Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon
|Official name: Concelho de Lisboa|
|Name origin: Lisboa, Portuguese derivative of the Phoenician Allis Ubbo for safe harbour; Latin Ulyssippo after Ulysses; and/or Roman Olissipona, for the name of the Tagus|
|Nickname: A Cidade das Sete Colinas (The City of Seven Hills), Rainha do Mar (Queen of the Sea)|
|Region||Lisboa e Vale do Tejo|
|Civil Parishes||(see text)|
|- elevation||2 m (7 ft)|
|Highest point||227 m|
|- location||Serra de Monsanto, Benfica, Lisbon|
|- elevation||199 m (653 ft)|
|Lowest point||Sea level|
|- location||Atlantic Ocean|
|- elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|Area||84.8 km (33 sq mi)|
|- urban||958 km (370 sq mi)|
|- metro||2,957 km (1,142 sq mi)|
|Density||6,458 / km (16,726 / sq mi)|
|- City||c. 1256|
|- location||Praça do Município, Lisbon, Grande Lisboa|
|- elevation||33 m (108 ft)|
|President||António Costa (PS)|
|Municipal Chair||Maria Simonetta Bianchi Aires de Carvalho Luz Afonso (PS)|
|- summer (DST)||WEST (UTC+1)|
|ISO 3166-2 code||PT-|
|Postal Zone||1149-014 Lisboa|
|Area Code & Prefix||(+351) 21 XXX-XXXX|
|Demonym||Lisboeta and Alfacinha|
|Patron Saint||São Vicente e Santo António de Lisboa|
|Municipal Address||Praça do Município, 1
|Wikimedia Commons: Lisbon|
Lisbon (//, LIZ-bən; Portuguese: Lisboa, IPA: [liʒˈboɐ] or [liʒˈβoɐ]) is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 547,631 within its administrative limits on a land area of 84.8 km (33 sq mi). The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of over 3 million on an area of 958 km (370 sq mi), making it the 11th most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3,035,000 people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (which represents approximately 27% of the population of the country). Lisbon is the westernmost large city located in Europe, as well as its westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. It lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River.
Lisbon is recognised as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education, and tourism. It is one of the major economic centres on the continent, with a growing financial sector and the largest/second largest container port on Europe's Atlantic coast. Lisbon Portela Airport serves over 15.3 million passengers annually (2012); the motorway network and the high-speed rail system of (Alfa Pendular) link the main cities of Portugal. The city is the seventh-most-visited city in Southern Europe, after Istanbul, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Athens, and Milan, with 1,740,000 tourists in 2009. The Lisbon region is the wealthiest region in Portugal, GDP PPP per capita is 26,100 euros (4.7% higher than the average European Union's GDP PPP per capita). It is the tenth richest metropolitan area by GDP on the continent amounting to 110 billion euros and thus €39,375 per capita, 40% higher than the average European Union's GDP per capita. The city occupies 32nd place of highest gross earnings in the world. Most of the headquarters of multinationals in the country are located in the Lisbon area and it is the ninth city in the world in terms of quantity of international conferences. It is also the political centre of the country, as seat of Government and residence of the Head of State. The seat of the district of Lisbon and the centre of the Lisbon region.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest city in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the fifth century, it was captured by the Moors in the eighth century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city and since then it has been a major political, economic, and cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon's status as the capital of Portugal has never been granted or confirmed officially – by statute or in written form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the Constitution of Portugal.
Lisbon hosts two agencies of the European Union: the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). Called the "Capital of the Lusophone world", the Community of Portuguese Language Countries has its headquarters in the city, in the Palace of the Counts of Penafiel.
Lisbon has two sites listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Furthermore, in 1994, Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture and in 1998 organised an Expo '98 (1998 Lisbon World Exposition).
Lisbon enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Among all the metropolises in Europe, it has the warmest winters, with average temperatures 15 °C (59 °F) during the day and 8 °C (46 °F) at night from December to February. The typical summer season lasts about six months, from May to October, although also in November, March and April temperatures sometimes reach around 20 °C (68.0 °F).
During the Neolithic period, the region was inhabited by Pre-Celtic tribes, who built religious and funerary monuments, megaliths, dolmens and menhirs, which still survive in areas on the periphery of Lisbon. The Indo-European Celts invaded in the first millennium BC, mixing with the Pre-Indo-European population, thus giving rise to Celtic-speaking local tribes such as the Cempsi.
Archaeological findings suggest there were Phoenician influences dating back to 1200 BC, leading some historians to believe that a Phoenician trading post might have occupied the centre of the present city (on the southern slope of the Castle hill). The sheltered harbour in the Tagus River estuary was an ideal spot for a settlement and provided a secure port for provisioning of Phoenician ships travelling to the Islands of Tin (modern Isles of Scilly) and Cornwall. The new city might have been named Allis Ubbo, Phoenician for "safe harbour", according to one of several theories on the origin of Lisbon's toponymy. Another theory suggests that the settlement took the name of the pre-Roman word for the Tagus (Lisso or Lucio). The Tagus settlement was also an important centre of commercial trade with inland tribes, providing an outlet for the valuable metals, salt, and salted-fish they collected, and for the sale of the Lusitanian horses renowned in antiquity. Although Phoenician remains from the 8th century BC were found beneath the Mediaeval Sé Cathedral, modern historians believe, however, that Lisbon was an ancient autochthonous settlement (Roman oppidum) and that, at most, it maintained commercial relations with the Phoenicians (accounting Phoenician pottery and artefacts).
Lisbon's name was written Ulyssippo in Latin by the geographer Pomponius Mela, a native of Hispania. It was later referenced as "Olisippo" by Pliny the Elder, and to the Greeks as Olissipo (Ολισσιπών) and Olissipona (Ολισσιπόνα). According to legend, the location was named for Ulysses, who founded the settlement after he left Troy to escape the Greek coalition. Later, the Greek name appeared in Vulgar Latin in the form Olissipona.
Following the defeat of Hannibal during the Punic wars, the Romans determined to deprive Carthage of its most valuable possession: Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula). The defeat of Carthaginian forces by Scipio Africanus in Eastern Hispania allowed the pacification of the west, led by Consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus. Decimus obtained the alliance of Olissipo (which sent men to fight alongside the Roman Legions against the northwestern Celtic tribes) by integrating it into the Empire, as the Municipium Cives Romanorum Felicitas Julia. Local authorities were granted self-rule over a territory that extended 50 kilometres (31 mi); exempt from taxes, its citizens were given the privileges of Roman citizenship, and it was then integrated with the Roman province of Lusitania (whose capital was Emerita Augusta).
Lusitanian raids and rebellions during Roman occupation necessitated the construction of a wall around the settlement. During Augustus' reign, the Romans also built a great theatre; the Cassian Baths (underneath Rua da Prata); temples to Jupiter, Diana, Cybele, Tethys, and Idea Phrygiae (an uncommon cult from Asia Minor), in addition to temples to the Emperor; a large necropolis under Praça da Figueira; a large forum and other buildings such as insulae (multi-storied apartment buildings) in the area between the Castle Hill and the historic city core.
The city prospered as piracy was eliminated, technological advances were introduced and as Felicitas Julia became a centre of trade with the Roman provinces of Britannia (particularly Cornwall) and the Rhine. Economically strong, Olissipo was known for its garum (a fish sauce highly prized by the elites of the Empire and exported in amphorae to Rome), wine, salt and horse-breeding, while Roman culture permeated the hinterland. The city was connected by a broad road to Western Hispania's two other large cities, Bracara Augusta in the province of Tarraconensis (Portuguese Braga), and Emerita Augusta, the capital of Lusitania (Mérida, Spain). The city was ruled by an oligarchical council dominated by two families, the Julii and the Cassiae, although regional authority was administered by the Roman Governor of Emerita or directly by Emperor Tiberius. Among the majority of Latin speakers lived a large minority of Greek traders and slaves.
Around 80 BCE, the Roman Quintus Sertorius led a rebellion against the dictator Sulla. During this period, he organized the tribes of Lusitania and Hispania and was on the verge of forming an independent province in the Sertorian War when he died.
Olissipo, like most great cities in the Western Empire, was a centre for the dissemination of Christianity. Its first attested Bishop was Potamius (c. 356), and there were several martyrs during the period of persecution of the Christians: Maxima, Verissimus and Eulalia of Mérida are the most significant examples. By the time of the Fall of Rome, Olissipo had become a notable Christian centre.
Following the disintegration of the Roman empire there were barbarian invasions; between 409 and 429 the city was occupied successively by Sarmatians, Alans, and Vandals. The Germanic Suebi, who established a kingdom in Gallaecia (modern Galicia and northern Portugal), with its capital in Bracara Augusta, also controlled the region of Lisbon until 585. In 585, the Suebi Kingdom was integrated into the Germanic Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo, which comprised all of the Iberian Peninsula: Lisbon was then called Ulishbona.
On 6 August 711, Lisbon was taken by Muslim forces. These conquerors, who were mostly Berbers and Arabs from North Africa and the Middle East, built many mosques and houses, rebuilt the city wall (known as the Cerca Moura) and established administrative control, while permitting the diverse population (Muladi, Mozarabs, Berbers, Arabs, Jews, Zanj, and Saqaliba) to maintain their socio-cultural lifestyles. Mozarabic was the native language spoken by most of the Christian population. Islam was the official religion practised by the Arabs, Berbers, Zanj, Saqaliba, and Muladi (muwalladun); the Christians were allowed to keep their religion under the status as Dhimmi subjects, and were allowed rights of residence in return for jizyah taxes. In return for paying this surtax, Christians and Jews were excluded from specific duties assigned to Muslims like joining the Islamic army, and their security was guaranteed by the Islamic state, but otherwise, the Christians and Jews were equal to Muslims under the laws of property, contract and obligation.
The Muslim influence is still present in the Alfama, an old quarter of Lisbon that survived the 1755 Lisbon earthquake: many place-names are derived from Arabic and the Alfama (the oldest existing district of Lisbon) was derived from the Arabic "al-hamma".
In 1147, as part of the Reconquista, crusader knights led by Afonso I of Portugal besieged and reconquered Lisbon. The city, with around 154,000 residents at the time, was returned to Christian rule. The reconquest of Portugal and re-establishment of Christianity is one of the most significant events in Lisbon's history, described in the chronicle Expugnatione Lyxbonensi, telling that the local bishop was killed by the crusaders and that its residents were praying to the Virgin Mary. As spoken Arabic lost its place in the everyday life of the city, many of the remaining Muslim residents were converted to Roman Catholicism by force, or were expelled, and the mosques were either destroyed or converted into churches.
Although Lisbon received its first charter (foral) in 1179, periodically Muslim raiders from Al-Andalus challenged the control of the Iberian Christian kingdoms, capturing slaves and seizing local treasures. In a raid against Lisbon in 1189, the Almohad caliph Yaqub al-Mansur took 3,000 female and child captives. With its central location, Lisbon became the capital city of the new Portuguese territory in 1255. The first Portuguese university was founded in Lisbon in 1290 by King Denis I; for many years the Studium Generale (General Study) was transferred intermittently to Coimbra, where it was installed permanently in the 16th century as the University of Coimbra.
During the last centuries of the Middle Ages, the city expanded substantially and became an important trading post with both northern European and Mediterranean cities.
Most of the Portuguese expeditions of the Age of Discovery left from Lisbon during the 15th to 17th centuries, including Vasco da Gama's expedition to India in 1497. In 1506, 3000 Jews were massacred in Lisbon. The 16th century was Lisbon's golden era: the city was the European hub of commerce between Africa, India, the Far East and, later, Brazil, and acquired great riches by exploiting the trade in spices, slaves, sugar, textiles, and other goods. This period saw the rise of the exuberant Manueline style in architecture, which left its mark in many 16th century monuments (including Lisbon's Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, which were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites). A description of Lisbon in the 16th century was written by Damião de Góis and published in 1554.
Portugal lost its independence to Spain after the succession crisis of 1580; the Portuguese Restoration War, which began with a coup d'état organized by the nobility and bourgeoisie in Lisbon and executed on 1 December 1640, restored Portuguese independence. The revolution of 1640 ended the sixty-year period of dual monarchy in Portugal and Spain under the Spanish Habsburgs, although the period from 1640 to 1668 was marked by periodic skirmishes between Portugal and Spain, as well as short episodes of more serious warfare, until the Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 1688.
Prior to the 18th century, Lisbon had experienced several significant earthquakes – eight in the 14th century, five in the 16th century (including the 1531 earthquake that destroyed 1,500 houses, and the 1597 earthquake in which three streets vanished), and three in the 17th century. On 1 November 1755, the city was destroyed by another devastating earthquake, which killed an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Lisbon residents of a population estimated at between 200,000 and 275,000, and destroyed 85 percent of the city's structures. Among several important buildings of the city, the Ribeira Palace and the Hospital Real de Todos os Santos were lost. In coastal areas, such as Peniche, situated about 80 km (50 mi) north of Lisbon, many people were killed by the following tsunami. In Setúbal, 30 km (19 mi) south of Lisbon, the water reached the first floor (second floor, in U.S. terms) of buildings. The destruction was also great in the Algarve of southern Portugal, where the tsunami dismantled some coastal fortresses and, in the lower parts, leveled many houses. In some places the waves crested at more than 30 m (98.43 ft). Almost all the coastal towns and villages of the Algarve were heavily damaged, except Faro, which was protected by sandy banks. In Lagos, the waves reached the top of the city walls. For many Portuguese coastal regions, the destructive effects of the tsunami were more disastrous than those of the earthquake proper.
By 1755, Lisbon was one of the largest cities in Europe; the catastrophic event shocked the whole of Europe and left a deep impression on its collective psyche. In southwestern Spain, the tsunami caused damage to Cadiz and Huelva, and the waves penetrated the Guadalquivir River, reaching Seville. In Gibraltar, the sea rose suddenly by about two metres. In Ceuta the tsunami was strong, but in the Mediterranean Sea, it decreased rapidly. On the other hand, it caused great damage and casualties to the western coast of Morocco, from Tangier, where the waves reached the walled fortifications of the town, to Agadir, where the waters passed over the walls, killing many. The tsunami also reached Cornwall, in the present United Kingdom, at a height of three metres. Along the coast of Cornwall, the sea rose rapidly in vast waves, and then ebbed equally rapidly. A two metre tsunami also hit Galway in Ireland, and did some considerable damage to the Spanish Arch section of the city wall. Voltaire wrote a long poem, Poême sur le désastre de Lisbonne, shortly after the quake, and mentioned it in his 1759 novel Candide (indeed, many argue that this critique of optimism was inspired by that earthquake). Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. also mentions it in his 1857 poem, The Deacon's Masterpiece, or The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay. In the town of Cascais, some 30 km (19 mi) west of Lisbon, the waves wrecked several boats and when the water withdrew, large stretches of sea bottom were left uncovered.
After the 1755 earthquake, the city was rebuilt largely according to the plans of Prime Minister Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, the 1st Marquess of Pombal; the lower town began to be known as the Baixa Pombalina (Pombaline Downtown). Instead of rebuilding the medieval town, Pombal decided to demolish what remained after the earthquake and rebuild the downtown in accordance with principles of modern urban design. It was reconstructed in an open rectangular plan with two great squares: the Praça do Rossio and the Praça do Comércio. The first, the central commercial district, is the traditional gathering place of the city and the location of the older cafés, theatres and restaurants; the second became the city's main access to the Tagus River and point of departure and arrival for seagoing vessels, adorned by a triumphal arch (1873) and monument to King Joseph I.
In the first years of the 19th century, Portugal was invaded by the troops of Napoléon Bonaparte, forcing Queen Maria I and Prince-Regent John (future John VI) to flee temporarily to Brazil. By the time the new King returned to Lisbon, many of the buildings and properties were pillaged, sacked or destroyed by the invaders.
During the 19th century, the Liberal movement introduced new changes into the urban landscape. The principal areas were in the Baixa and along the Chiado district, where shops, tobacconists shops, cafés, bookstores, clubs and theatres proliferated. The development of industry and commerce determined the growth of the city, extending north along the Avenida da Liberdade (1879), distancing itself from the Tagus River.
The city refounded its university in 1911 after centuries of inactivity in Lisbon, incorporating reformed former colleges and other non-university higher education schools of the city (such as the Escola Politécnica – now Faculdade de Ciências). Today there are 3 public universities in the city (University of Lisbon, Technical University of Lisbon and New University of Lisbon), a public university institute (ISCTE - Lisbon University Institute) and a polytechnic institute (IPL – Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa).
During World War II Lisbon was one of the very few neutral, open European Atlantic ports, a major gateway for refugees to the U.S. and a haven for spies. More than 100,000 refugees were able to flee Nazi Germany via Lisbon.
During the Estado Novo regime (1926–1974), Lisbon was expanded at the cost of other districts within the country, resulting in nationalist and monumental projects. New residential and public developments were constructed; the zone of Belém was modified for the 1940 Portuguese Exhibition, while along the periphery new neighborhoods appeared to house the growing population. The inauguration of the bridge over the Tagus allowed rapid connection between the two sides of the river.
Lisbon was the site of three revolutions in the 20th-century. The first, the 5 October 1910 revolution, brought an end to the Portuguese monarchy and established the highly unstable and corrupt Portuguese First Republic. The 6 June 1926 revolution would see the end of that first republic and firmly establish the Estado Novo, or the Portuguese Second Republic, as the ruling regime. The final revolution, the Carnation Revolution, would take place on 25 April 1974 and would end the right-wing Estado Novo and reform the country as the current Portuguese Third Republic.
In the 1990s, many of the neighborhoods were renovated and projects in the historic quarters were established to modernize those areas; architectural and patrimonial buildings were recuperated; the northern margin of the Tagus was re-purposed for leisure and residential use; the Vasco da Gama bridge was constructed; and the eastern part of the municipality was re-purposed for Expo '98, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's sea voyage to India, a voyage that would bring immense riches to Lisbon and cause many of Lisbon's landmarks to be built.
In 1988, a fire in the historical district of Chiado saw the destruction of many 18th-century Pombaline style buildings. A series of restoration works has brought the area back to its former self and made it a high-scale shopping district.
The Lisbon Agenda was a European Union agreement on measures to revitalize the EU economy, signed in Lisbon in March 2000. In October 2007 Lisbon hosted the 2007 EU Summit, where agreement was reached regarding a new EU governance model. The resulting Treaty of Lisbon was signed on 13 December 2007 and came into force on 1 December 2009.
Lisbon has been the site for many international events and programs. In 1994, Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture. On 3 November 2005, Lisbon hosted the MTV European Music Awards. On 7 July 2007, Lisbon held the ceremony of the "New 7 Wonders Of The World" election, in Luz stadium, with live transmission for millions of people all over the world. Lisbon alternates with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosting the Rock in Rio music festival, the largest in the world.
Lisbon hosted the NATO summit (19–20 November 2010), a summit meeting that is regarded as a periodic opportunity for Heads of State and Heads of Government of NATO member states to evaluate and provide strategic direction for Alliance activities.
Lisbon is located at Tagus River and is the westernmost capital of a mainland European country., situated at the mouth of the
The westernmost part of Lisbon is occupied by the Parque Florestal de Monsanto (English: Monsanto Forest Park), an 10 km (4 sq mi) urban park, one the largest in Europe, and occupying ten percent of the municipality.
The city occupies an area of 84.94 km (33 sq mi), and its city boundaries, unlike those of most major cities, are narrowly defined by its historical centre. The rest of the urbanized area of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, known generically as Greater Lisbon (Portuguese: Grande Lisboa), is actually several administratively defined cities and municipalities, such as Amadora, Queluz, Agualva-Cacém, Odivelas, Loures, Sacavém, Almada, Barreiro, Seixal and Oeiras
Lisbon has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa) with mild winters and warm to hot summers. The average annual temperature is 21.5 °C (70.7 °F) during the day and 13.5 °C (56.3 °F) at night. Average annual temperature of the sea is 17.5 °C (63.5 °F). Winter snowfall is infrequent, but some snow showers occurred in 1993, 1994, 2006 and 2007. In the coldest month – January – the high temperature during the day typically ranges from 11 to 19 °C (52 to 66 °F), the low teperature at night ranges from 3 to 13 °C (37 to 55 °F) and the average sea temperature is 15 °C (59 °F). In the warmest month – August – the high temperature during the day typically ranges from 26 to 34 °C (79 to 93 °F), the low temperature at night ranges from 16 to 21 °C (61 to 70 °F) and the average sea temperature is 20 °C (68 °F). Generally, a summer season lasts about 6 months, from May to October. Three months – March, April and November – are transitional, sometimes the temperature exceeds 20 °C (68 °F), with an average temperature in these three months of 18.9 °C (66 °F) during the day and 12.0 °C (53.6 °F) at night. December, January and February are the coldest months, with an average temperature of 15.5 °C (59.9 °F) during the day and 8.9 °C (48.0 °F) at night. Among all metropolises (together with Valencia) and capitals (together with Malta) in Europe, Lisbon has the warmest winters, and the mildest nighttime temperatures in Europe: among the warmest in the winter – from an average of 8.3 °C (46.9 °F) in the coldest month, and comfortable 18.6 °C (65.5 °F) in the warmest month. Rain occurs mainly in winter, the summers being generally dry. Sunshine hours are about 2,800 per year, from an average of 4.6 hours of sunshine duration at day in December to an average of 11.4 hours of sunshine duration at day in July.
|Climate data for Lisbon|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.6
|Average high °C (°F)||14.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||11.6
|Average low °C (°F)||8.3
|Record low °C (°F)||1.0
|Rainfall mm (inches)||99.9
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm)||15.0||15.0||13.0||12.0||8.0||5.0||2.0||2.0||6.0||11.0||14.0||14.0||117.0|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||142.6||156.6||207.7||234.0||291.4||303.0||353.4||344.1||261.0||213.9||156.0||142.6||2,806.3|
|Source: Instituto de Meteorologia, Hong Kong Observatory for data of avg. precipitation days & sunshine hours|
Locally, Lisbon inhabitants may more commonly refer the spaces of Lisbon in terms of historic bairros (neighborhoods). These communities have no clearly defined boundaries and represent special quarters with a common historical culture, identifiable architectural landmarks, livings standards and/or local personality, such as Bairro Alto, Alfama, Chiado, and so forth.
Although today it is quite central, it was once a mere suburb of Lisbon, comprising mostly farms and palaces. In the 16th century, there was a brook there which the nobles used to promenade in their boats. Through the late 19th century, Alcântara became a popular industrial area, with lots of small factories and warehouses. Through the centuries, this area has lost all of its charm and old buildings, as well as its brook (where the women of the village would do their laundry).
In the early 1990s, Alcântara began to attract youth because of the number of pubs and discothèques. This was mainly due its outer area of mostly commercial buildings, which acted as barriers to the noise-generating nightlife (which acted as a buffer to the residential communities surrounding it). In the meantime, some of these areas began to become gentrified, attracting loft developments and new apartments, which have profited from its river views and central location.
The oldest district of Lisbon, it spreads down the southern slope from the Castle of São Jorge to the Tagus river. Its name, derived from the Arabic Al-hamma, means fountains or baths. During the Islamic invasion of Iberia, the Alfama constituted the largest part of the city, extending west to the Baixa neighbourhood. Increasingly, the Alfama became inhabited by fishermen and the poor: its fame as a poor neighbourhood continues to this day. While the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake caused considerable damage throughout the capital, the Alfama survived with little damage, thanks to its compact labyrinth of narrow streets and small squares. It is a historical quarter of mixed-use buildings of homes with small shops, Fado bars and restaurants. Modernizing trends have invigorated the district: old houses have been re-purposed or remodelled, while new buildings have been constructed. Fado, the typically Portuguese-style of melancholy music, is common (but not obligatory) in the restaurants of the district.
Bairro Alto (literally the upper quarter in Portuguese) is an area of central Lisbon. It functions as a residential, shopping and entertainment district: it is the heart of the Portuguese capital's nightlife, attracting its youth. Lisbon's Punk, Gay, Metal, Goth, Hip Hop and Reggae scenes, all count the Bairro as their home, given the specialization of its clubs and bars. Although fado, Portugal's national music still survives in the new nightlife, the crowds in the Bairro Alto area are a multicultural mix of cultures and entertainment.
The heart of the city is the Baixa (Downtown) or city centre; the Pombaline Baixa is an elegant district, primarily constructed after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, taking its name from its benefactor, 1st Marquess of Pombal, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, who was the minister of Joseph I of Portugal (1750–1777) and a key figure during the Portuguese Enlightenment. Following the 1755 disaster, Pombal took the lead in rebuilding Lisbon, imposing strict conditions and guidelines on the construction of the city, and transforming the organic street plan that characterised the district before the earthquake into its current grid pattern. As a result, the Pombaline Baixa is one of the first examples of earthquake-resistant construction. Architectural models were tested by having troops march around them to simulate an earthquake. Notable features of Pombaline structures include the Pombaline cage, a symmetrical wood-lattice framework aimed at distributing earthquake forces, and inter-terrace walls that were built higher than roof timbers to inhibit the spread of fires.
Belém is famous as the place from which many of the great Portuguese explorers set off on their voyages of discovery. In particular, it is the place from which Vasco da Gama departed for India in 1497 and Pedro Álvares Cabral departed for Brazil in 1499. It is also a former royal residence and features the 17th–18th century Belém Palace, former royal residence and now occupied by the President of Portugal, and the Ajuda Palace, begun in 1802 but never completed.
Perhaps Belém's most famous feature is its tower, Torre de Belém, whose image is much used by Lisbon's tourist board. The tower was built as a fortified lighthouse late in the reign of Dom Manuel (1515–1520) to guard the entrance to the port. It stood on a little island in right side of the Tagus, surrounded by water. Belém's other major historical building is the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery), which the Torre de Belém was built partly to defend. Belém's most notable modern feature is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries).In the heart of Belém is the Praça do Império: gardens centred upon a large fountain, laid out during World War II. To the west of the gardens lies the Centro Cultural de Belém. Belém is one of the most visited Lisbonite districts.
The Chiado is a traditional shopping area that mixes old and modern commercial establishments, concentrated specially in the Carmo's and Garrett's streets. Locals as well as tourists visit the Chiado to buy books, garments, and pottery as well as to have a cup of coffee. The most famous café of Chiado is A Brasileira, famous for having had poet Fernando Pessoa among its customers. The Chiado is also an important cultural area, with several museums and theatres. Several buildings of the Chiado were destroyed in a fire in 1988, an event that deeply shocked the country. Thanks to a renovation project that lasted more than 10 years, coordinated by celebrated architect Siza Vieira, the affected area is now recovered.
The Baroque-Neoclassical Estrela Basilica is the main attraction of this district. The huge church has a giant dome, and is located on a hill in what was at the time the western part of Lisbon and can be viewed from great distances. The style is similar to that of the Mafra National Palace, in late baroque and neoclassical. The façade has two twin bell towers and includes statues of saints and some allegoric figures. Sao Bento Palace, the seat of Portuguese parliament and the official residences of the Prime Minister of Portugal and the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal, is in this district.
Parque das Nações is the newest district in Lisbon, having emerged from an urban renewal programme leading to the World Exhibition of Lisbon 1998, also known as Expo'98. The area suffered massive changes giving Parque das Nações a futuristic look. A long lasting legacy of the same, the area has become another commercial and higher end residential area for the city. Central to this is the Gare do Oriente (Orient Station), one of the main transportation hubs of Lisbon for trains, buses, taxis, and the metro. Its glass and steel columns are inspired by Gothic Architecture, lending the whole structure a visual fascination (especially in sunlight or when illuminated at night). It was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava from Valencia, Spain. Across the street, through Vasco da Gama Mall, is Parque das Nações (Park of the Nations), site of the 1998 World Expo.
The area is pedestrian-friendly with new buildings, restaurants, gardens, the Lisbon Casino, the FIL building (International Exhibition and Fair), the Camões Theatre, as well as the Oceanário de Lisboa (Lisbon Oceanarium), the second largest in the world. The district's Pavilhão Atlântico has become Lisbon's "jack-of-all-trades" performance arena. Seating 20,000, it has staged events from concerts to basketball tournaments.
The population of the city proper is, as of 2011, 547,631 and the metropolitan area (Lisbon Metropolitan Area) more than 2,800,000 according to the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (National Institute of Statistics). The Lisbon Metropolitan Area incorporates two NUTS II (European statistical subdivisions): Grande Lisboa (Greater Lisbon), along the northern bank of the Tagus River, and Península de Setúbal (Setúbal Peninsula), along the southern bank (which represents the Portuguese sub-regions of Região Lisboa (Lisbon Region). The population density of the city itself is 6,458 inhabitants per square kilometre (16,730 /sq mi).
|Demographic evolution of Lisbon|
Like most metropolitan cities, Lisbon is surrounded by many satellite cities or suburbs, and it is estimated that more than one million people enter Lisbon every day for business or employment from these communities. Cascais and Estoril are among the most vibrant neighbouring towns for night life. Beautiful palaces, landscapes and historical sites can be found in Sintra and Mafra. Other major municipalities around Lisbon include Amadora, Oeiras, Odivelas, Loures, Vila Franca de Xira and, in the south bank of the Tagus river estuary, Almada, Barreiro and Seixal.
The Lisbon region is the wealthiest region in Portugal and it is well above the European Union's GDP per capita average – it produces 45% of the Portuguese GDP. Lisbon's economy is based primarily on the tertiary sector. Most of the headquarters of multinationals operating in Portugal are concentrated in the Grande Lisboa Subregion, specially in the Oeiras municipality. The Lisbon Metropolitan Area is heavily industrialized, especially the south bank of the Tagus river (Rio Tejo).
The Lisbon region is rapidly growing, each year are higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) PPP per capita: € 22,745 (2004) – € 23,816 (2005) – € 25,200 (2006) – € 26,100 (2007). The Lisbon metropolitan area had a GDP amounting to $95.2 billion, and $31,454 per capita.
The country's chief seaport, featuring one of the largest and most sophisticated regional markets on the Iberian Peninsula, Lisbon and its heavily populated surroundings are also developing as an important financial centre and a dynamic technological hub.
Lisbon has the largest and most developed mass media sector of Portugal, and is home to several related companies ranging from leading television networks and radio stations to major newspapers.
The Euronext Lisbon stock exchange, part of the pan-European Euronext system together with the stock exchanges of Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, is tied with the New York Stock Exchange since 2007, forming the multinational NYSE Euronext group of stock exchanges.
Lisbonite industry has very large sectores in oil, as refineries are found just across the Tagus, textile mills, shipyards and fishing.
Before Portugal's sovereign debt crisis and an EU-IMF rescue plan, for the decade of 2010 Lisbon was expecting to receive many state funded investments, including building a new airport, a new bridge, an expansion of 30 km (18.64 mi) underground, the construction of a mega-hospital (or central hospital), the creation of two lines of a TGV to join Madrid, Porto, Vigo and the rest of Europe, the restoration of the main part of the town (between the Marquês de Pombal roundabout and Terreiro do Paço), the creation of a large number of bike lanes, as well as modernization and renovation of various facilities.
Lisbon's public transport network is extremely far-reaching and reliable. The Lisbon Metro as its main artery, connecting the city centre with the upper and eastern districts, and now reaching the suburbs. Ambitious expansion projects will increase the network by almost one third, connecting the airport, and the northern and western districts. Bus, funicular and tram services have been supplied by the Companhia de Carris de Ferro de Lisboa (Carris), for over a century.
A traditional form of public transport in Lisbon is the tram. Introduced in the 19th century, the trams were originally imported from the USA, rarely called the americanos. The earliest trams can still be seen in the Museu da Carris (the Public Transport Museum) (Carris). Other than on the modern Line 15, the Lisbon tramway system still employs small (four wheel) vehicles of a design dating from the early part of the twentieth century. These distinctive yellow trams are one of the tourist icons of modern Lisbon, and their size is well suited to the steep hills and narrow streets of the central city.
There are four commuter train lines departing from Lisbon: the Cascais, Sintra and Azambuja lines (operated by CP – Comboios de Portugal), as well as a fourth line to Setúbal (operated by Fertagus) crossing the Tagus river, over the 25 de Abril Bridge. The major railway stations are Santa Apolónia, Rossio, Gare do Oriente, Entrecampos, and Cais do Sodré. The city does not offer a light rail service (tram line 15, although running with new and faster trams does not fall onto this category), but there are plans to build light rail lines to provide service along the city's periphery.
There are other commuter bus services from the city: Vimeca, Rodoviaria de Lisboa, Transportes Sul do Tejo, Boa Viagem, Barraqueiro are the main ones, operating from different terminals in the city.
Lisbon is connected to its suburbs as well as throughout Portugal by an extensive motorway network. There are three circular motorways around the city; the 2ª Circular, the CRIL, and the CREL.
The city is connected to the far side of the Tagus by two important bridges:
The foundations for a third bridge across the Tagus have already been laid, but the overall project has been postponed as per the economic crisis in Portugal and all of Europe.
Another way of crossing the river is by taking the ferry. The company is Transtejo-Soflusa, which operates from different points in the city to Cacilhas, Seixal, Montijo, Porto Brandão and Trafaria under the brand Transtejo and to Barreiro under the brand Soflusa.
Lisbon's Portela Airport is located within the city limits. It is the headquarters and hub for TAP Portugal as well as a hub for Easyjet, SATA International, Luzair, EuroAtlantic Airways, Portugália, White Airways, and High Fly airlines. It has been proposed that a New Lisbon Airport should be built. The project has been put on hold because of the Portuguese, and overall European, economic crisis and also because of the long discussion on whether there is a need for a new airport at all.
The city has several private and public secondary schools, primary schools as well as Kindergärten. In Greater Lisbon area there are also international schools such as Saint Julian's School, the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon, Saint Dominic's International School, Deutsche Schule Lissabon, Instituto Español de Lisboa, and Lycée Français Charles Lepierre.
There are three major public universities in Lisbon: the University of Lisbon (Lisbon's oldest university in operation, founded in 1911, also called the Classic University of Lisbon), the Technical University of Lisbon (founded in 1930) and the New University of Lisbon (founded in 1973), providing degrees in all academic disciplines. There is also one state-run university institute – the ISCTE - Lisbon University Institute, and a polytechnic institute – the Polytechnical Institute of Lisbon.
Major private institutions of higher education include the Portuguese Catholic University, as well as the Lusíada University, the Universidade Lusófona, and the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, among others.
The total number of enrolled students in higher education in Lisbon was, for the 2007–2008 school year, of 125,867 students, of whom 81,507 in the Lisbon's public institutions.
The city of Lisbon is rich in architecture; Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque, Modern and Postmodern constructions can be found all over Lisbon. The city is also crossed by historical boulevards and monuments along the main thoroughfares, particularly in the upper districts; notable among these are the Avenida da Liberdade (Avenue of Liberty), Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, Avenida Almirante Reis and Avenida da República (Avenue of the Republic).
There are several substantial museums one can visit in the city. The most famous ones are the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art), the National Azulejo Museum, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (Calouste Gulbenkian Museum), containing varied collections of ancient and modern art, the Museu Nacional do Traje e da Moda (National Museum of Costume and Fashion), the Berardo Collection Museum (Modern Art) at the Belém Cultural Center, the Museu da Electricidade (Electricity Museum), the Museu Nacional dos Coches (National Coach Museum, containing the largest collection of royal coaches in the world), the Museum of Pharmacy, Museum of the Orient, the Museu do Teatro Romano (The Roman Theatre Museum), and the Lisbon City Museum.
Lisbon's Opera House, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, hosts a relatively active cultural agenda, mainly in autumn and winter. Other important theatres and musical houses are the Centro Cultural de Belém, the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Teatro Camões.
The monument to Christ the King (Cristo-Rei) stands on the southern bank of the Tagus River, in Almada. With open arms, overlooking the whole city, it resembles the Corcovado monument in Rio de Janeiro, and was built after World War II, as a memorial of thanksgiving for Portugal's being spared the horrors and destruction of the war.
13 June is Lisbon´s holiday in honour of the city´s saint Anthony of Lisbon (Portuguese: Santo António). Saint Anthony, also known as Saint Anthony of Padua, was a wealthy Portuguese bohemian who was canonised and made Doctor of the Church after a life preaching to the poor. Ironically, although Lisbon’s patron saint is Saint Vincent of Saragossa, whose remains are housed in the Sé Cathedral, there are no festivities associated with this saint.
Eduardo VII Park, the second largest park in the city following the Parque Florestal de Monsanto (Monsanto Forest Park), extends down the main avenue (Avenida da Liberdade), with many flowering plants and greenspaces, that includes the permanent collection of subtropical and tropical plants in the winter garden (Portuguese: Estufa Fria). Originally named Parque da Liberdade, it was renamed in honour of Edward VII of England who visited Lisbon in 1903.
Lisbon is home every year to the Lisbon Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, the Lisboarte, the DocLisboa – Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival, the Arte Lisboa – Contemporary Art Fair, the Festival of the Oceans, the International Organ Festival of Lisbon, the MOTELx – Lisbon International Horror Film Festival, the Lisbon Village Festival, the Festival Internacional de Máscaras e Comediantes, the Lisboa Mágica – Street Magic World Festival, the Monstra – Animated Film Festival, the Lisbon Book Fair, the Peixe em Lisboa – Lisbon Fish and Flavours, the Lisbon International Handicraft Exhibition, the Lisbon Photo Marathon, the IndieLisboa – International Independent Film Festival, the Alkantara Festival, the Temps d´Images Festival and the Jazz in August festival.
Lisbon has been home five times (in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012) to Rock in Rio, one of the world's largest pop-rock festivals. Annual popular music events within the metropolitan area include the Optimus Alive! and Super Bock Super Rock festivals.
Lisbon is also home to the Lisbon Architecture Triennial, the Moda Lisboa (Fashion Lisbon), ExperimentaDesign – Biennial of Design and LuzBoa – Biennial of Light.
In addition, the mosaic Portuguese pavement (Calçada Portuguesa) was born in Lisbon, in the mid-1800s. The art has since spread to the rest of the Portuguese Speaking world. The city remains one of the most expansive examples of the technique, nearly all walkways and even many streets being created and maintained in this style.
Lisbon has a long sporting tradition. It hosted several matches, including the final, of the UEFA Euro 2004 championship. The city also played host to the final of the 2001 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the European Fencing Championships in 1983 and 1992, as well as the 2003 World Men's Handball Championship, and the 2008 European Judo Championships. From 2006 to 2008, Lisbon was the starting point for the Dakar Rally.
The city hosts three association football clubs in Portugal's highest league, the Primeira Liga. Sport Lisboa e Benfica, commonly known as just Benfica, has won 32 league titles in addition to two European Cups. Lisbon's second-most successful club is Sporting Clube de Portugal (commonly known as Sporting or in the English-speaking world as Sporting Lisbon), winner of 18 league titles and the 1964 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. A third club, C.F. Os Belenenses (commonly Belenenses or Belenenses Lisbon), based in the Belém quarter, has solely won one league title.
Other sports, such as indoor football, handball, basketball and roller hockey are also popular. There are many other sport facilities in Lisbon, ranging from athletics to sailing to golf to mountain-biking. Every March the city hosts the Lisbon Half Marathon, while in September the Portugal Half Marathon.
Lisbon has two UEFA category four stadiums; Benfica's Estádio da Luz (Stadium of Light), with a capacity of over 65,000 and Sporting's Estádio José Alvalade, with a capacity of over 50,000. There is also Belenenses' Estádio do Restelo, with a capacity of over 30,000. The Estádio Nacional, in nearby Oeiras, has a capacity of 37,000 and was used exclusively for Portuguese international football matches and cup finals until the construction of larger stadia in the city. It held the 1967 European Cup Final.
Lisbon is twinned, sistered, or partnered with the following:
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