Lisbon, Lisboa in Portuguese, is the capital of Portugal who rests at the rightmost side of the “Peninsula Ibérica” and Europe in the point where Tejo river joins the Atlantic Ocean, it covers an area of 84 km2 and counts with 2.8 million citizens. The native language is Portuguese, not Spanish, and being Portuguese extremely friendly everybody make an effort to help with in English, Spanish, French, etc.
Lisbon is call the “City of the Seven Hills”, a more detailed visit will need climbing steep streets and long stairways, one of these, very recommended, is the route from Rossio to Castelo de Sao Jorge (Saint Jorge Castle).
(click here for the walking route from Rossio to Saint Jorge Castle)
Lisbon citizens, called “alfacinhas”, and very proud of their neighborhoods, Alfama, Moraria, Bica, to name a few. In June Lisbon celebrates Sao Joao, the streets get decorated and filled with music and smells of grilled sardines and barbecue. These festivities make this ocasion one of the best times for visit.
It streets are pavemented with calcareous stones and decorated with black volcanic rock. This elaborated artwork is still made by hand by craftsman called “calceteiros” who can cut the stone with precise strikes of a hammer.
While in Lisboa you may find several landmarks connected to the “Descobrimentos” like the “Padrão dos Descobrimentos” and the “Mosteiros dos Jeronimos”, made for commemoration of the returning of Vasco da Gama after finding the maritime route to the Indies and starting that way the species trading which made Portugal one of the richest countries in the world.
On November 1, 1755, by coincidence the Holiday of All Saints, Lisbon was the center of a major earthquake followed by a massive tsunami that devastated the entire Lisbon downtown. More recent studies point to a grade 9 on the Richter scale, thus becoming the largest natural disaster in Portugal.
The architect Marques de Pombal was appointed as head of the reconstruction. Of his genius a new Lisbon appeared, replacing the Medieval with the Modern, with a street layout far more rational and organized. One of the most important landmarks of its work is the Lisbon entrance and door to Tejo river, the “Praça do Comércio”.
In 25 Abril de 1974 Lisbon wake up with a military revolution that ended the Almeida Salazar dictatorship. Most know as the “Revolução dos cravos”, Carnations Revolution, for a florist that saluted the military by putting carnations on each of their rifles.
Today, Lisbon is one of the most Beautiful capitals of Europe where the Cosmopolitan mixes with the traditional, the trendiest shops share the same streets with the most typical and well-preserved places like Bacalhau and “Ginginha”stores.