Recently named as one of the friendliest cities in the world in a Tripadvisor poll, Lisbon’s capital city has a lot to offer the tourist who enjoys a mixture of history and culture.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest city in Western Europe. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia. It was ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the fifth century before being captured by the Moors in the eighth century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques re-conquered the city.
Sections of the old town survive in the winding alleys of the medieval and Moorish district, known as the Alfama but Lisbon is for the most part a city of 18th Century architecture as large areas of the city were razed to the ground by the earthquake of 1755. After the earthquake the city was largely rebuilt following the plans of the Prime Minister the Marquess of Pombal. The compelling CityMuseum tells the story of Lisbon’s long history through prehistoric, Roman, Visigothic, Moorish, and medieval remains. It is located in the 18th century PimentaPalace, built as a gift for King João V’s mistress.
The Festas de Lisboa take place throughout the summer of 2013 and the visitor can enjoy the friendly city at its fun-loving and relaxed best. Street entertainment, festivals, cinema, music and theatre, parades and folk festivities are just some of the events planned. The historic districts, the cosmopolitan Avenida da Liberdade, as well as the capital’s avenues and streets will all welcome the Lisboa Festivities for all those who live there and those who visit. The celebrations mainly take place in the historical quarters of Lisbon. At the street parties, people dance, listen to Fado, eat grilled sardines and drink. It is also traditional to hold a collective wedding ceremony where the brides are known as “Brides of Santo António”.