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Bits Of Information About Lisbon, Portugal According To Travel Experts

There’s always a good reason to see any city in Portugal. Yet, as every city in Portugal deserves each own merits and renown, Lisbon cannot be made to come last priority for your visit. You don’t want to miss experiencing what this alpha city has to offer nevertheless learning the significance of this city in the history and culture of Portugal.

It is worth noting that Lisbon boasts springtime temperatures during the winter and cool summers freshened by a breeze blowing in from the Atlantic, Costa de Lisboa, on the south-western coast which offers a rich and impressively integrated diversity. This makes travel along the coast marvelously pleasant and enjoyable. A bit about its history tells us that Lisbon is a legendary city in the making for over 20 centuries and has been since its conquest from the Moors in 1147, the capital city of Portugal. The oldest quarters of Alfama, and adjacent to it on the western and northern slopes of the hill that is crowned by St. George’s Castle, the quarters of Castelo and Mouraria, and the typical tile-covered building facades and narrow Medieval streets of Lisbon all stayed until now to attest to the ancient history of this city. And, it might as well help to be informed that the city is a host for popular festivities and it makes the streets of all three quarters come alive with the feasts in honor of the popular saints every year in June, thus having the place great for exquisite shopping, exciting nightlife, and interesting museums. Other feasts are staged in June, San Pedro Festival in Montijo, on July Festas, do Colete Encarnado at Vila de Franca Xira, and on September the Sea Festival` at Sesimbra.

Among other historic places of interest in Cascais, with its Castro Guimaraes Museum and Sea Museum, the 18thcentury churches of Nossa Senhora da Assuncao and Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes, the hermitages of Nossa Senhora da Guia (15th century) and Sao Sebastiao (16-17th century); Ericeira, an old fishing village with its narrow cobblestone streets, characteristic housing, singular monuments, the fishing, the cuisine and the multiplicity of cultural programming interlace here in a grand way to welcome visitors; and, Estoril which is renowned worldwide as an important tourism spot with its casino, golf course, and racing track, the Verdades-Farias Museum which host an important collection of musical instruments related to popular music, the beautiful San Antonio Church, and a host of best hotels accommodations.

It can also be really interesting to note of handicrafts fairs in Lisbon as this has to be important to our travel. The Santiago Fair and Estoril Handicrafts Fair are held every July and August of the year and both places are filled with handicraft works of wicker baskets and other objects, copper utensils, embroideries and lace, pottery, artistic and popular ceramics.

You can go for more information about Lisbon through the following sections of this blog.

People

Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal, with a population of approximately 542,259 according to the latest census dated December 9th, 2011. Many visitors have described this metropolis as busy and crowded. Being an Alpha City and center for financecommercemediaentertainmentartsinternational tradeeducation, and tourism in Portugal, it is expected that the Lisboetas’s lifestyle is up-to-beat and demanding. Even so, they are welcoming and friendly people making Lisbon more interesting to discover and a magnetic destination for tourists.

Lisboetas love gathering and celebrations. This is the reason why they love to host events and hold festivals and parties all throughout the year. Generally, they are easy-going and fun-spirited people. As a matter of fact, Palo Alto is always full-packed at night as it is the city’s center of nightlife with various restaurants and bars. It is where you can experience melancholic traditional Portuguese music that is commonly heard and the city’s gastronomic delights are served. You will also surely enjoy bar hopping to the cobbled alleys with the locals.

Moreover, there are a lot of celebrated Lisboetas throughout history and up to the present times. They have reputed because of their remarkable contributions to the fields of art, politics, literature and many more throughout the country and the world. One of them would be Paula Rego, a painter who skillfully depicts folk tales of Portugal through her artistic works. She utilizes oil and acrylic paint and makes excellent collage. Paula Rego’s pastel sketches are one of the greatest specimens of her collection. The ‘Dog Woman’ and ‘Dancing Ostriches’ have been widely acclaimed.

Another one would be Miguel Esteves Cardoso, a contemporary writer, a critic, journalist and even a translator. He is known as the director of ‘The Independent’, a popular weekly, making him a pillar to the world of journalism and reporting.

Portuguese literature also got benefits from the people of Lisbon. There are several writes poets and journalists hailing from the city as well. Among them would be António Vieira, an eminent writer of Portuguese prose in the 17th century. He was also a remarkable Jesuit orator, a missionary, a preacher, a statesman and also a diplomat.

History

The history of Lisbon is believed to have started several hundred thousand years ago beginning with the dominance of the Celtic tribes in the Iberian peninsula during the Neolithic Era. Legends would say that the city was founded and named by Ulysses as Ulissipo. Others claim that the name originated from the Phoenician words “Allis Ubbo” which means a safe harbor in Phoenician. The existence of the name and the recovery of certain archaeological findings suggest that there was an influence of the Phoenician culture in the area during the 1200 century. Others believe that the name was actually derived from the Roman influence coming from the Pre Roman name of the river Tagus which is Lisso.

In the height of the Roman era after the defeat of Hannibal the city which was known as Ulyssippo was integrated into the Roman Empire in 138 BC affording Roman citizenship to its residents it became part of the Roman province of Lusitania.

After the fall of the Roman Empire Lisbon was controlled by the Alans and the Germanic vandals from 409to 429 AD which was followed by the rule of the Visigoths in 585 AD by then Lisbon was known as Ulishbonia.

However, the rule of the Moors in approximately 711AD was where the city of Lisbon or AL Isbunah as it was known back then flourished. The Moors built houses and mosques and a city wall named the Cerca Moura.  At present, the influence of the Moorish rule is still evident in Alfama the oldest city district that was not destroyed by the earthquake of 1755.

During the Crusades particularly in 1147, the Christians led by Alfonso I of Portugal conquered the city of Lisbon and placed the control of the city in Christian hands. The mosques were converted into  Catholic churches and Roman Catholicism became the predominant religion in the area.

In the 13th century, the city became an important trading post in Europe and exponent its territory and the Lisbon port had a very significant role in the creation of the Portuguese empire since it was the port of origin of Vasco de Gama’s exploration in the 15th century.

By the 16th century, Lisbon became the center of trade and commerce between Europe, India, the far east and later Brazil. A number of goods were being traded in the area ranging from spices, slaves, sugar, textiles, and others.

The 18th century comprised of the influx of gold from Brazil which allowed the king at that time to have several Baroque churches constructed.

The 19th century was the time that Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops invaded the country of Portugal which forced the royal family to flee to Brazil. The invasion caused a lot of damage to the existing properties in the city

The  20th century was eventful for the city a lot of major events happened during that period of time.  One of the notable events was the regicide of Carlos I which actually led to the formation of the Republic. In World war II  the city of Lisbon was a neutral and free city port in Europe which aided the escape of those trying to flee the rule of Nazi Germany. It also became the center of the Republican coup in 1910 which established the Portuguese republic.

At present Lisbon continues to be one of the most important cities in Europe in the year 2000 it was actually chosen to host the ratification of “The Lisbon agenda” which is an agreement to revitalize the European Union economy and the Treaty of Lisbon which is a result of the European Union summit was also signed here in 2007 which actually agreed on a new governance model for the members of the EU.

Weather

Lisbon has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate, characterized by warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. Influenced by the Gulf Stream, the city enjoys the mildest weather in Europe. The average annual temperature is 17 °C (63 °F). Basically, there are two noticeable weather condition namely the warmest average max/ high temperature which typically ranges from 26 to 32 °C (79 to 90 °F) during the day and around 18 °C (64 °F) at night in the month of August and the coolest average min/ low temperature ranges from 8 to 17 °C (46 to 63 °F) during the day and 4 to 12 °C (39 to 54 °F) at night in January.

Generally, May to October is the typical summer seasons with an average temperature of 25 °C (77 °F) during the day and 16.2 °C (61.2 °F) at night. On the other hand, the coldest months are December, January, and February with an average temperature of these three months amounting 15.2 °C (59.4 °F) during the day, 8.9 °C (48.0 °F) at night.

Lisbon is a perfect travel destination all year round because it is blessed with mild weather and has no extreme weather conditions. Summer season is typically hot during the day and cold at night, best for strolling and swimming in the beach. It is also the best time to enjoy Plenty of Lisbon’s biggest and most popular festivals like Cascais International Sailing Week and also the BaixAnima Street Festival. During winter months, rain mainly occurs. The best time for a visit maybe the transition months of November, March, and April where the temperature exceeds20 °C (68 °F), with an average temperature of these three months amounting 18.5 °C (65 °F) during the day and 11.2 °C (52.2 °F) at night.

Expatriate

If you are contemplating moving to Lisbon for good, you may have been love-struck by its beauty and you would like to take the wonderful opportunity to stay there for such a long time. Consequently, you have taken into account some personal concerns but then, there are still a lot of things you need to consider before you take the leap. This section will help you get an in-depth understanding of what it is like to live in Lisbon.

Real Estate. When seeking to buy property right in the heart of the city, you have the old town area of Castelo, the Alfama and Graca to go after for. If you want a space in the cultural nightlife center, you can find properties for sale in the areas of Bairo Alto, Santa Catarina, and Bica, or if you would prefer more exclusive residential areas with family houses, villas, and luxury condominiums, you can have it at Lisbon Principe Real, and Chiado. 

Living in Lisbon. When living in Lisbon, you will need to learn the weather condition, available transportation, Portuguese schools, shopping centers, and many other important factors. You will find more information on this topic in the Living in Lisbon section of this travel guide.

Moving to Lisbon.  Moving to Lisbon can be a big decision that requires careful planning and research on your part. There might still be international laws that you need to consider and process if you are not a citizen. But once you have all the paper works and documents ready, and you are all set to move to the city, you might l still be overwhelmed with some personal concerns that you need to take into account. 

Jobs in Lisbon.  You are sure not to move and stay in Lisbon if you are going nowhere else than to have a job unless you are there as a tourist or as a student. For a reason or two what must have driven you to be in this city is to seek a better opportunity or greener pasture to find.  Lisbon is a land of great opportunity. This can be true enough since recently Lisbon has become one of the countries that open numerous and classified jobs through the online websites, which therefore paves well for the hopeful job seekers who want to build their fortune in this city. 

Studying in Lisbon. When you want to learn Portuguese, the best schools that may suit any of your interest can certainly be found in Lisbon. You can be assured that the worth of the education you wish to get in learning their beautiful language will be top-notch and can take you on to speak their native language at its most credible level. 

The Language

Learning Portuguese might indeed be productive when you want to stay in Lisbon.  It will certainly help you relate to the locals and to your new environment.

Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language of the world which has its root to a group of languages called “Romance” or “Neo-Latin” that evolved from the city of Rome, earlier called Latin of Ancient Italy. And that for a time Latin gradually replaced other native languages in the Iberian Peninsula, or as the country of Portugal was founded it went to have adopted it as its national language in its own particular Romance which happened to essentially Portuguese, and today it is only in the region of Spain that the same Romance is spoken.

This takes us further on to the fact that the provincial use of Latin varied in terms of the position each region had with Rome where lexical changes were constantly created by the urban masses need for expression such that, the use of traditional Latin verbs, “comedere” (comer in both Portuguese and Spanish) meaning “to eat”, or the word for cheese (caseus) which is “quejo” in Portuguese and “queso” in Spanish shows the fact that Portuguese and Spanish are most similar than the other Romance speaking regions where the verb “comedere” had the term “manducare” for both Italy and France, or for cheese, the term “fromage” in French and “fromaggio” in Italian.

You should also know that there are other languages that have influenced Portuguese over the years when other groups settled in Portugal which can be traced back earlier to the times of the Celtic like the word “ontem” for “yesterday”, the Scottish Gaelic “esquecer” for “to forget”, the Germanic “”roubar” meaning “to steal” and “guerrear” meaning “to wage war”, and the Moorish with which the “al” prefix like “asalmofada” meaning “pillow” is much introduced in about five hundred words.

Other influences in fewer words though are still to note of like those which had been absorbed into Portuguese like, the Malay jangada (raft), of the Chinese cha (tea), and of a language from the south of France, Provencal, with a word such as “rua” (street) carried through the infiltration of the French manners and customs in Portugal when they went to Portugal as pilgrims, courtiers, statesmen, scholars and soldiers of fortune to help fight the Moors during the tenth and eleventh century.

Actually, these are but the introductory but which are significant to learn about Portuguese. To learn more about how the language can be spoken should require one to go to a school of language in Lisbon, Portugal.

Sandy

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