Lisbon The City of Culture Overview
The Romans conquered Lisbon in 205 BC and by that time the city was over 1,000 years old. The Phoenician’s established a trading post in the Lisbon around 1200 BC and started using its magnificent harbor. When Greeks discovered Lisbon they named it Olissipo. Lisbon has been invaded, ransacked and conquered through the years and remnants of the ancient architecture have been rebuilt. The oldest part of the city known as the Alfama quarter still has a medieval sense about it, even though the city has a modern attitude. Lisbon was crowned the European City of Culture in 1994 and it hosted the Grand Expo in 1998.
Today Lisbon’s boundaries extend over 33 square miles, which includes Monsanto Forest Park; one of the largest city parks in Europe. It has an area of over 4 square miles.
About Lisbon Today
Lisbon’s metropolitan area consists of several satellite cities like Cascais and Estoril, which are known for their colorful nightlife. Sintra and Mafia are filled with historical sites, as well as beautiful palaces and exquisite landscapes. Some of the other cities around Lisbon include Barreiro, Seixel and Almada, which sits on the south bank of the Tagus River. Loures, Odivelas, Amadora and Franca de Xira also surround the city with ancient charm. The population is now over 2.8 million and more than 1 million travel into the heart of Lisbon each day to work.
Lisbon is a modern day renaissance city thanks to its contemporary culture and excellent climate. Its limestone buildings and unique and intimate alleyways, plus its sandy beaches make the city a popular tourist destination. The city is filled with attractions like the Gulbenkian Museum, which is filled with paintings from Monet, Renoir, Manet and Rembrandt and an assortment of Egyptian artifacts. Castelo de Sao Jorge located on a hill overlooking the city is another site worth seeing and the Santa Justa’s Elevator, designed by a student of Gustav Eiffel has an incredible view of the city.
The gorgeous plaza, Praca do Comerico faces the river and is the beginning of the downtown area. Belem is filled with monuments and is the permanent home of the Berardo Art Collection that features works from Dali, Andy Warhol, Picasso and many others. The shopping district is Chiado where a statue of Fernando Pessoa, Portugal’s best known poet, overlooks the area. Baixa is the downtown area of the city. It was completely rebuilt after an earthquake destroyed it in 1755. Everyone who comes to Lisbon loves Ponte 25 de Abril, the bridge that connects the Setubal Peninsula with Lisbon. The bridge was designed by the architect who designed the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Let’s not forget the Cristo Rei; it resembles the statue of Christ in Rio. The view from the top of the statue is fantastic.
Lisbon in a Few Words
Lisbon, the city with an ancient but trendy fashion attitude, is waiting to entertain you with fine food, exceptional wine and unforgettable experiences.