Lisbon informationLisbon (Lisboa in Portuguese) is the capital of Portugal. The metropolitan area has about 2,900,000 inhabitants. The city is on the right bank of the Tagus, a short distance from the Atlantic Ocean, in the Estremadura region. It is the westernmost capital of a mainland European country. The Portuguese capital on the Tagus River offers a good mix of history, atmosphere and culture. You can eat deliciously for a reasonable price at numerous cafés and restaurants all over the city. The climate is very enjoyable all year round.
Lisbon locationLisbon lies in the west of the country, on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the point where the river Tagus flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Lisbon is situated in the middle of Portugal, 300 km from the Algarve and 400 km from the northern border with Spain. The city occupies an area of 84.8 km2. The urbanized area, known generically as Lisbon, are actually several administratively defined cities, such as Amadora, Queluz, Agualva-Cacém, Odivelas, Loures, Sacavém, Almada, Barreiro, Seixal and Oeiras, and form together the Lisbon Metropolitan Area.
Lisbon weatherThe climate of the Portuguese capital is temperate with warm, dry summers. The average annual temperature is 16.8°C and annual rainfall is 753 mm. The rain falls mainly in late autumn and winter. At other times it is usually quite sunny, the sun shines for more than 2700 hours per year. In winter it is mostly sunny. Due to its location on the Atlantic Ocean the weather is gentle with temperatures around 14°C. Frost is not common.
In March and April it is a little milder than average with temperatures around 18°C, it is a good time to visit Lisbon. Low pressure areas follow a more northern direction and influence of high pressure over the Azores increases. Allowing more sun and less rain. Daytime temperatures are usually between 20 and 25 degrees.
Lisbon historyLegend says that Lisbon was founded by the Greek hero Odysseus during his long journey home from the Odyssey. Around 1200 BC there was a Phoenician trading post. Around 200 BC, the city was conquered by the Romans. When the Roman Empire disintegrated, the city fell into the hands of people from the north and Lisbon became less important.
Among the Muslims who invaded around 714 AD, the city flourished again and became an important commercial center. During a raid in 798 AD by Alfonso II of Asturias sieged the town, but couldn't keep it under control. Raymond of Burgundy, heir of Galicia, invaded Lisbon and Santarem in 1093. Yusuf ibn Tashfin emir of the Almoravids from Morocco recaptured the city in 1094. In 1111 it was again the Almoravids, now under Sir ibn Abi Bakr, who occupied Lisbon and Santarem.
King Alfonso I of Portugal, the first king of Portugal, captured Lisbon on October 21. The siege lasted 17 weeks and finally the Muslims gave up because of famine. Alfonso I rebuilt an existing hill fort into a royal palace. The Castelo de Sao Jorge held this role until early 16th century. He also founded the Se Cathedral, where Hastings was the first bishop of Lisbon. The headquarters of the king moved from Coimbra to Lisbon, capital of Portugal in 1255. The city developed greatly, both economically and culturally. In 1290, for example, the University of Lisbon, was founded.
With Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India around 1500 the Portuguese entered the Golden Age. King Manuel I built the Monastery dos Jeronimos. On November 1, 1755 the city was hit by a major earthquake (known as the earthquake of Lisbon). The deaths, some 15,000 according to sources, were also due to fires and high waves from the River. Under the pragmatic prime minister, later Marquês of Pombal, the reconstruction began. His influence is reflected in the tight streets of the south of the Baixa. The 20th century dictator António de Oliveira Salazar modernized the city. In 1998, Lisbon housed the World Expo '98.
Lisbon tourist attractions
In Santa Maria de Belém are the World Heratige Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and the Torre de Belem. In the monastery the explorer Vasco de Gama was buried.
Baixa, the "lower", is the center of Lisbon. Here lies the Rossio the most important square of the city. The royal residence is located on the Tagus at the large square Praça do Comércio. In the Bairro Alto, west of the Baixa, there are many restaurants and bars. The upland area is accessible from the center of the Elevador de Santa Justa by lift. The lift climbs about 30 meters and was designed by an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel in the Gothic Revival style around 1900.
East of the center lies the Alfama, an old neighborhood. With its many steep streets, alleys and stairways Alfama is a major attraction. You can find several Fado houses in Alfama. These are small restaurants where traditional fado is played. Through the district winds a network of very old trams. The trams are widely used by tourists, which makes them important for the district. The biggest and oldest church in the city, the Cathedral of Lisbon can also be found here.
A few kilometers east of downtown Lisbon is the "new center" where you will find the Expo '98 site Parque das Nações. The New Center is also home to the aquarium Oceanário de Lisboa, the Vasco da Gama shopping mall, the Vasco da Gama Tower, a gondola and Gare do Oriente trainstation.
The city also has two interesting bridges; Ponte 25 de Abril, named after the Revolution of 1974, connecting Lisbon with the Outra Banda, the south bank of the Tagus. The design is modeled on that of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. And there is also the new bridge over the Tagus: the 17 km long Vasco da Gama Bridge.