"LISBON" Lisbon by vibi68
Lisbon Travel Guide: 5,193 reviews and 12,839 photos
One thousand yeards B.C., Phoenicians attracted by the natural port located at the foot of a hill, name the city Alis Ubbo, "serene roads". 800 years later, the Romans conquered the city for two centuries, then known under the name of Olisipo. During the 5th century, the great invasions drove a procession of people who came from northern Europe, into Lisbon. In 714, only three years after the start of the Iberian peninsula's conquest by the Berber Tarik, Lisbon passes under Muslim domination. In 1147, the Christians, carried out by Dom Afonso Henriques, seized the city with the support of an Anglo-Norman fleet. About 300 years later, Prince Henri, known as the Navigator, put Portugal on the track of great discoveries, turning into to country a rich maritime nation. Portuguese sailors became then at the origin or taking part of all great forward expeditions. Counters in Africa were established, the road to the Indies was openned and the conquest of Brazil all hapenned during the 16th century, known as the golden century of Lisbon. In 1581, the king of Spain, Philippe II, had his rights recognized to the Portuguese crown. Less than one hundred years later, a conjured group proclaimed the independence of the country and offered the crown to the duke of Bragance, who took it under the name of Dom Joao IV. On November 1st, 1755, an earthquake, followed-up by terrible tidal wave and a fire, destroyed a great part of the city; rebuilding work was undertaken by a man impregnated with the spirit of Lights, the marquis de Pombal, then Prime Minister for king Joseph Ist, who reorganised the lower city in a particularly modern way, thus carrying out the greatest urban development of the time. Unfortunatly at the beginning of the 19th century, Junot, elected by Napoleon, entered Lisbon, forcing the king to exile himself in Brazil. Where the French conquered, the English always came not long after thus, in 1811, the French were driven out Portuguese territory by the British army and 10 years later the independence of Brazil carried a heavy blow to the economy of the metropolis. The Proclamation of the Portuguese Republic only took place in 1910, 20 years before Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, became president of the council. He set up an autoritary and corporatic mode of support called Estado Novo. Portugal stayed neutral during WWII but was used for many as a secure haven. On April 25, 1974, the "Revolution of the carnations" framed by a group of officers anticolonialists, as various garnisons encircled the capital, the state capitulated. Through the following year, the consequence of the carnations revolution was felt as the African colonies: Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Principle, declare their independence. The access of Portugal into the European Community happenned in 1986 with which Lisbon knew a true rebirth thanks to the European financial assistances. Lisbon is declared City of European culture in 1992, four years before the 500th birthday of the route to the Indies by Vasco da Gama, for which the city accomodates with splendour the last international exhibition of the century, presented under the topic "The oceans, heritage of the future" and for which Lisbon inaugurated the longest bridge of Europe, the Ponte de Vasco da Gama (14km). In December of 1999, Portugal took the direction of the European Union for a 6 months period. Since the Expo' of 1998, Lisbon is in a continuous restoration and perpetual urban development while it kept its notorious reputation, accomodating football amateurs for the organisation of the 2004 Euro cup.
Today, Lisbon counting close to 2 million inhabitants, although heavy with history, still remains one of unique ambiance and undeniable charm. Magnificiently located on right bank of Tagus river, it is the only European capital bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. But more still than by the beauty of its site and its light, Lisbon lures by its permanent call to dawdling. Black and white mosaic pavements, azulejos decorate the facades and the old typical wooden trams still run through its districts. Going up to the miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte, the spectacle of the city roofs offers itself to the pleasure of one's eyes. From the foot of the Castle de Sao Jorge, the Alfama invites to a walk along its old lanes bordered by flowered houses ornate with wrought iron balconies. Chiado and Bairro Alto which overhang the lively Baixa, are with good reason famous for the animation of their fashionable coffees shops and Fado taverns. In the western district with rehabilitated docks, right in front of the marina, is the lastest "in" spot of Lisboetes, followed by Belem with its monastery of Jeronimos and its tower proudly posed at the edge of Tagus. Finally the district of Oriente symbolizes modernity with its Parque dos Nacioes and its gigantic aquarium in the House of Oceans: heritage of the 1998 Expo'. Lisbon, city of multiple facets, found how to remain faithful to its roots while joining the top list of the most bubbling and attaching European capitals.
The Lisbon's trams, called here "electricos", represent the charm of old shiny machines which give the city its... more travel advice
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