Lisbon (/ˈlɪzbən/; Portuguese: Lisboa,
IPA: [liʒˈboɐ] ( listen)) is the capital and the
largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 552,700
within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km².
Its urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a
population of around 2.7 million people, being the 11th-most populous
urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in
Lisbon Metropolitan Area
Lisbon Metropolitan Area (which represents approximately 27% of
the country's population). It is continental Europe's westernmost
capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast.
Lisbon lies in
Iberian Peninsula on the
Atlantic Ocean and the River
Tagus. The westernmost areas of its metro area form the westernmost
point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located
Lisbon is recognised as a alpha-level global city by the Globalization
and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group because of its importance in
finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade,
education and tourism.
Lisbon is the only Portuguese city besides
Porto to be recognised as a global city. It is one of the major
economic centres on the continent, with a growing financial sector and
one of the largest container ports on Europe's Atlantic coast.
Additionally, Humberto Delgado Airport served 26.7 million passengers
in 2017, being the busiest airport in Portugal, the 3rd busiest in the
Iberian Peninsula and the 20th busiest in Europe, and the motorway
network and the high-speed rail system of
Alfa Pendular links the main
Portugal (such as Braga,
Porto and Coimbra) to Lisbon.
The city is the 9th-most-visited city in Southern Europe, after Rome,
Istanbul, Barcelona, Milan, Venice, Madrid,
Florence and Athens, with
3,320,300 tourists in 2017. The
Lisbon region contributes with a
higher GDP PPP per capita than any other region in Portugal. Its GDP
amounts to 96.3 billion USD and thus $32,434 per capita. The
city occupies 32nd place of highest gross earnings in the world.
Most of the headquarters of multinationals in the country are located
Lisbon area. It is also the political centre of the
country, as its seat of Government and residence of the Head of State.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and one of the oldest
in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as
Rome by centuries.
Julius Caesar made it a
municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled
by a series of Germanic tribes from the 5th century, it was captured
Moors in the 8th century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso
Henriques reconquered the city and since then it has been a major
political, economic and cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most
capital cities, Lisbon's status as the capital of
Portugal has never
been granted or confirmed officially – by statute or in written
form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional
convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the
Constitution of Portugal.
Lisbon enjoys a Mediterranean climate.
2.2 Roman era
2.3 Middle Ages
2.4 Early Modern
2.5 Late modern and contemporary
3.1 Physical geography
3.3 Civil parishes
3.4.8 Parque das Nações
4 Government and politics
8.5 Bridges and ferries
8.6 Air travel
8.7 Lisboa Public Transportation Statistics
9.1 International schools
9.2 Higher education
10.2 Other sports
11 International relations
11.1 Union of Luso-Afro-Americo-Asiatic Capital Cities
11.2 Cooperation agreements
11.3 Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities
12 See also
15 External links
One claim often repeated in non-academic literature is that the name
Lisbon can be traced back to Phoenician times, usually referring to
the supposed Phoenician term Alis-Ubo, meaning "safe harbour",.
Lisbon's origin may in fact derive from Proto-Celtic or Celtic
Olisippo, Lissoppo or a similar name which other visiting peoples like
the Ancient Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans adapted accordingly.
Roman authors of the first century AD referred to popular legends that
the city of
Lisbon was founded by the mythical hero Odysseus on
his journey home from Troy. Although modern archaeological
excavations show a Phoenician presence at this location since 1200
BC, neither of these folk etymologies has any historical
Another conjecture based on ancient hydronymy suggests that the name
of the settlement derived from the pre-Roman appellation for the Tagus
River, Lisso or Lucio. Lisbon's name was written Ulyssippo in
the geographer Pomponius Mela, a native of Hispania. It was later
referred to as "Olisippo" by
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder and by the Greeks as
Olissipo (Ὀλισσιπών) or Olissipona
Internationally, Lisbon's name is abbreviated to 'LX' or to 'LIS',
which is also the
IATA airport code of the
Lisbon Humberto Delgado
History of Lisbon
History of Lisbon and Timeline of Lisbon
Phoenician archaeological dig in the
Lisbon Cathedral cloisters
Neolithic period, the region was inhabited by Pre-Celtic
tribes, who built religious and funerary monuments, megaliths, dolmens
and menhirs, which still survive in areas on the periphery of
Lisbon. The Indo-European Celts invaded in the 1st millennium BC,
mixing with the Pre-Indo-European population, thus giving rise to
Celtic-speaking local tribes such as the Cempsi.
Although the first fortifications on Lisbon's Castelo hill are known
to be no older than the 2nd century BC, recent archaeological finds
have shown that
Iron Age people occupied the site from the 8th to 6th
centuries BC. This indigenous settlement maintained
commercial relations with the Phoenicians, which would account for the
recent findings of Phoenician pottery and other material objects.
Archaeological excavations made near the Castle of São Jorge (Castelo
de São Jorge) and
Lisbon Cathedral indicate a Phoenician presence at
this location since 1200 BC, and it can be stated with confidence
that a Phoenician trading post stood on a site now the centre
of the present city, on the southern slope of the Castle hill. The
sheltered harbour in the
Tagus River estuary was an ideal spot for an
Iberian settlement and would have provided a secure harbour for
unloading and provisioning Phoenician ships. The
was an important centre of commercial trade with the inland tribes,
providing an outlet for the valuable metals, salt and salted-fish they
collected, and for the sale of the Lusitanian horses renowned in
According to legend, the location was named for the mythical Ulysses,
who founded the settlement after he left
Troy to escape the Greek
coalition. Later, the Greek name appeared in
Vulgar Latin in the
Section of the Cerca Velha (Old Wall) of Visigothic origin.
Following the defeat of Hannibal in 202 BCE during the Punic wars, the
Romans determined to deprive
Carthage of its most valuable possession:
Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula). The defeat of Carthaginian forces by
Scipio Africanus in Eastern
Hispania allowed the pacification of the
west, led by Consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus. Decimus obtained
the alliance of Olissipo (which sent men to fight alongside the Roman
Legions against the northwestern Celtic tribes) by integrating it into
the empire, as the
Municipium Cives Romanorum Felicitas Julia. Local
authorities were granted self-rule over a territory that extended 50
kilometres (31 miles); exempt from taxes, its citizens were given the
privileges of Roman citizenship, and it was then integrated with the
Roman province of
Lusitania (whose capital was Emerita Augusta).
Lusitanian raids and rebellions during Roman occupation required the
construction of a wall around the settlement. During Augustus' reign,
the Romans also built a great theatre; the Cassian Baths (underneath
Rua da Prata); temples to Jupiter, Diana, Cybele, Tethys and Idea
Phrygiae (an uncommon cult from Asia Minor), in addition to temples to
the Emperor; a large necropolis under Praça da Figueira; a large
forum and other buildings such as insulae (multi-storied apartment
buildings) in the area between the Castle Hill and the historic city
core. Many of these ruins were first unearthed during the mid-18th
century (when the recent discovery of
Pompeii made Roman archaeology
fashionable among Europe's upper classes).
The city prospered as piracy was eliminated and technological advances
were introduced, consequently Felicitas Julia became a centre of trade
with the Roman provinces of Britannia (particularly Cornwall) and the
Rhine. Economically strong, Olissipo was known for its garum (a fish
sauce highly prized by the elites of the empire and exported in
amphorae to Rome), wine, salt and horse-breeding, while Roman culture
permeated the hinterland. The city was connected by a broad road to
Western Hispania's two other large cities,
Bracara Augusta in the
Tarraconensis (Portuguese Braga), and Emerita Augusta, the
capital of Lusitania. The city was ruled by an oligarchical council
dominated by two families, the Julii and the Cassiae, although
regional authority was administered by the Roman Governor of Emerita
or directly by Emperor Tiberius. Among the majority of
lived a large minority of Greek traders and slaves.
Around 80 BC, the Roman
Quintus Sertorius led a rebellion against the
dictator Sulla. During this period, he organised the tribes of
Hispania and was on the verge of forming an independent
province in the
Sertorian War when he was assassinated.
Olissipo, like most great cities in the Western Empire, was a centre
for the dissemination of Christianity. Its first attested Bishop was
Potamius (c. 356), and there were several martyrs during the period of
persecution of the Christians: Maxima, Verissimus and Eulalia of
Mérida are the most significant examples. By the time of the Fall of
Rome, Olissipo had become a notable
Following the disintegration of the Roman Empire there were barbarian
invasions; between 409 and 429 the city was occupied successively by
Alans and Vandals. The Germanic Suebi, who established a
Gallaecia (modern Galicia and northern Portugal), with its
capital in Bracara Augusta, also controlled the region of
585. In 585, the
Suebi Kingdom was integrated into the Germanic
Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo, which comprised all of the Iberian
Lisbon was then called Ulishbona.
São Jorge Castle
São Jorge Castle and the surrounding areas of Castelo and Mouraria.
On 6 August 711,
Lisbon was taken by Muslim forces. These conquerors,
who were mostly Berbers and
North Africa and the Middle
East, built many mosques and houses, rebuilt the city wall (known as
the Cerca Moura) and established administrative control, while
permitting the diverse population (Muladi, Mozarabs, Berbers, Arabs,
Zanj and Saqaliba) to maintain their socio-cultural lifestyles.
Mozarabic was the native language spoken by most of the Christian
population although Arabic was widely known as spoken by all religious
communities. Islam was the official religion practised by the Arabs,
Surrender of the
Moors to King Afonso at the 1147 Siege of Lisbon.
The Muslim influence is still visible present in the
an old quarter of
Lisbon that survived the 1755
many place-names are derived from Arabic and the
Alfama (the oldest
existing district of Lisbon) was derived from the Arabic "al-hamma".
For a brief time,
Lisbon was an independent Muslim kingdom known as
the Taifa of Lisbon, before being conquered by the larger Taifa of
Badajoz in 1094.
Lisbon was raided and occupied by Norwegian crusaders led by
Sigurd I on their way to the
Holy Land as part of the Norwegian
Crusade and occupied by crusader forces for three years. It was
taken by the Moorish
Almoravids in 1111.
Siege of Lisbon
Siege of Lisbon in Froissart's Chronicles.
In 1147, as part of the Reconquista, crusader knights led by Afonso I
Portugal besieged and conquered Lisbon. The city, with around
154,000 residents at the time, was returned to
Christian rule. The
Portugal and re-establishment of
Christianity is one of
the most significant events in Lisbon's history, described in the
chronicle Expugnatione Lyxbonensi, which describes, among other
incidents, how the local bishop was killed by the crusaders and the
city's residents prayed to the
Virgin Mary as it happened. Some of the
Muslim residents converted to Roman Catholicism, and most of those who
did not convert fled to other parts of the Islamic world, primarily
Muslim Spain and North Africa. All mosques were either completely
destroyed or converted into churches. As a result of the end of Muslim
rule, spoken Arabic quickly lost its place in the everyday life of the
city and disappeared altogether.
With its central location,
Lisbon became the capital city of the new
Portuguese territory in 1255. The first Portuguese university was
Lisbon in 1290 by King Denis I; for many years the Studium
Generale (General Study) was transferred intermittently to Coimbra,
where it was installed permanently in the 16th century as the
University of Coimbra.
In 1384, the city was besieged by King Juan I of Castille, as a part
of the ongoing 1383–1385 Crisis. The result of the siege was a
victory for the Portuguese led by Nuno Álvares Pereira.
During the last centuries of the Middle Ages, the city expanded
substantially and became an important trading post with both Northern
European and Mediterranean cities.
The oldest known image of
Lisbon (1500–1510) from the Crónica de
Afonso Henriques by Duarte Galvão
Most of the Portuguese expeditions of the
Age of Discovery
Age of Discovery left Lisbon
during the period from the end of the 15th century to the beginning of
the 17th century, including Vasco da Gama's expedition to
1498. In 1506, 3,000
Jews were massacred in Lisbon. The 16th
century was Lisbon's golden era: the city was the European hub of
commerce between Africa, India, the Far East and later, Brazil, and
acquired great riches by exploiting the trade in spices, slaves,
sugar, textiles and other goods. This period saw the rise of the
Manueline style in architecture, which left its mark in many
16th century monuments (including Lisbon's
Belém Tower and Jerónimos
Monastery, which were declared
UNESCO World Heritage Sites). A
Lisbon in the 16th century was written by Damião de
Góis and published in 1554.
Portugal lost its independence to
Spain after the succession crisis of
1580, initiating a sixty-year period of dual monarchy in
Spain under the Spanish Habsburgs. This is referred to as the
"Philippine Dominion" (Domínio Filipino), since all three Spanish
kings during that period were called Philip (Filipe). The Portuguese
Restoration War, which began with a coup d'état organised by the
nobility and bourgeoisie in
Lisbon and executed on 1 December 1640,
restored Portuguese independence. The period from 1640 to 1668 was
marked by periodic skirmishes between
Portugal and Spain, as well as
short episodes of more serious warfare, until the
Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon was
signed in 1668.
In the early 18th century, gold from
Brazil allowed King John V to
sponsor the building of several
Baroque churches and theatres in the
Ribeira Palace and
Lisbon society, in 1662 – by Dirk Stoop.
Prior to the 18th century,
Lisbon had experienced several significant
earthquakes – eight in the 14th century, five in the 16th century
(including the 1531 earthquake that destroyed 1,500 houses and the
1597 earthquake in which three streets vanished), and three in the
17th century. On 1 November 1755, the city was destroyed by another
devastating earthquake, which killed an estimated 30,000 to 40,000
Lisbon residents of a population estimated at between 200,000 and
275,000, and destroyed 85 percent of the city's
structures. Among several important buildings of the city, the
Ribeira Palace and the
Hospital Real de Todos os Santos were lost. In
coastal areas, such as Peniche, situated about 80 km (50 mi)
north of Lisbon, many people were killed by the following tsunami.
Lisbon was one of the largest cities in Europe; the
catastrophic event shocked the whole of
Europe and left a deep
impression on its collective psyche.
Voltaire wrote a long poem,
Poême sur le désastre de Lisbonne, shortly after the quake, and
mentioned it in his 1759 novel
Candide (indeed, many argue that this
critique of optimism was inspired by that earthquake). Oliver Wendell
Holmes, Sr. also mentions it in his 1857 poem, The Deacon's
Masterpiece, or The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay.
The Marquis of Pombal's enlightened plans for rebuilding Lisbon.
After the 1755 earthquake, the city was rebuilt largely according to
the plans of Prime Minister Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, the
1st Marquess of Pombal; the lower town began to be known as the Baixa
Pombalina (Pombaline central district). Instead of rebuilding the
medieval town, Pombal decided to demolish what remained after the
earthquake and rebuild the city centre in accordance with principles
of modern urban design. It was reconstructed in an open rectangular
plan with two great squares: the Praça do Rossio and the Praça do
Comércio. The first, the central commercial district, is the
traditional gathering place of the city and the location of the older
cafés, theatres and restaurants; the second became the city's main
access to the River
Tagus and point of departure and arrival for
seagoing vessels, adorned by a triumphal arch (1873) and monument to
King Joseph I.
Late modern and contemporary
The construction of Rossio Station at Pedro IV Square, in 1886.
In the first years of the 19th century,
Portugal was invaded by the
troops of Napoléon Bonaparte, forcing Queen Maria I and Prince-Regent
John (future John VI) to flee temporarily to Brazil. By the time the
new King returned to Lisbon, many of the buildings and properties were
pillaged, sacked or destroyed by the invaders.
During the 19th century, the Liberal movement introduced new changes
into the urban landscape. The principal areas were in the
Chiado district, where shops, tobacconists shops, cafés,
bookstores, clubs and theatres proliferated. The development of
industry and commerce determined the growth of the city, seeing the
transformation of the Passeio Público, a Pombaline era park, into the
Avenida da Liberdade, as the city grew farther from the Tagus.
Lisbon was the site of the regicide of Carlos I of
Portugal in 1908,
an event which culminated two years later in the First Republic.
The city refounded its university in 1911 after centuries of
inactivity in Lisbon, incorporating reformed former colleges and other
non-university higher education schools of the city (such as the
Escola Politécnica – now Faculdade de Ciências). Today there are
two public universities in the city (
University of Lisbon
University of Lisbon and New
University of Lisbon), a public university institute (ISCTE - Lisbon
University Institute) and a polytechnic institute (IPL – Instituto
Politécnico de Lisboa).
The Proclamation of the Portuguese Republic in Lisbon's Municipal
Square in 1910.
During World War II,
Lisbon was one of the very few neutral, open
European Atlantic ports, a major gateway for refugees to the U.S. and
a haven for spies. More than 100,000 refugees were able to flee Nazi
Germany via Lisbon.
During the Estado Novo regime (1926–1974),
Lisbon was expanded at
the cost of other districts within the country, resulting in
nationalist and monumental projects. New residential and public
developments were constructed; the zone of Belém was modified for the
1940 Portuguese Exhibition, while along the periphery new districts
appeared to house the growing population. The inauguration of the
bridge over the
Tagus allowed rapid connection between both sides of
Lisbon was the site of three revolutions in the 20th century. The
first, the 5 October 1910 revolution, brought an end to the Portuguese
monarchy and established the highly unstable and corrupt Portuguese
First Republic. The 6 June 1926 revolution would see the end of that
first republic and firmly establish the Estado Novo, or the Portuguese
Second Republic, as the ruling regime. The final revolution, the
Carnation Revolution, would take place on 25 April 1974 and would end
the right-wing Estado Novo and reform the country as the current
Portuguese Third Republic.
Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon was signed at the
Jerónimos Monastery in 2007.
In the 1990s, many of the districts were renovated and projects in the
historic quarters were established to modernise those areas;
architectural and patrimonial buildings were renovated; the northern
margin of the
Tagus was re-purposed for leisure and residential use;
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama Bridge was constructed; and the eastern part of the
municipality was re-purposed for Expo '98, to commemorate the 500th
anniversary of Vasco da Gama's sea voyage to India, a voyage that
would bring immense riches to
Lisbon and cause many of Lisbon's
landmarks to be built.
In 1988, a fire in the historical district of
Chiado saw the
destruction of many 18th century
Pombaline style buildings. A series
of restoration works has brought the area back to its former self and
made it a high-scale shopping district.
Lisbon Agenda was a
European Union agreement on measures to
revitalise the EU economy, signed in
Lisbon in March 2000. In October
Lisbon hosted the 2007 EU Summit, where agreement was reached
regarding a new EU governance model. The resulting Treaty of Lisbon
was signed on 13 December 2007 and came into force on 1 December 2009.
Lisbon has been the site for many international events and programmes.
Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture. On 3 November
Lisbon hosted the MTV European Music Awards. On 7 July 2007,
Lisbon held the ceremony of the "New 7 Wonders Of The World"
election, in the Luz Stadium, with live transmission for millions of
people all over the world. Every two years,
Lisbon hosts the Rock in
Rio Lisboa Music Festival, one of the largest in the world. Lisbon
hosted the NATO summit (19–20 November 2010), a summit meeting that
is regarded as a periodic opportunity for Heads of State and Heads of
NATO member states
NATO member states to evaluate and provide strategic
direction for Alliance activities. The city hosts the Web Summit
and is the head office for the Group of Seven Plus (G7+)
Partial view of Lisbon, looking towards the
Lisbon is located at 38°42′49.75″N 9°8′21.79″W /
38.7138194°N 9.1393861°W / 38.7138194; -9.1393861, situated at
the mouth of the
Tagus River and is the westernmost capital of a
mainland European country.
The westernmost part of
Lisbon is occupied by the Parque Florestal de
Monsanto (English: Monsanto Forest Park), a 10 km2
(4 sq mi) urban park, one of the largest in Europe, and
occupying ten percent of the municipality.
The city occupies an area of 100.05 km2 (39 sq mi), and
its city boundaries, unlike those of most major cities, coincide with
those of the municipality. The rest of the urbanised area of the
Lisbon Metropolitan Area, known generically as Greater Lisbon
(Portuguese: Grande Lisboa), extends to the city of
includes several administratively defined cities and municipalities,
such as Amadora, Queluz, Agualva-Cacém, Odivelas, Loures, Sacavém,
Almada, Barreiro, Seixal and Oeiras
Main article: Climate of Lisbon
Lisbon has a subtropical mediterranean climate (Köppen climate
classification: Csa) with mild, rainy winters and warm summers.
The average annual temperature is 21.3 °C (70.3 °F) during
the day and 13.5 °C (56.3 °F) at night.
In the coldest month – January – the highest temperature during
the day typically ranges from 10 to 18 °C (50 to 64 °F),
the lowest temperature at night ranges from 3 to 13 °C (37 to
55 °F) and the average sea temperature is 16 °C
(61 °F). In the warmest month – August – the highest
temperature during the day typically ranges from 20 to 26 °C (68
to 79 °F), the lowest temperature at night ranges from 14 to
20 °C (57 to 68 °F) and the average sea temperature is
32 °C (90 °F).
Generally, season with a summer temperatures lasts about 6 months,
from May to October. March, April and November are transitional, in
those months the temperature often exceeds 20 °C (68 °F).
Among European cities with a population above 500,000,
Lisbon has one
of the warmest winters.
The minimum temperature recorded in
Lisbon was −2.6 °C
(27 °F) in January 1956 and −2.2 °C (28 °F) in
February 1985. The maximum temperature recorded in
38 °C (100 °F) on 1 August 1973 .
Sunshine hours are about 2,700 per year, from an average of 4.6 hours
of sunshine duration per day in December to an average of 11.4 hours
of sunshine duration per day in July.
Climate data for Lisbon
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source: Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, Hong Kong
Observatory (sunshine hours)
The municipality of
Lisbon included 53 freguesias (civil parishes)
until November 2012. A new law ("Lei n.º 56/2012") reduced the number
of freguesias to the following 24:
Campo de Ourique
Parque das Nações
Penha de França
Santa Maria Maior
São Domingos de Benfica
Locally, Lisbon's inhabitants may commonly refer to the spaces of
Lisbon in terms of historic Bairros de Lisboa (neighbourhoods). These
communities have no clearly defined boundaries and represent
distinctive quarters of the city that have in common a historical
culture, similar living standards, and identifiable architectural
landmarks, as exemplified by the
Bairro Alto, Alfama, Chiado, and so
Alcântara, from the Port of Lisbon.
Main article: Alcântara
Although today it is quite central, it was once a mere suburb of
Lisbon, comprising mostly farms and country estates of the nobility
with their palaces. In the 16th century, there was a brook there which
the nobles used to promenade in their boats. During the late 19th
century, Alcântara became a popular industrial area, with lots of
small factories and warehouses.
In the early 1990s, Alcântara began to attract youth because of the
number of pubs and discothèques. This was mainly due to its outer
area of mostly commercial buildings, which acted as barriers to the
noise-generating nightlife (which acted as a buffer to the residential
communities surrounding it). In the meantime, some of these areas
began to become gentrified, attracting loft developments and new
flats, which have profited from its river views and central location.
The riverfront of Alcântara is known for its clubs and bars. The area
is commonly known as docas (docks), since most of the clubs and bars
are housed in converted dock warehouses.
Main article: Alfama
Alfama, with the churches of S. Vicente de Fora, S. Engrácia, and S.
Estêvão, and the
The oldest district of Lisbon, it spreads down the southern slope from
the Castle of São Jorge to the River Tagus. Its name, derived from
the Arabic Al-hamma, means fountains or baths. During the Islamic
invasion of Iberia, the
Alfama constituted the largest part of the
city, extending west to the
Baixa neighbourhood. Increasingly, the
Alfama became inhabited by fishermen and the poor: its fame as a poor
neighbourhood continues to this day. While the 1755
caused considerable damage throughout the capital, the
with little damage, thanks to its compact labyrinth of narrow streets
and small squares. It is an historical quarter of mixed-use buildings
Fado bars, restaurants, and homes with small shops
downstairs. Modernising trends have invigorated the district: old
houses have been re-purposed or remodelled, while new buildings have
been constructed. Fado, the typically Portuguese style of melancholy
music, is common (but not obligatory) in the restaurants of the
The Mouraria, or Moorish quarter, is one of the most traditional
neighborhoods of Lisbon, although most of its old buildings were
demolished by the Estado Novo between the 1930s and the 1970s. It
takes its name from the fact that after the reconquest of Lisbon, the
Muslims who remained were confined to this part of the city. In
Jews were confined to three neighbourhoods called
Praça de Camões, Lisbon
Bairro Alto (literally the upper quarter in Portuguese) is an area of
Lisbon that functions as a residential, shopping and
entertainment district; it is the centre of the Portuguese capital's
nightlife, attracting hipster youth and members of various music
subcultures. Lisbon's Punk, Gay, Metal, Goth, Hip Hop and Reggae
scenes all find a home in the
Bairro with its many clubs and bars that
cater to them. The crowds in the
Bairro Alto are a multicultural mix
of people representing a broad cross-section of modern Portuguese
society, many of them being entertainment seekers and devotees of
various music genres outside the mainstream, yet Fado, Portugal's
national music, still survives in the midst of the new nightlife.
Aerial view of Downtown
Lisbon with the
Rua Augusta Arch
Rua Augusta Arch (Triumphal
The heart of the city is the
Baixa or city centre; the Pombaline Baixa
is an elegant district, primarily constructed after the 1755 Lisbon
earthquake, taking its name from its benefactor, Sebastião José de
Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquis of Pombal, who was the minister of Joseph
Portugal (1750–1777) and a key figure during the Portuguese
Enlightenment. Following the 1755 disaster, Pombal took the lead in
rebuilding Lisbon, imposing strict conditions and guidelines on the
construction of the city, and transforming the organic street plan
that characterised the district before the earthquake into its current
grid pattern. As a result, the Pombaline
Baixa is one of the first
examples of earthquake-resistant construction. Architectural models
were tested by having troops march around them to simulate an
earthquake. Notable features of Pombaline structures include the
Pombaline cage, a symmetrical wood-lattice framework aimed at
distributing earthquake forces, and inter-terrace walls that were
built higher than roof timbers to inhibit the spread of fires.
Main article: Belém
Belém is famous as the place from which many of the great Portuguese
explorers set off on their voyages of discovery. In particular, it is
the place from which
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama departed for
India in 1497 and
Pedro Álvares Cabral departed for
Brazil in 1499. It is also a former
royal residence and features the 17th–18th century Belém Palace, a
former royal residence now occupied by the President of Portugal, and
Ajuda Palace, begun in 1802 but never completed.
Perhaps Belém's most famous feature is its tower, Torre de Belém,
whose image is much used by Lisbon's tourist board. The tower was
built as a fortified lighthouse late in the reign of Dom Manuel l
(1515–1520) to guard the entrance to the port. It stood on a little
island in right side of the Tagus, surrounded by water. Belém's other
major historical building is the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos
Monastery), which the
Torre de Belém
Torre de Belém was built partly to defend.
Belém's most notable modern feature is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos
(Monument to the Discoveries) built for the Portuguese World Fair in
1940. In the heart of Belém is the Praça do Império: gardens
centred upon a large fountain, laid out during World War II. To the
west of the gardens lies the Centro Cultural de Belém. Belém is one
of the most visited
Lisbon districts. Here is located the Estádio do
Restelo, house of Belenenses.
View of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos from the top of Padrão dos
We can also see Restelo Stadium behind the Monastery
Main article: Chiado
Statue of poet António Ribeiro Chiado, the "Chiado", in the Chiado
Chiado is a traditional shopping area that mixes old and modern
commercial establishments, concentrated specially in the Rua do Carmo
and the Rua Garrett. Locals as well as tourists visit the
buy books, clothing and pottery as well as to have a cup of coffee.
The most famous café of
Chiado is A Brasileira, famous for having had
Fernando Pessoa among its customers. The
Chiado is also an
important cultural area, with several museums and theatres, including
the opera. Several buildings of the
Chiado were destroyed in a fire in
1988, an event that deeply shocked the country. Thanks to a renovation
project that lasted more than 10 years, coordinated by celebrated
architect Siza Vieira, the affected area has now virtually recovered.
The ornate, late 18th-century
Estrela Basilica is the main attraction
of this district. The church with its large dome is located on a hill
in what was at the time the western part of
Lisbon and can be seen
from great distances. The style is similar to that of the Mafra
National Palace, late baroque and neoclassical. The façade has twin
bell towers and includes statues of saints and some allegorical
figures. São Bento Palace, the seat of the Portuguese parliament and
the official residences of the Prime Minister of
Portugal and the
President of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal, are in this
district. Also in this district is Estrela Park, a favorite with
families. There are exotic plants and trees, a duck pond, various
sculptures, a children's playground, and many cultural events going on
through the year, including outdoor cinema, markets, and music
Parque das Nações
Main article: Parque das Nações
A view of the
Parque das Nações
Parque das Nações with
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama Bridge, Europe's
longest bridge, in the background.
Parque das Nações
Parque das Nações (Park of Nations) is the newest district in
Lisbon, having emerged from an urban renewal programme leading to the
World Exhibition of
Lisbon 1998, also known as Expo'98. The area
suffered massive changes giving
Parque das Nações
Parque das Nações a futuristic look.
A long lasting legacy of the same, the area has become another
commercial and higher end residential area for the city. Central to
this is the
Gare do Oriente
Gare do Oriente (Orient railway station), one of the main
transport hubs of
Lisbon for trains, buses, taxis and the metro. Its
glass and steel columns are inspired by Gothic architecture, lending
the whole structure a visual fascination (especially in sunlight or
when illuminated at night). It was designed by the architect Santiago
Calatrava from Valencia, Spain. Across the street, through Vasco da
Gama Mall, is
Parque das Nações
Parque das Nações (Park of the Nations), site of the
1998 World Expo.
The area is pedestrian-friendly with new buildings, restaurants,
gardens, the Casino Lisbon, the FIL building (International Exhibition
and Fair), the Camões Theatre, as well as the Oceanário de Lisboa
Lisbon Oceanarium), the second largest in the world. The district's
Altice Arena has become Lisbon's "jack-of-all-trades" performance
arena. Seating 20,000, it has staged events from concerts to
Government and politics
List of mayors of Lisbon and
Lisbon politics (in German)
The Belém Tower, one of the most famous and visited landmarks in
Lisbon and throughout Portugal.
See also: Tourism in Lisbon
The city of
Lisbon is rich in architecture; Romanesque, Gothic,
Manueline, Baroque, Modern and
Postmodern constructions can be found
all over Lisbon. The city is also crossed by historical boulevards and
monuments along the main thoroughfares, particularly in the upper
districts; notable among these are the
Avenida da Liberdade
Avenida da Liberdade (Avenue of
Liberty), Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, Avenida Almirante Reis and
Avenida da República (Avenue of the Republic).
There are several substantial museums in the city. The most famous
ones are the
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient
Art), the National Azulejo Museum, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
(Calouste Gulbenkian Museum), containing varied collections of ancient
and modern art, the
Museu Nacional do Traje e da Moda
Museu Nacional do Traje e da Moda (National Museum
of Costume and Fashion), the
Berardo Collection Museum
Berardo Collection Museum (Modern Art) at
the Belém Cultural Center, the Museu da Electricidade (Electricity
Museu Nacional dos Coches
Museu Nacional dos Coches (National Coach Museum,
containing the largest collection of royal coaches in the world), the
National Museum of Natural History and Science, Museum of the Orient,
Lisbon City Museum.
Lisbon's Opera House, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, hosts a
relatively active cultural agenda, mainly in autumn and winter. Other
important theatres and musical houses are the Centro Cultural de
Belém, the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, the Gulbenkian Foundation,
and the Teatro Camões.
D. Maria II National Theatre, located in the Rossio Square, is one of
Portugal's most prestigious venues.
The monument to Christ the King (Cristo-Rei) stands on the southern
bank of the
Tagus River, in Almada. With open arms, overlooking the
whole city, it resembles the Corcovado monument in Rio de Janeiro, and
was built after World War II, as a memorial of thanksgiving for
Portugal's being spared the horrors and destruction of the war.
13 June is Lisbon´s holiday in honour of the city's saint, Anthony of
Lisbon (Portuguese: Santo António). Saint Anthony, also known as
Saint Anthony of Padua, was a wealthy Portuguese bohemian who was
canonised and made
Doctor of the Church
Doctor of the Church after a life preaching to the
poor. Although Lisbon’s patron saint is Saint Vincent of Saragossa,
whose remains are housed in the Sé Cathedral, there are no
festivities associated with this saint.
National Coach Museum
National Coach Museum has the largest collection of royal
carriages in the world and is one of Lisbon's most visited
Eduardo VII Park, the second largest park in the city following the
Parque Florestal de Monsanto (Monsanto Forest Park), extends down the
main avenue (Avenida da Liberdade), with many flowering plants and
greenspaces, that includes the permanent collection of subtropical and
tropical plants in the winter garden (Portuguese: Estufa Fria).
Originally named Parque da Liberdade, it was renamed in honour of
Edward VII of England
Edward VII of England who visited
Lisbon in 1903.
Lisbon is home every year to the
Lisbon Gay & Lesbian Film
Festival, the Lisboarte, the DocLisboa –
Documentary Film Festival, the Festival Internacional de Máscaras
e Comediantes, the Lisboa Mágica – Street Magic World Festival, the
Monstra – Animated Film Festival, the
Lisbon Book Fair, the
Peixe em Lisboa –
Lisbon Fish and Flavours, and many others.
Lisbon has two sites listed by
UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: Belém
Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Furthermore, in 1994,
Lisbon was the
European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture and in 1998 organised the
Expo '98 (1998
Lisbon World Exposition).
Gulbenkian Foundation is one of the wealthiest
foundations in the world and houses one of the largest private
collections of antiquaries and art in the world, within the Gulbenkian
Lisbon is also home to the
Lisbon Architecture Triennial, the Moda
Lisboa (Fashion Lisbon), ExperimentaDesign – Biennial of
Design and LuzBoa – Biennial of Light.
In addition, the mosaic
Portuguese pavement (Calçada Portuguesa) was
born in Lisbon, in the mid-1800s. The art has since spread to the rest
of the Portuguese Speaking world. The city remains one of the most
expansive examples of the technique, nearly all walkways and even many
streets being created and maintained in this style.
In terms of Portuguese cities,
Lisbon was considered the most livable
in a survey of living conditions published yearly by Expresso.
In May 2018, the city will host the 63rd edition of the Eurovision
Song Contest, after the victory of
Salvador Sobral with the song "Amar
pelos dois" in Kiyv on May 13, 2017.
The historical population of the city was around 35,000 in 1300 AD. Up
to 60,000 in 1400 AD, and rising to 70,000 in 1500 AD. Between
1528–1590 the population went from 70,000 to 120,000. 150,000 in
1600 AD, and almost 200,000 in 1700 AD.
Lisbon Metropolitan Area
Lisbon Metropolitan Area incorporates two
NUTS III (European
Grande Lisboa (Greater Lisbon), along the
northern bank of the
Tagus River, and Península de
Peninsula), along the southern bank (these two subdivisions make for
Região de Lisboa
Região de Lisboa (
Lisbon Region). The population density of the
city itself is 6,458 inhabitants per square kilometre
Lisbon has 552,700 inhabitants within the administrative center on
the area of only 100.05 km² Administratively defined cities
that exist in the vicinity of the capital are in fact part of the
metropolitan perimeter of Lisbon. The urban area has a population of
2,666,000 inhabitants, being the eleventh largest urban area in the
European Union after Paris, London, Ruhr area, Madrid, Milan,
Barcelona, Berlin, Rome, Naples and Athens. The whole metropolis of
Lisbon (metropolitan area) has about 3 million inhabitants. According
to official government data, the
Lisbon Metropolitan Area
Lisbon Metropolitan Area has
3,121,876 inhabitants. Other sources also show a similar number,
according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development – 2,797,612 inhabitants; according to the Department
of Economic and Social Affairs of the
United Nations –
2,890,000; according to the European Statistical Office Eurostat
– 2,839,908; according to the
Brookings Institution has
Demographic evolution of
Lisbon administrative center
The Port of Lisbon, one of the busiest in Europe.
Lisbon region is the wealthiest region in
Portugal and it is well
above the European Union's
GDP per capita
GDP per capita average – it produces 45%
of the Portuguese GDP. Lisbon's economy is based primarily on the
tertiary sector. Most of the headquarters of multinationals operating
Portugal are concentrated in the
Grande Lisboa Subregion, specially
in the Oeiras municipality. The
Lisbon Metropolitan Area
Lisbon Metropolitan Area is heavily
industrialized, especially the south bank of the
Tagus river (Rio
Lisbon region is rapidly growing, with GDP (PPP) per capita
calculated for each year as follows: €22,745 (2004) –
€23,816 (2005) – €25,200 (2006) – €26,100
Lisbon metropolitan area had a GDP amounting to $96.3
billion, and $32,434 per capita.
The country's chief seaport, featuring one of the largest and most
sophisticated regional markets on the Iberian Peninsula,
its heavily populated surroundings are also developing as an important
financial centre and a dynamic technological hub. Automobile
manufacturers have erected factories in the suburbs, for example,
Lisbon has the largest and most developed mass media sector of
Portugal, and is home to several related companies ranging from
leading television networks and radio stations to major newspapers.
Caixa Geral de Depósitos is Portugal's largest bank.
Euronext Lisbon stock exchange, part of the pan-European Euronext
system together with the stock exchanges of Amsterdam,
Paris, is tied with the
New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange since 2007, forming
the multinational NYSE
Euronext group of stock exchanges.
Lisbonite industry has very large sectors in oil, as refineries are
found just across the Tagus, textile mills, shipyards and fishing.
Before Portugal's sovereign debt crisis and an EU-IMF rescue plan, for
the decade of 2010
Lisbon was expecting to receive many state funded
investments, including building a new airport, a new bridge, an
expansion of 30 km (18.64 mi) underground, the construction
of a mega-hospital (or central hospital), the creation of two lines of
TGV to join Madrid, Porto,
Vigo and the rest of Europe, the
restoration of the main part of the town (between the Marquês de
Pombal roundabout and Terreiro do Paço), the creation of a large
number of bike lanes, as well as modernization and renovation of
Lisbon was the 18th most "livable city" in the world in 2015 according
to lifestyle magazine Monocle.
Lisbon’s electric trams crossing downtown
Lisbon Metro connects the city centre with the upper and eastern
districts and also reaches some suburbs that are part of the Lisbon
Metropolitan Area, such as
Amadora and Loures. It is the fastest way
to get around the city and it provides a good number of interchanging
stations with other types of transportation. From the
station to the city centre it may take roughly 25 mins. As of 2018,
Lisbon Metro comprises four lines, identified by individual
colours (blue, yellow, green and red) and 56 stations, with a total
length of 44.2 km. Several expansion projects have been proposed,
being the most recent the transformation of the Green Line into a
circular line and the creation of two more stations (Santos and
Main article: Trams in Lisbon
A traditional form of public transport in
Lisbon is the tram.
Introduced in the 19th century, the trams were originally imported
from the USA, and called the americanos. The earliest trams can still
be seen in the Museu da
Carris (the Public Transport Museum). Other
than on the modern Line 15, the
Lisbon tramway system still employs
small (four wheel) vehicles of a design dating from the early
twentieth century. These distinctive yellow trams are one of the
tourist icons of modern Lisbon, and their size is well suited to the
steep hills and narrow streets of the central city.
Gare do Oriente
Gare do Oriente Train Station,
There are four commuter train lines departing from Lisbon: the
Azambuja lines (operated by CP – Comboios de
Portugal), as well as a fourth line to
Setúbal (operated by Fertagus)
Tagus river, over the 25 de Abril Bridge. The major
railway stations are Santa Apolónia, Rossio, Gare do Oriente,
Entrecampos, and Cais do Sodré.
Local bus service within
Lisbon is operated by Carris.
There are other commuter bus services from the city (connecting cities
outside Lisbon, and connecting these cities to Lisbon): Vimeca,
Rodoviária de Lisboa, Transportes Sul do Tejo, Boa
Viagem, Barraqueiro are the main ones, operating from
different terminals in the city.
Lisbon is connected to its suburbs as well as throughout
an extensive motorway network. There are three circular motorways
around the city; the 2ª Circular, the IC17 (CRIL), and the A9 (CREL).
Bridges and ferries
The 25 de Abril Bridge
The city is connected to the far side of the
Tagus by two important
The 25 de Abril Bridge, inaugurated (as Ponte Salazar) on 6 August
1966, and later renamed after the date of the Carnation Revolution,
was the longest suspension bridge in Europe.
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama Bridge, inaugurated in May 1998 is, at 17.2 km
(10.7 mi), the longest bridge in Europe.
The foundations for a third bridge across the
Tagus have already been
laid, but the overall project has been postponed due to the economic
Portugal and all of Europe.
Another way of crossing the river is by taking the ferry. The company
is Transtejo & Soflusa, which operates from different points
in the city to Cacilhas, Seixal, Montijo,
Porto Brandão and Trafaria
under the brand Transtejo and to Barreiro under the brand Soflusa.
Humberto Delgado Airport is located within the city limits. It is the
headquarters and hub for TAP
Portugal as well as a hub for Easyjet,
Azores Airlines, Ryanair, EuroAtlantic Airways, White Airways, and Hi
Fly. A second airport has been proposed, but the project has been put
on hold because of the Portuguese and European economic crisis, and
also because of the long discussion on whether a new airport is
needed. However, the last proposal is military air base in Montijo
that would be replaced by a civil airport. So,
Lisbon would have two
airports, the current airport in north and a new in the south of the
Cascais Aerodrome, 20 km West of the city centre, in Cascais,
offers commercial domestic flights.
Lisboa Public Transportation Statistics
The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit
in Lisboa, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 59 min. 11.5%
of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The
average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public
transit is 14 min, while 23.1% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on
average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a
single trip with public transit is 6 km, while 10% travel for
over 12 km in a single direction.
The rectory and main campus of the New University of Lisbon.
Lisbon has a well-developed education system of universitites,
kindergartens and schools.
Greater Lisbon area there are many international schools such as
Saint Julian's School, the Carlucci American International School of
Lisbon, Saint Dominic's International School, Deutsche Schule
Lissabon, Instituto Español de Lisboa, and Lycée Français Charles
In the city, there are three public universities and a university
institute in Lisbon. The University of Lisbon, which is the largest
university in Portugal, was created in 2013 with the union of the
University of Lisbon
University of Lisbon and the Classical University of Lisbon
(which was known as the University of Lisbon). The New University of
Lisbon, founded in 1973, is another public university in
Lisbon and is
known internationally by its Nova School of Business and Economics
(Nova SBE),its economics and management faculty. The third public
university is Universidade Aberta. Additionally, there's ISCTE -
Lisbon University Institute (founded in 1972), a university institute
that provides degrees in all academic disciplines.
Major private institutions of higher education include the Portuguese
Catholic University, focused on law and management, as well as the
Lusíada University, the Universidade Lusófona, and the Universidade
Autónoma de Lisboa, among others.
The total number of enrolled students in higher education in Lisbon
was, for the 2007–2008 school year, of 125,867 students, of whom
81,507 in the Lisbon's public institutions.
Lisbon is home to the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, the Portuguese
national library, with over 3 million books and manuscripts. The
library has some rare books and manuscripts, such as an original
Gutenberg Bible and original books by Erasmus, Christophe Platin and
Aldus Manutius. Another relevant library is the Torre do Tombo
National Archive, one of the most important archives in the world,
with over 600 years and one of the oldest active portuguese
institutions. There are, among others, the Arquivo Histórico
Ultramarino and the Arquivo Histórico Militar.
Benfica's Estádio da Luz, Portugal's largest stadium
Sporting CP's Estádio José Alvalade
Lisbon has a long tradition in sports. It hosted several matches,
including the final, of the
UEFA Euro 2004
UEFA Euro 2004 championship. The city also
played host to the final of the 2001 IAAF World Indoor Championships
European Fencing Championships in 1983 and 1992, as well as
the 2003 World Men's Handball Championship, and the 2008 European Judo
Championships. From 2006 to 2008,
Lisbon was the starting point for
the Dakar Rally. The city hosted the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final.
In 2008 and 2016, the city hosted the European Triathlon
Lisbon has a leg at the Volvo Ocean Race.
The city hosts three association football clubs in Portugal's highest
league, the Primeira Liga. Sport Lisboa e Benfica, commonly known as
just Benfica, has won 36 league titles in addition to two European
Cups. Lisbon's second-most successful club is Sporting Clube de
Portugal (commonly known as Sporting being mistankenly referred to as
Sporting Lisbon) in the English-speaking world, winner of 18 league
titles and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. A third club, C.F. Os Belenenses
Belenenses Lisbon), based in the Belém
quarter, has solely won one league title. Other major clubs in Lisbon
include Atlético, Casa Pia, and Oriental.
Lisbon has two UEFA category four stadiums; Benfica's Estádio da Luz
(Stadium of Light), with a capacity of over 65,000 and Sporting's
Estádio José Alvalade, with a capacity of over 50,000. There is also
Belenenses' Estádio do Restelo, with a capacity of over 30,000. The
Estádio Nacional, in nearby Oeiras, has a capacity of 37,000 and was
used exclusively for Portuguese international football matches and cup
finals until the construction of larger stadia in the city. It held
European Cup Final.
Other sports, such as indoor football, handball, basketball, roller
hockey and rugby football are also popular; the latter's national
stadium is in Lisbon. There are many other sport facilities in Lisbon,
ranging from athletics to sailing to golf to mountain-biking. Lisboa
and Troia golf course are two of many stunning golf courses located in
Lisbon. Every March the city hosts the
Lisbon Half Marathon, while in
Portugal Half Marathon.
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Portugal
Union of Luso-Afro-Americo-Asiatic Capital Cities
Lisbon is part of the Luso-Afro-Americo-Asiatic Capital Cities
 from 28 June 1985, establishing brotherly relations with
the following cities:
Dili, East Timor
Praia, Cape Verde
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
São Tomé and Príncipe
Lisbon has additional cooperation agreements with the following
Algiers, Algeria, since 1988
Asunción, Paraguay, since 2014
Bangkok, Thailand, since 2016
Bethlehem, Palestine, since 1995
Budapest, Hungary, since 1992
Buenos Aires, Argentina, since 1992
Curitiba, Brazil, since 2005
Gdańsk, Poland, since 2001
Guimarães, Portugal, since 1993
Haimen, China, since 2011
Kiev, Ukraine, since 2000
Madrid, Spain, since 1979
Malacca, Malaysia, since 1984
Manila, Philippines, since 2003
Miami, United States, since 1987
Montevideo, Uruguay, since 1993
Moscow, Russia, since 1997
Paris, France, since 1998
Peking, China, since 2007
Qingdao, China, since 2010
Rabat, Morocco, since 1988
Santa Catarina, Cape Verde, since 1997
Sofia, Bulgaria, since 2001
Toronto, Canada, since 1987
Tunis, Tunisia, since 1993
Zagreb, Croatia, since 1977
Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities
Lisbon is part of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities from
12 October 1982 establishing brotherly relations with the following
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Guatemala City, Guatemala
La Paz, Bolivia
Mexico City, Mexico
Panama City, Panama
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Salvador, El Salvador
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
List of people from Lisbon
List of tallest buildings in Lisbon
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See also: Bibliography of the history of Lisbon
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