with a population of about one million inhabitants (two million
in the metropolitan area), is the capital, the chief port and
the largest city of Portugal. It stands on the westernmost point
of land of the European continent, where the Tagus river flows
into the Atlantic Ocean. Its climate is probably the mildest
of all European capitals.
Lisbon is one of the most ancient cities in the western Europe.
Probably inhabited since the Neolithic period, it was settled
by Phoenicians in 1200 BC, who named it Alis Ubbo (calm port).
They prospered for more than 600 years until it was occupied
by Greeks and Carthaginians, then by the Romans in 205 BC, by
the Barbarians in the 5th century AC, by the Arabs in 715 AC,
till it was finally conquered by D. Afonso Henriques during
the Cruzades in 1147, and declared capital of the Portuguese
kingdom in 1252. The city name evolved with each new occupant
until its present form Lisboa.
Being already an important city when conquered in 1252, it continued
growing its importance. In 1260 the King Afonso III transferred
his court there from Coimbra. The University of Lisbon was founded
in 1292. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Age of the Discoveries,
Lisbon became the centre of the world and the entrance of Europe
to the Oceans. It is perhaps this long history of finding new
lands and cultures that explains why Lisboans are, by nature
and tradition, open to the new and very welcoming to visitors.
From the 18th century, after the destruction of the city by
the earthquake of 1755, Lisbon gradually took its modern lines
as new, wider streets with rectilinear lines sprang up alongside
the old quarters, to be joined in the 19th and 20th centuries
by the Avenidas Novas (new avenues) and setting the shape of
the city of today.
More about Lisbon in:
- Lisbon/Portugal Sites
- Lisboa card ("Your password
to the city")
do parque (If you plan to visit "Parque
das Nações", you may be interested in it).