Portugal is one of the oldest nations in Europe. It was founded in the 12th c. and Lisbon became its capital in 1256.
Located on the north bank of Tejo estuary, its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean attracted different people, throughout the centuries, from Phoenicians to Moors.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Lisbon became the capital of a vast empire. When Vasco da Gama discovered the seaway to India, the Portuguese controlled the spice trade and Lisbon was then the world's most prosperous trading centre.
In 1755 part of the city was devastated by an earthquake. From the ruins of Lisbon, the chief minister, the Marquis of Pombal created an entirely new and modern centre (Baixa), by using a grid layout of streets.
Nowadays, this quarter, the city centre, is essentially 18th century, with elegant streets and is the main shopping area.
Known for its seven hills and narrow twisted streets in the old quarters, Lisbon, with a population of about 500.000, combines charm and tradition with a modern and active life.
6 elements you'll never forget about Lisbon: the light and the colours, the trams, the Tagus River, the glazed tiles, the local people and the gastronomy.