Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal. The city 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 in 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 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 with top attractions like Jeronemos Monastery,  a church built in the 1500s as a part of a magnificent monastery, having cloisters that are considered the most beautiful in the world; Belem Tower, which is a symbol of the Age of Discovery and which is the city’s icon, and built during the early 1500s; St. George’s Castle, inside of which is a small archaeological museum, and from its millennium-old walls you can have a bird’s-eye-view of the city in the company of roaming peacocks; Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which housed the world finest private art collections from the East and west including works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet and Rene; Bernardo Museum, with Europe’s greatest modern art collections by Andy Warhol, Picasso, and Dali that was put together by Portuguese millionaire; Ancient Art Museum’s fascinating Oriental and European art that consist the collection of Portugal’s “National Gallery” illustrating Portugal’s links with Asia and Africa; Tile Museum,  showcases ancient art form of decorative ceramic tiles in a lavish old convent and belonged to the top 10 tiled attractions of the century; The Golden Baroque Trio’s largest collection of royal carriages which are housed in Coach Museum and in its two other golden baroque attractions, the Sao Roque Church which is home to the world’s most  expensive chapel and Santa Catarina Church, one  of the city’s most magnificent interiors; Design and Fashion Museum, one of the world’s leading design and fashion museums; and, Oceanarium, where you can find an odyssey of sea creatures swim together in a state-of-the art building.