Lisbon The Forgotten Gem Of Europe

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For several centuries, Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, was considered among the most magnificent cities in Europe. Using its long history, Moorish influences, magnificent location and vast wealth from India and Brazil, it had been a trading hub for hundreds of years. Anyway, a staggering seismic tremor in 1755, trailed by fire and a tsunami, decreased it to remains and haziness.


In recent years, however, Lisbon has begun to return to a number of its former glory. It was the European City of Culture in 1994, hosted Expo 98, and has been the significant host town for the huge soccer occasion, Euro2004. More people are discovering its fascinating blend of new and old. Better still, it still remains relatively cheap by European standards.

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Situated on 7 hills with the Rio Tejo (River Tagus), Lisbon is best explored on foot, as driving and parking are difficult, to say the very least. A few of the hills may be taxing to climb, but typically a funicular or tram can be obtained. A lot of the allure of the city is to be found drifting up and down the streets. Cases of both Moorish and art nouveau structures are typical, as well as exquisite mosaic pavements.

One of the highlights of Lisbon is the Castelo de Jorge, perched high above the city, and yet quite close by. Originally built in the 5th century, it has gotten many extensions, and modifications. It’s been used as everything from a royal residence to a prison. The panoramic views are magnificent.

If your tastes are a little more upbeat, then the region to see is Bairro Alto. This region has long had the reputation for containing the finest restaurants and nightclubs in Lisbon.

Lisbon also comprises lots of excellent museums. The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian includes what was originally a personal selection of oriental and classical art. The very generous benefactor left his collection to those of Portugal, along with a very generous charitable basis. It’s quite easy to spend a day wandering around the gallery, even though just about a quarter of the collection can be displayed at any 1 time.

Depending upon your interests, you might even spend time in the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art), or even the Museu Nacional do Azulejo (azulejo are the hand painted tiles which decorate so huge numbers of Portugal’s structures). If you would like something a little more contemporary, theres also the Centro de Arte Moderna (Modern Art Centre).

Finally, if you reach the point where youre completely saturated in art, tiles and gorgeous buildings, you can always invest some time at the Parque das Naes, or even the Nations Park. It was the site for Expo 98, and now comprises gardens, various family attractions, restaurants and pubs. It contains Europe’s biggest Oceanarium.

Lisbon is the sort of city that you can attempt to test in a day, however it takes substantially more to really value all its numerous and differed delights. Allow yourself lots of time to do precisely that, along with your trip to Lisbon will remain amongst your most cherished memories.

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