What to See in Lisbon (Portugal)
The first inhabitants to settle in what is now Lisbon were the Phoenicians. Around 1200 BC they founded a settlement here, which was a commercial stop at the crossroads of sea routes. The city was founded by the Romans in the 1st century BC. Until 1147, the city was in the hands of the Arabs, and then was conquered by the first king of Portugal. Lisbon became the capital of the country in 1255. During its long history, it has been under the control of the Roman Empire, Arabs, Spaniards, survived the invasion of Napoleonic troops, as well as earthquakes, fires, plagues and the Inquisition. The earthquake of 1775 was very tragic for Lisbon, after which many architectural monuments were wiped off the face of the earth.
According to ITYPEJOB, Lisbon located on the right bank of the Tagus River. It is built on hills, on one of which is its main attraction – St. George’s Castle. The castle was significantly damaged by the earthquake, and the interior decoration has not been preserved, but it is an excellent observation deck that offers a view of the Tagus valley. In one of the towers there is something like a periscope, with the help of which the whole city is projected on a huge plate, like on a screen, in great detail. At the foot of the hill sheltered the most ancient part of the city – the medieval quarter of Alfama, whose streets and stairs remind of the Arabs who lived here before the exile. It was the least affected by the earthquake. Here are the famous Bethlehem Tower (Torre de Belem) and monastery of the 16th century Jeronimos, in which many famous people are buried, including Vasco de Gama. The monastery and the tower are masterpieces of the Manueline architectural style, declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The houses here are covered with traditional tiles – azulejos, and when you walk along the street, it seems that tiled stoves are floating by.
In Lisbon, it is also worth seeing the churches of St. Vincent and Santa Engracia. The church of St. Vincent was built in 1582-1627. Its galleries are decorated with 18th-century tiles depicting the heroes of La Fontaine’s fables and scenes from the conquest of Lisbon by the Moors. The former refectory now houses the tomb of the Braganza dynasty. The church of Santa Engracia was founded in 1682, but the construction was finally completed only in 1966. By this time, the church had become a national pantheon. Here you can see the tombstones of the great people of Portugal: the Renaissance poet Luis de Camões and the famous navigator Vasco da Gama.
In 1998, for the opening of the World Exhibition in Lisbon, the longest sixteen-kilometer bridge in Europe to date was built. For this exhibition, an exhibition complex was built in the same year (in the year of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Vasco da Gama in India). Now this area has been converted into an entertainment complex. The amusement park stretches along the river for several kilometers. It is not necessary to travel along it on foot – there is a cable car. Its final station is the oceanarium. The entire marine fauna is represented in the Lisbon Aquarium – from sardines to sharks, this is one of the largest aquariums in Europe, there are over 15,000 marine inhabitants.
In Lisbon there are many interesting museums. The National Museum of Ancient Art exhibits Portuguese art of the 12th – 19th centuries. The capital is home to the magnificent Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which contains paintings, sculptures, carpets, ceramics from around the world, and the Center for Contemporary Art associated with it. The National Carriage Museum has a collection of royal carriages, some of which are over 300 years old. There are also other famous museums in Lisbon: archeology, ethnography, theatrical, naval.
At night, the city lives a vibrant life: there are many discos and bars where you can not only drink, but also dance to rave, jazz or African rhythms. The capital hosts football matches with teams from nearby cities and bullfights.
AT Lisbon has several good beaches, but they are all quite far from the city center. A lot of people swim on the coast between Lisbon and Cascais.
In the vicinity of the capital, and in other parts of the country, pousadas-style hotels are very popular among tourists – “historical hotels” located in restored castles, estates, monasteries, where you can live in pristine atmosphere.