The capital of Portugal, the city of Lisbon, is famous for its rather developed trade and port activities and demonstrates to its guests all its economic power. The city offers travelers all kinds of entertainment and sports, as well as cultural options for leisure and recreation. Locals know how to enjoy life and are able to colorize their holidays with various entertainments.
In the old districts of Lisbon, you can see historic buildings with architectural elements that are characteristic of different cultures. Whatever the purpose of the trip, a trip to Lisbon will leave an unforgettable experience.
History of Lisbon
The history of Lisbon, one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, began in 1200 BC. During the reign of the Phoenicians, the name of the city in historical documents was referred to as Ulyssippo or Olisippo. Archaeological research around the Lisbon Cathedral and the castle of San Jorge revealed the remains of the Phoenicians. These people used the port of Lisbon for trade. Roman domination of the city lasted two centuries, and the city was called Felicitas Julia.
The influence of Lisbon intensified in 60 BC, when Julius Caesar came to power. Moros, a North African Muslim civilization, seized power in the city in the 8th century and held it for 450 years. In 1147, Portuguese Christians took their country from the Muslims and, in the same way, Lisbon.
Problems of Portugal did not end there. In 1383, the king of Portugal died without leaving an heir. The king of Spain claimed the throne of Portugal, and war broke out between the two countries. In the end, Portugal becomes an independent country, led by King Juan I. Moreover, in 1373 it entered into a peace agreement with England. At present, there is still an alliance and diplomatic friendship between the two countries.
Today, Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It is the 11th most populous city in the European Union. More than 500,000 people live in the center of the capital, but with peripheral areas, the total population of Lisbon reaches 3 million. 27% of the population of Portugal lives only in Lisbon. Umberto Delgado's local airport is a checkpoint for more than 20 million passengers a year. After Rome, Barcelona, Athens, Madrid and Milan, this city is the most popular tourist destination in Europe.
St. Mary's Cathedral, also known as Seracinda, is the oldest cathedral in the city. It was built by order of King Alfonso I in 1147. This cathedral is one of the most beautiful places in the world where Roman, Gothic, neoclassical, Baroque and Rococo architecture meet. This is one of the historic buildings that tourists want to see the most. Since 1910, the Lisbon Cathedral has been included in the list of Portuguese national artifacts.
Another popular place with visitors to the country is the Gulbenkian Museum, located on Bern Boulevard. It was opened in memory of Kalust Gulbenkyan, one of the richest people of the 20th century. Gulbenkian was born in 1869 in the Ottoman Empire, earning a fortune in the oil business in the Middle East. He spent the last years of his life in Portugal. The museum can be visited from 10.00 am to 5.45 pm every day except Tuesday. Here you can see Gulbenkian’s personal art collections and other contemporary works. A trip to Lisbon is unthinkable without visiting this place. Gulbenkian Museum, one of the few in Europe, was opened immediately after the death of the owner to show the value of art for future generations.
The Belem Tower, built in 1515, is symbolic for the whole country because it was built during the geographical discoveries of the Golden Age. The tower's building style is the Portuguese architecture of the Muslims of North Africa, who once ruled Portugal. The famous earthquake of 1755 affected every building in the city and damaged the Belen Tower. It is worth climbing to its top and look at the top view. Admission is free for children, adults can visit the tower for 6-8 euros.
Rossio Square, also known as Pedro Square, has become one of the most visited places for citizens back in the Middle Ages. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the square became a meeting place for the noble layers of Lisbon. For centuries, this area has been home to entertainment and celebrations, concerts and banquets, as well as protests and demonstrations. In the center of the square there is a monument to the King of Portugal Pedro IV, built in 1874.
One of the most significant buildings in Lisbon has become the statue of Jesus Christ more than 100 meters high. It is believed that Jesus blessed and accepted this city with outstretched hands. All Christian tourists visit the statue to pray and ask God for help. An elevator ride with panoramic views of Lisbon costs around 7 euros for adults and 3 euros for children.
Tourist season in Lisbon
Lisbon is a city influenced by the Mediterranean climate. Usually winters are rainy and warm, and summers are dry. However, on the ocean, the air in the capital is softer than in any other Mediterranean city. At least five months of the year - from May to September - you can enjoy the beautiful summer weather. These months you should visit Lisbon to participate in street festivals and concerts.
A distinctive feature of the city is its special atmosphere. Lisbon makes tourists feel like travelers in time, where old seaside houses border the strict architecture of the European capital.
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