is “Have fun and enjoy Lisbon”.
Open since 10am this (Friday) morning, the urban beach cost €4,000 to create and was funded with the help of brand-name sponsors.