Attractions of Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and the largest city in the country. Its population comprises about 2,5 millions (with suburbs). This most western European capital lies on the Atlantic Ocean coast at mouth of Tagus River.
The history of the city counts nearly 2000 years and for almost 1000 years it’s the capital of Portugal. The first Portuguese king Alfonso Henriques in 1147 freed Lisbon from Arab invasion and made it a capital. In 1256 Royal Court moved here. Soon Lisbon has become one of the most powerful and flourishing European cities. It reached the highest peak of its bloom in XV-XVII centuries. Then it was the major European transit point and commercial city.
The historical center of Lisbon lies on seven hills. The city is full of steep slopes and rises. It’s the only city where elevator can take you from one street to another.
Now Lisbon is experiencing its “second birth”, again becoming one of the “golden cities” of the Southern Europe. The renovation of Lisbon began in 1990s. Among new projects we could name Vasco da Gama Bridge, connecting the airport with the centre of the city and the Eastern Railway station. The station is built according to the project of the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It stands on the eastern Tagus bank and connects Lisbon with the rest of Europe.
Lisbon is the authentic jewel in the crown of the Portuguese cities. The city charms with its churches, castles, medieval streets and museums.
Among main Lisbon attractions there are Belem Tower, Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, Alfama, St George's Castle, Lisbon Cathedral and Terreiro do Paco.
Belem Tower looks more like a miniature castle. It is situated close to the bank of the River Tagus. It was established in 1515 as both a monument to Portuguese maritime discoveries and to protect the mouth of the river.
The construction of Mosteiro dos Jeronimos started by King Dom Manuel I in 1502. It was aimed to emphasize Portuguese importance as a world power at the time and more to celebrate Vasco da Gama's discovery of a sea route to India.
Alfama is the old part of Lisbon, still beautifully picturesque with narrow, winding streets and old, overhanging buildings.
Majestic St George's Castle was a home to the kings and queens of Portugal until the 16th century. From the mighty ramparts of this formerl fortress opens a spectacular view of Lisbon.
Lisbon Cathedral was originally founded by Portugal's first king Dom Afonso Henriques in 1150 to commemorate the defeat of the Moors and presents a beautiful mix of Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles.
Terreiro do Paco used to be the royal palace until it was demolished by the disastrous earthquake of 1755. It is now Lisbon's largest open space, with government buildings built around the perimeter.
Lisbon coast stretches from Tejo mouth to the beaches of Alentejo, from the modern metropolis to the picturesque fishing villages.
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