Helsinki ( listen (help·info); Swedish: Helsingfors, listen (help·info)) is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city proper of Helsinki is 602,200 (30 September 2012), making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is located some 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn(SONY PCGA-BP1N battery), Estonia, 400 kilometres (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 300 kilometres (190 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Helsinki has close historical connections with these three cities.
Helsinki urban area includes the city proper of Helsinki and large parts of other municipalities: Espoo and Vantaa, which immediately border Helsinki to the west and north, respectively; and Kauniainen, which is an enclave within the municipality of Espoo(SONY PCG-5G2L battery). It is the world's northernmost urban area of over one million people, and the city is the northernmost capital of an EU member state. Altogether over 1.3 million people, approximately one of four Finns, live in the metropolitan area of Helsinki.
Helsinki is Finland's major political, educational, financial, cultural and research centre as well as one of northern Europe's major cities. Approximately 70% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region. (SONY PCG-5G3L battery)
The nearby city of Vantaa is the location of Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, with frequent service to various destinations in Europe and Asia. Since early 2009, Helsinki has been exploring a merger with Vantaa. On 30 March 2009, the city council of Vantaa agreed to review Helsinki's proposal of a possible merger, while emphasizing that the review is not about the possibility of terminating the existence of the city of Vantaa. On 31 January 2011(SONY PCG-F305 battery), the city council of Vantaa turned down Helsinki's proposal of a possible merger, with 45 votes against the proposal compared to 22 in favour of it.
In 2009, Helsinki was chosen to be the World Design Capital for 2012 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, narrowly beating Eindhoven for the title.
In the Economist Intelligence Unit's August 2012 Liveability survey, assessing the best and worst cities to live in, Helsinki was placed 8th overall. In 2011, the Monocle Magazine in turn ranked Helsinki the most liveable city in the world in its Liveable Cities Index 2011(SONY PCG-5J1L battery).
Helsinki was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 as the town of Helsingfors, which he intended to be a rival to the Hanseatic city of Reval (today known as Tallinn). Little came of the plans as Helsinki remained a tiny town plagued by poverty, wars, and diseases. The plague of 1710 killed the greater part of the inhabitants of Helsinki. (SONY PCG-5J2L battery)The construction of the naval fortress Sveaborg (In Finnish Viapori, today also Suomenlinna) in the 18th century helped improve Helsinki's status, but it was not until Russia defeated Sweden in the Finnish War and annexed Finland as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 that the town began to develop into a substantial city. During the war, Russians besieged the Sveaborg fortress and most of the city was devastated in a 1808 fire(SONY PCG-5K2L battery).
Czar Alexander I of Russia moved the Finnish capital from Turku to Helsinki in 1812 to reduce Swedish influence in Finland and bring the capital closer to St. Petersburg. Following the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, The Royal Academy of Turku, back then the country's only university, was also relocated to Helsinki, and eventually became the modern University of Helsinki(SONY PCG-5L1L battery). The move consolidated the city's new role and helped set it on the path of continuous growth. This transformation is highly apparent in the downtown core, which was rebuilt in neoclassical style to resemble St. Petersburg, mostly to a plan by the German-born architect C. L. Engel. As elsewhere, technological advancements such as railroads and industrialization were key factors behind the city's growth(SONY PCG-6S2L battery).
Despite the tumultuousness of Finnish history during the first half of the 20th century, Helsinki continued its steady development. A landmark event was the XV Olympiad (1952 Olympic Games) held in Helsinki. Finland's rapid urbanization in the 1970s, occurring late relative to the rest of Europe, tripled the population in the metropolitan area, and the Helsinki Metro subway system was built(SONY PCG-6S3L battery). The relatively sparse population density of Helsinki and its peculiar structure have often been attributed to the lateness of its growth.
Helsinki (Finnish pronunciation places stress on the first syllable: Finnish pronunciation: [ˈhelsiŋki]), is used to refer to the city in most languages, but not in Swedish.
The Swedish name Helsingfors ([hɛlsiŋˈfɔrs] or [hɛlsiŋˈfɔʂ]) is the original official name of the city of Helsinki (in the very beginning, spelled Hellssingeforss) (SONY PCG-6V1L battery). The Finnish language form of the name probably originates from Helsinga and similar names used for the river that is currently known as the Vantaa River as documented already in the 14th century. Helsingfors comes from the name of the surrounding parish, Helsinge (source for Finnish Helsinki) and the rapids (Swedish: fors), which flowed through the original village(SONY PCG-6W1L battery).
Another suggestion is that the name Helsinge may have originated with medieval Swedish settlers who came from Hälsingland in Sweden. Others have proposed that the name derives from the Swedish word hals (neck), referring to the narrowest part of the river, i.e. the rapids.
In Helsinki slang the city is nicknamed as either Stadi (from the Swedish word stad, meaning "city") or Hesa (short of Helsinki + slang suffix sa) (SONY PCG-7111L battery), with Stadi being used to assert that the speaker is native to the city. Helsset is the Northern Saami name of Helsinki.
Parts of Helsinki and Espoo seen from Spot Satellite
Suomenlinna has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991.
Main article: Geography of Helsinki
Helsinki is spread across a number of bays and peninsulas and over a number of islands. The inner city area occupies a southern peninsula, which is rarely referred to by its actual name Vironniemi. Population density in certain parts of Helsinki's inner city area is very high, reaching 16,494 inhabitants per square kilometre (42,720 /sq mi) in the district of Kallio(SONY PCG-71511M battery), but as a whole Helsinki's population density of 3,050 per square kilometre (7,900 /sq mi) ranks it as quite sparsely populated in comparison to other European capital cities. Much of Helsinki outside the inner city area consists of postwar suburbs separated from each other by patches of forest. A narrow, ten-kilometre-long (6 mi) Helsinki Central Park that stretches from the inner city to the northern border of Helsinki is an important recreational area for residents(SONY PCG-6W3L battery).
Major islands in Helsinki include Seurasaari, Lauttasaari and Korkeasaari – the lattermost being the site of the country's biggest zoo. Other significant islands are the fortress island of Suomenlinna (Sveaborg) and the military island of Santahamina. Pihlajasaari island is a favourite summer spot for gay men and naturists, very much comparable to Fire Island off New York City(SONY PCG-7113L battery).
Helsinki has a hemiboreal humid continental climate. Owing to the mitigating influence of the Baltic Sea and Gulf Stream, temperatures in winter are much higher than the far northern location might suggest, with the average in January and February around −5 °C (23 °F). Temperatures below −20 °C (−4 °F) occur normally a week or two in a year. However, because of the latitude(SONY PCG-7133L battery), days last less than six hours around the winter solstice with really low sun rays, and the very cloudy weather at this time of year accentuates the darkness. Conversely, Helsinki enjoys long days in summer, close to nineteen hours around the summer solstice. The average maximum temperature from June to August is around 19 to 21 °C (66 to 70 °F). Due to the marine effect, especially in the summer daily temperatures are cooler and night temperatures are higher than further away in the mainland(SONY PCG-7Z1L battery). As near as in Vantaa, the climate is surprisingly much more continental, with warmer summers and colder winters. The highest temperature ever recorded at city centre was 33.1 °C (91.6 °F) on 18 July 1945 and the lowest was −34.3 °C (−30 °F) on 10 January 1987.
Aleksi in Central Helsinki.
The view across summertime Eläintarhanlahti.
The Helsinki Cathedral is probably the most prominent building and symbol of the city.
Parliament of Finland on the right, and new supplemental offices on the left(SONY PCG-7Z2L battery).
Carl Ludvig Engel (1778–1840) was appointed to design a new city centre all on his own. He designed several neoclassical buildings in Helsinki. The focal point of Engel's city plan is the Senate Square. It is surrounded by the Government Palace (to the east), the main building of Helsinki University (to the west), and (to the north) the enormous Cathedral, which was finished in 1852, twelve years after C. L. Engel's death(SONY PCG-8Y1L battery). Subsequently, Engel's neoclassical plan stimulated the epithet, The White City Of The North. Helsinki is, however, perhaps even more famous for its numerous Art Nouveau (Jugend in Finnish) influenced buildings of the romantic nationalism, designed in the early 1900s and strongly influenced by the Kalevala, which is a very popular theme in the national romantic art of that era. Helsinki's Art Nouveau style is also featured in large residential areas such as Katajanokka and Ullanlinna(SONY PCG-8Y2L battery). The master of the Finnish Art Nouveau was Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950), whose architectural masterpiece was the Helsinki central railway station.
Helsinki also features several buildings by the world-renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898–1976), recognized as one of the pioneers of architectural functionalism. However, some of his works, such as the headquarters of the paper company Stora Enso and the concert venue, Finlandia Hall, have been subject to divided opinions from the citizens. (SONY PCG-8Z2L battery)
Renowned functionalist buildings in Helsinki by other architects include the Olympic Stadium, the Tennis Palace, the Rowing Stadium, the Swimming Stadium, the Velodrome, the Glass Palace, the Exhibition Hall (now Töölö Sports Hall) and Helsinki-Malmi Airport. The sports venues were built to serve the 1940 Helsinki Olympic Games; the games were initially cancelled due to the Second World War(SONY PCG-8Z1L battery), but the venues eventually got to fulfill their purpose in the 1952 Olympic Games. Many of them are listed by DoCoMoMo as significant examples of modern architecture. The Olympic Stadium and Helsinki-Malmi Airport are in addition catalogued by the National Board of Antiquities as cultural-historical environments of national significance. (SONY PCG-7112L battery)
As a historical footnote, Helsinki's neoclassical buildings were often used as a backdrop for scenes set to take place in the Soviet Union in many Cold War era Hollywood movies, when filming in the USSR was not possible. Some of the more notable ones are The Kremlin Letter (1970), Reds (1981) and Gorky Park (1983). Because some streetscapes were reminiscent of Leningrad's and Moscow's old buildings, they too were used in movie productions—much to some residents' dismay(SONY PCG-6W2L battery). At the same time the government secretly instructed Finnish officials not to extend assistance to such film projects.
Main article: Politics of Helsinki
The city council of Helsinki consists of eighty-five members. Following the most recent municipal election in 2012, the three largest parties are National Coalition (23), Greens (19), and Social Democrats (15). The mayor, Jussi Pajunen, is a member of the National Coalition Party(SONY PCG-5K1L battery).
Helsinki has a higher proportion of women (53.4%) than elsewhere in Finland (51.1%). Helsinki's current population density of 2,739.36 people per square kilometer is by far the highest in Finland. Life expectancy for both genders is slightly below the national averages: 75.1 years for men as compared to 75.7 years, 81.7 years for women as compared to 82.5 years. (SONY PCGA-BP1U battery)
Helsinki has experienced strong growth since the 1810s, when it replaced Turku as the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland, which later became the sovereign Republic of Finland. The city continued to show strong growth from that time onwards, with the exception during the Finnish Civil War period. From the end of World War II up until the 1970s there was a massive exodus of people from the countryside to the cities of Finland, in particular Helsinki(SONY PCGA-BP2E battery). Between 1944 and 1969 the population of the city nearly doubled from 275,000 to 525,600.
In the 1960s, the population growth of Helsinki proper began to ebb mainly due to lack of housing. Many residents began to move to neighboring Espoo and Vantaa, where population growth has since soared. Espoo's population increased ninefold in sixty years, from 22,874 people in 1950 to 244,353 in 2009. Neighboring Vantaa has seen even more dramatic change in the same time span(SONY VGP-BPS2 battery): from 14,976 in 1950 to 197,663 in 2009, a thirteenfold increase. These dramatic increases pushed the municipalities of greater Helsinki into more intense cooperation in such areas as public transportation and waste management. The increasing scarcity of housing and the higher costs of living in the Helsinki metropolitan area have pushed many daily commuters to find housing in formerly very rural areas, and even further, to such cities as Lohja (SONY VGP-BPS3 battery) (50 kilometres or 30 miles northwest from the city centre), Hämeenlinna and Lahti (both 100 kilometres or 60 miles from Helsinki), and Porvoo (50 kilometres to the east).
Finnish and Swedish are the official languages of the municipality of Helsinki. The majority, or 82.5% of the population, speak Finnish as their native language. A minority, at 6.0%, speak Swedish. Around 11.5% of the population speak a native language other than Finnish or Swedish. Helsinki slang combines influences from both Finnish, Swedish and Russian languages(SONY VGP-BPS4 battery). Finnish today is the common language of communication between Finnish speakers, Swedish speakers and speakers of other languages (immigrants) in day-to-day affairs in the public sphere between unknown persons. In case a speaker's knowledge of Finnish is not known, English is usually spoken. Swedish is commonly spoken in city or national agencies specifically aimed at Finland-Swedish speakers, such as the Social Services Department on Hämeentie or the Luckan Cultural centre in Kamppi. Knowledge of Finnish is also essential in business and is usually a basic requirement in the employment market. (SONY VGP-BPS5 battery)
Finnish speakers surpassed Swedish speakers in 1890 to become the majority of the city's population. At the time, Helsinki's population was 61,530.
Helsinki is the global gateway of Finland. The city has Finland's largest immigrant population in both absolute and relative terms. There are over 130 nationalities represented in Helsinki. The largest groups are from Russia, Estonia, Sweden, Somalia, Serbia, China, Iraq and Germany(SONY VGP-BPS8 battery).
Foreign citizens make up 8.0% of the population, while foreign born make up 11.1%. In 2012, 68,375 residents spoke a native language other than Finnish, Swedish or one of the three Sami languages spoken in Finland. The largest groups of residents with a non-Finnish background come from Russia (14,532), Estonia (9,065) and Somalia (6,845). Half of the immigrant population in Finland lives in greater Helsinki, and one third in the city of Helsinki. (SONY VGP-BPS8A battery)
Kamppi Center, a shopping and transportation complex in the Kamppi district in the centre of Helsinki.
The Helsinki metropolitan area generates approximately one third of Finland's GDP. GDP per capita is roughly 1.3 times the national average.
The metropolitan area's gross value added per capita is 200% of the mean of 27 European metropolitan areas, equalling those of Stockholm or Paris. The gross value added annual growth has been around 4%.(SONY VGP-BPL8 battery)
83 of the 100 largest Finnish companies are headquartered in Greater Helsinki. Two-thirds of the 200 highest-paid Finnish executives live in Greater Helsinki and 42% in Helsinki. The average income of the top 50 earners was 1.65 million euro.
The tap water is of excellent quality and it is supplied by 120 km (75 mi) long Päijänne Water Tunnel, one of the world's longest continuous rock tunnels. Bottled Helsinki tap water is even sold to countries such as Saudi Arabia. (SONY VGP-BPS9 battery)
Main building of the University of Helsinki.
Haaga-Helia University Of Applied Sciences is the largest business polytechnic in Finland.
Kiasma is a contemporary art museum located at the heart of Helsinki.
Helsinki has 190 comprehensive schools, 41 upper secondary schools and 15 vocational institutes. Half of the 41 upper secondary schools are private or state-owned, the other half municipal. Higher level education is given in eight universities (see the section "Universities" below) and four polytechnics(SONY VGP-BPS9/S battery).
Helsinki is one of the co-location centres of the Knowledge and Innovation Community (Future information and communication society ) of The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
The educational department takes part in Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013 in Finland.
The biggest historical museum in Helsinki is the National Museum of Finland, which displays a vast historical collection from prehistoric times to the 21st century(SONY VGP-BPS9A battery). The museum building itself, a national romantic style neomedieval castle, is a tourist attraction. Other major historical museum is the Helsinki City Museum, which introduces visitors to Helsinki's 500-year history. The University of Helsinki also has many significant museums, including the University Museum and the Natural History Museum.
The Finnish National Gallery consists of three museums: Ateneum Art Museum for classical Finnish art, Sinebrychoff Art Museum for classical European art(SONY VGP-BPS9A/B battery), and Kiasma Art Museum for modern art. The old Ateneum, a neo-Renaissance palace from 19th century, is one of the city's major historical buildings. All three museum buildings are state-owned through Senate Properties.
Helsinki has three major theatres: The Finnish National Theatre, the Helsinki City Theatre, and the Finland Swedish Svenska Teatern. The city's main musical venues are the Finnish National Opera, the Finlandia concert hall and the Helsinki Music Centre(SONY VGP-BPS9/B battery), which is the home venue of two professional symphony orchestras, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The Music Centre also houses a part of the Sibelius Academy. Bigger concerts and events are usually held at one of the city's two big ice hockey arenas: the Hartwall Areena or the Helsinki Ice Hall. Helsinki has Finland's largest fairgrounds(SONY VGP-BPS9A/S battery).
Many widely renowned and acclaimed bands have originated in Helsinki, including Hanoi Rocks, HIM, Stratovarius, The 69 Eyes, Norther, Wintersun, Finntroll, Ensiferum, The Rasmus and Apocalyptica.
The Helsinki Festival is an annual arts and culture festival, which takes place every August (including the Night of the Arts).
Vappu is an annual carnival for students and workers.
Helsinki Arena hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, the first Eurovision Song Contest arranged in Finland, following Lordi's win in 2006(SONY VGP-BPL9 battery).
At the Senate Square in September / October 2010, the largest open-air art exhibition ever in Finland took place: About 1.4 million people saw the international exhibition of United Buddy Bears.
Helsinki is the 2012 World Design Capital, in recognition of the use of design as an effective tool for social, cultural and economic development in the city. In choosing Helsinki, the World Design Capital selection jury highlighted Helsinki's use of 'Embedded Design'(SONY VGP-BPS10 battery), which has tied design in the city to innovation, "creating global brands, such as Nokia, Kone and Marimekko, popular events, like the annual Helsinki Design Week, outstanding education and research institutions, such as the University of Art and Design Helsinki, and exemplary architects and designers such as Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto".
Further information: Finland#Media and communications(SONY VGP-BPL10 battery)
Helsinki is the centre of the Finnish media, most national newspapers as well as the broadcasters are located there.
There are two public service local radio stations in Greater Helsinki, Finnish-language Ylen aikainen (the regional edition of YLE Radio Suomi) and Swedish-language YLE Radio Vega Huvudstadsregionen (the regional edition of YLE Radio Vega). There are also privately owned local radio stations(SONY VGP-BPS11 battery).
YLE produces local TV news programme for the region of Uusimaa, Uudenmaan uutiset.
Two daily newspapers, Helsingin Sanomat and Hufvudstadsbladet are published in Helsinki and function as the local as well as the national newspapers.
Main article: Sport in Helsinki
The Helsinki Olympic Stadium was the centre of activities during the 1952 Summer Olympics.
Helsinki region roads.
The Helsinki Metro with its characteristic bright orange trains is the world's northernmost subway(SONY VGP-BPL11 battery).
Malmi airport, one of the oldest in the world and Finland's- main general aviation airport.
Helsinki has a long tradition of sports: the city gained much of its initial international recognition during the 1952 Summer Olympics, and the city has since then been very open to arranging sporting events, for example the first World Championships in Athletics 1983 and 2005, and European Championships in Athletics 1971, 1994 and 2012 etc(SONY VGP-BPL12 battery). Helsinki hosts fairly successful local teams in both of the most popular team sports in Finland, football, ice hockey and synchronized skating. Helsinki houses Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi (HJK), Finland's largest and most successful football club. Helsinki's track and field club Helsingin Kisa-Veikot is also pretty dominant in Finland. Ice Hockey is a sport of passion for many Helsinki residents(SONY VGP-BPS12 battery), who usually take a stance for either of the local clubs IFK Helsingfors (HIFK) or Jokerit. HIFK, with 14 Finnish championships titles, also plays in the highest bandy division, so does Botnia −69. The Olympic stadium hosted the 1st ever Bandy World Championships in 1957.
The backbone of Helsinki's motorway network consists of three semicircular ring roads, Ring I, Ring II, and Ring III, which connect expressways heading to other parts of Finland, and the western and eastern arteries of Länsiväylä and Itäväylä respectively(SONY VGP-BPS13 battery). While variants of a Keskustatunneli tunnel under the city centre have been repeatedly proposed, as of 2011 the plan remains on the drawing board.
Helsinki has some 390 cars per 1000 inhabitants. This is less than in cities of similar density, for instance, Brussels' 483 per 1000 and Stockholm's 401, and Oslo's 413.
Rail transport and buses
Main article: Public transport in Helsinki
Public transport is generally a hotly debated subject in the local politics of Helsinki. In Helsinki metropolitan area, public transportation is managed under Helsinki Region Transport, the metropolitan area transportation authority(SONY VGP-BPS13Q battery). The diverse public transport system consists of trams, commuter rail, the subway, bus lines and two ferry lines.
Today, Helsinki is the only city in Finland to have trams or metro trains. There used to be two other cities in Finland with trams: Turku and Viipuri (Vyborg, now in Russia), but both have since abandoned trams. The Helsinki Metro, opened in the year 1982, is the only rapid transit system in Finland(SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q battery). In 2006, the construction of the long debated extension of the system west into Espoo was approved, and serious debate about an eastern extension into Sipoo has taken place.
The possibility of a Helsinki to Tallinn Tunnel is currently being researched. The rail tunnel would connect Helsinki to the Estonian capital Tallinn, further linking Helsinki to the rest of continental Europe by Rail Baltica(SONY VGP-BPS13B/Q battery).
Air traffic is handled primarily from the international Helsinki Airport, located approximately 19 kilometres (12 mi) north of Helsinki's downtown area, in the neighbouring city of Vantaa. Helsinki's second airport, Malmi Airport, is mainly used for general and private aviation. Helicopter flights to Tallinn are available from Hernesaari Heliport(SONY VGP-BPS13/B battery).
Ferry connections to Tallinn, Mariehamn and Stockholm are serviced by various companies. Finnlines passenger-freight ferries to Gdynia, Poland, Travemünde, Germany and Rostock, Germany are also available. St Peter Line offers passenger ferry service to Saint Petersburg several times a week(SONY VGP-BPS13B/B battery).
Lisbon (/ˈlɪzbən/; Portuguese: Lisboa, IPA: [ɫiʒˈboɐ]) is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 547,631 within its administrative limits on a land area of 84.8 km2 (33 sq mi). The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of over 3 million on an area of 958 km2 (370 sq mi), making it the 9th most populous urban area in the European Union. About 2,831,000(SONY VGP-BPS13A/S battery) people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (which represents approximately 27% of the population of the country). Lisbon is the westernmost large city located in Europe, as well as its westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. It lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River(SONY VGP-BPS21A/B battery).
Lisbon is recognised as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education, and tourism. It is one of the major economic centres on the continent, with a growing financial sector and the largest/second largest container port on Europe's Atlantic coast. Lisbon Portela Airport serves about 13 million passengers per year(SONY VGP-BPS21B battery); the motorway network and the high-speed rail system of (Alfa Pendular) link the main cities of Portugal. Lisbon is the 23rd most livable city in the World according to lifestyle magazine Monocle. The city is the seventh-most-visited city in Southern Europe, after Istanbul, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Athens, and Milan, with 1,740,000 tourists in 2009. The Lisbon region is the wealthiest region in Portugal, GDP PPP per capita is 26,100 euros (SONY VGP-BPS21 battery) (4.7% higher than the average European Union's GDP PPP per capita). It is the tenth richest metropolitan area by GDP on the continent amounting to 110 billion euros and thus €39,375 per capita,  40% higher than the average European Union's GDP per capita. The city occupies 32nd place of highest gross earnings in the world. Most of the headquarters of multinationals in the country are located in the Lisbon area and(SONY VGP-BPS21/S battery) it is the ninth city in the world in terms of quantity of international conferences. It is also the political centre of the country, as seat of Government and residence of the Head of State. The seat of the district of Lisbon and the centre of the Lisbon region.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest city in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo(SONY VGP-BPS13S battery). Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the fifth century, it was captured by the Moors in the eighth century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city and since then it has been a major political, economic, and cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon's status as the capital of Portugal has never been granted or confirmed officially – by statute or in written form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the Constitution of Portugal(SONY VGP-BPS13B/S battery).
Lisbon hosts two agencies of the European Union: the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). Called the "Capital of the Lusophone world", the Community of Portuguese Language Countries has its headquarters in the city, in the Palace of the Counts of Penafiel(SONY VGP-BPS13B/G battery).
Lisbon has two sites listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Furthermore, in 1994, Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture and in 1998 organised an Expo '98 (1998 Lisbon World Exposition).
Lisbon enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Among all the metropolises in Europe, it has the warmest winters, with average temperatures 15 °C (59 °F) during the day and 8 °C (46 °F) at night from December to February(SONY VGP-BPS14 battery). The typical summer's season lasts about six months, from May to October, although also in November, March and April temperatures sometimes reach around 20 °C (68.0 °F).
During the Neolithic period, the region was inhabited by Pre-Celtic tribes, who built religious and funerary monuments, megaliths, dolmens and menhirs, which still survive in areas on the periphery of Lisbon. The Indo-European Celts invaded in the first millennium BC, mixing with the Pre-Indo-European population, thus giving rise to Celtic-speaking local tribes such as the Cempsi(SONY VGP-BPL14 battery).
Archaeological findings suggest there were Phoenician influences dating back to 1200 BC, leading some historians to believe that a Phoenician trading post might have occupied the centre of the present city (on the southern slope of the Castle hill). The sheltered harbour in the Tagus River estuary was an ideal spot for a settlement and provided a secure port for provisioning of Phoenician ships travelling to the Islands of Tin (modern Isles of Scilly) (SONY VGP-BPS14/B battery)and Cornwall. The new city might have been named Allis Ubbo, Phoenician for "safe harbour", according to one of several theories on the origin of Lisbon's toponymy. Another theory suggests that the settlement took the name of the pre-Roman word for the Tagus (Lisso or Lucio). The Tagus settlement was also an important centre of commercial trade with inland tribes, providing an outlet for the valuable metals, salt(SONY VGP-BPS14/S battery), and salted-fish they collected, and for the sale of the Lusitanian horses renowned in antiquity. Although Phoenician remains from the 8th century BC were found beneath the Mediaeval Sé Cathedral, modern historians believe, however, that Lisbon was an ancient autochthonous settlement (Roman oppidum) and that, at most, it maintained commercial relations with the Phoenicians (accounting Phoenician pottery and artefacts) (SONY VGP-BPS14B battery).
Lisbon's name was written Ulyssippo in Latin by the geographer Pomponius Mela, a native of Hispania. It was later referenced as "Olisippo" by Pliny the Elder, and to the Greeks as Olissipo (Ολισσιπών) and Olissipona (Ολισσιπόνα). According to legend, the location was named for Ulysses, who founded the settlement after he left Troy to escape the Greek coalition. Later, the Greek name appeared in Vulgar Latin in the form Olissipona(SONY VGP-BPS22 battery).
Part of the ancient Roman walls.
Following the defeat of Hannibal during the Punic wars, the Romans determined to deprive Carthage of its most valuable possession: Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula). The defeat of Carthaginian forces by Scipio Africanus in Eastern Hispania allowed the pacification of the west, led by Consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus. Decimus obtained the alliance of Olissipo (which sent men to fight alongside the Roman Legions against the northwestern Celtic tribes) (SONY VGP-BPS22 battery) by integrating it into the Empire, as the Municipium Cives Romanorum Felicitas Julia. Local authorities were granted self-rule over a territory that extended 50 kilometres (31 mi); exempt from taxes, its citizens were given the privileges of Roman citizenship, and it was then integrated with the Roman province of Lusitania (whose capital was Emerita Augusta) (SONY VGP-BPS18 battery).
Lusitanian raids and rebellions during Roman occupation necessitated the construction of a wall around the settlement. During Augustus' reign, the Romans also built a great theatre; the Cassian Baths (underneath Rua da Prata); temples to Jupiter, Diana, Cybele, Tethys, and Idea Phrygiae (an uncommon cult from Asia Minor), in addition to temples to the Emperor; a large necropolis under Praça da Figueira; a large forum and other buildings such as insulae(SONY VGP-BPS22/A battery) (multi-storied apartment buildings) in the area between the Castle Hill and the historic city core.
The city prospered as piracy was eliminated, technological advances were introduced and as Felicitas Julia became a centre of trade with the Roman provinces of Britannia (particularly Cornwall) and the Rhine. Economically strong, Olissipo was known for its garum (a fish sauce highly prized by the elites of the Empire and exported in amphorae to Rome), wine, salt and horse-breeding, while Roman culture permeated the hinterland(SONY VGP-BPS22A battery). The city was connected by a broad road to Western Hispania's two other large cities, Bracara Augusta in the province of Tarraconensis (Portuguese Braga), and Emerita Augusta, the capital of Lusitania (Mérida, Spain). The city was ruled by an oligarchical council dominated by two families, the Julii and the Cassiae, although regional authority was administered by the Roman Governor of Emerita or directly by Emperor Tiberius(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120E/W battery). Among the majority of Latin speakers lived a large minority of Greek traders and slaves.
Around 80 BCE, the Roman Quintus Sertorius led a rebellion against the dictator Sulla. During this period, he organized the tribes of Lusitania and Hispania and was on the verge of forming an independent province in the Sertorian War when he died.
Olissipo, like most great cities in the Western Empire, was a centre for the dissemination of Christianity. Its first attested Bishop was Potamius (c. 356), and there were several martyrs during the period of persecution of the Christians(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120E/R battery): Maxima, Verissimus and Eulalia of Mérida are the most significant examples. By the time of the Fall of Rome, Olissipo had become a notable Christian centre.
The Moorish fortifications at the Castle of São Jorge, in the Alfama.
Following the disintegration of the Roman empire there were barbarian invasions; between 409 and 429 the city was occupied successively by Sarmatians, Alans, and Vandals. The Germanic Suebi, who established a kingdom in Gallaecia (modern Galicia and northern Portugal), with its capital in Bracara Augusta, also controlled the region of Lisbon until 585(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120E/P battery). In 585, the Suebi Kingdom was integrated into the Germanic Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo, which comprised all of the Iberian Peninsula: Lisbon was then called Ulishbona.
On 6 August 711, Lisbon was taken by Muslim forces. These conquerors, who were mostly Berbers and Arabs from North Africa and the Middle East, built many mosques and houses, rebuilt the city wall (known as the Cerca Moura) and established administrative control, while permitting the diverse population (Muladi, Christians, Berbers, Arabs, Jews, and Saqalibas) to maintain their socio-cultural lifestyles(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120E/L battery). Mozarabic was the native language spoken by most of the Christian population. Islam was the official religion practised by the Arabs and Muladi (muwallad); the Christians were allowed to keep their religion under the status as Dhimmi subjects, and were allowed rights of residence in return for jizyah taxes. In return for paying this surtax, Christians and Jews were excluded from specific duties assigned to Muslims like joining the Islamic army(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120E battery), and their security was guaranteed by the Islamic state, but otherwise, the Christians and Jews were equal to Muslims under the laws of property, contract and obligation.
The Muslim influence is still present in the Alfama, an old quarter of Lisbon that survived the 1755 Lisbon earthquake: many place-names are derived from Arabic and the Alfama (the oldest existing district of Lisbon) was derived from the Arabic "al-hamma".
For a brief time, Lisbon was the central town in the Regulo Eslavo of the Taifa of Badajoz, and then as an independent Taifa, as the Taifa of Lisbon(SONY Vaio VGN-CR120 battery).
The Moorish surrender to Afonso Henriques at the Siege of Lisbon of 1147.
In 1108 the city was conquered by Norwegian crusaders led by Sigurd I on their way to the Holy Land as part of the Norwegian Crusade, but was reconquered by Moorish Almoravids in 1111.
In 1147, as part of the Reconquista, crusader knights led by Afonso I of Portugal besieged and reconquered Lisbon. The city, with around 154,000 residents at the time, was returned to Christian rule(SONY Vaio VGN-CR11H/B battery). The reconquest of Portugal and re-establishment of Christianity is one of the most significant events in Lisbon's history, described in the chronicle Expugnatione Lyxbonensi, telling that the local bishop was killed by the crusaders and that its residents were praying to the Virgin Mary. As spoken Arabic lost its place in the everyday life of the city, many of the remaining Muslim residents were converted to Roman Catholicism by force(SONY Vaio VGN-CR116E battery), or were expelled, and the mosques were either destroyed or converted into churches.
Although Lisbon received its first charter (foral) in 1179, periodically Muslim raiders from Al-Andalus challenged the control of the Iberian Christian kingdoms, capturing slaves and seizing local treasures. In a raid against Lisbon in 1189, the Almohad caliph Yaqub al-Mansur took 3,000 female and child captives. Due to its central location, Lisbon became the capital city of the new Portuguese territory in 1255(SONY Vaio VGN-CR116 battery). The first Portuguese university was founded in Lisbon in 1290 by King Denis I; for many years the Studium Generale (General Study) was transferred intermittently to Coimbra, where it was installed permanently in the 16th century as the University of Coimbra.
During the last centuries of the Middle Ages, the city expanded substantially and became an important trading post with both northern European and Mediterranean cities.
The oldest known image of Lisbon (1500–1510) from the Crónica de Dom Afonso Henriques by Duarte Galvão(SONY Vaio VGN-CR115E battery)
Most of the Portuguese expeditions of the Age of Discovery left from Lisbon during the 15th to 17th centuries, including Vasco da Gama's expedition to India in 1497. In 1506, 3000 Jews were massacred in Lisbon. The 16th century was Lisbon's golden era: the city was the European hub of commerce between Africa, India, the Far East and, later, Brazil, and acquired great riches by exploiting the trade in spices, slaves, sugar, textiles, and other goods(SONY Vaio VGN-CR115 battery). This period saw the rise of the exuberant Manueline style in architecture, which left its mark in many 16th century monuments (including Lisbon's Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, which were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites). A description of Lisbon in the 16th century was written by Damião de Góis and published in 1554.
Portugal lost its independence to Spain after the succession crisis of 1580(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ battery); the Portuguese Restoration War, which began with a coup d'état organized by the nobility and bourgeoisie in Lisbon and executed on 1 December 1640, restored Portuguese independence. The revolution of 1640 ended the sixty-year period of dual monarchy in Portugal and Spain under the Spanish Habsburgs, although the period from 1640 to 1668 was marked by periodic skirmishes between Portugal and Spain, as well as short episodes of more serious warfare, until the Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 1688(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11S battery).
In the early 18th century, gold from Brazil allowed King John V to sponsor the building of several Baroque churches and theatres in the city.
The Ribeira Royal Palace in the 18th-century, prior to its destruction.
Prior to the 18th century, Lisbon had experienced several significant earthquakes – eight in the 14th century, five in the 16th century (including the 1531 earthquake that destroyed 1,500 houses, and the 1597 earthquake in which three streets vanished), and three in the 17th century. On 1 November 1755, the city was destroyed by another devastating earthquake(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15T battery), which killed an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Lisbon residents of a population estimated at between 200,000 and 275,000, and destroyed 85 percent of the city's structures. Among several important buildings of the city, the Ribeira Palace and the Hospital Real de Todos os Santos were lost. In coastal areas, such as Peniche, situated about 80 km (50 mi) north of Lisbon, many people were killed by the following tsunami. In Setúbal, 30 km (19 mi) south of Lisbon(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15G battery), the water reached the first floor (second floor, in U.S. terms) of buildings. The destruction was also great in the Algarve of southern Portugal, where the tsunami dismantled some coastal fortresses and, in the lower parts, leveled many houses. In some places the waves crested at more than 30 m (98.43 ft). Almost all the coastal towns and villages of the Algarve were heavily damaged, except Faro, which was protected by sandy banks. In Lagos(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ4000 battery), the waves reached the top of the city walls. For many Portuguese coastal regions, the destructive effects of the tsunami were more disastrous than those of the earthquake proper.
The Marquis of Pombal's enlightened plans for rebuilding Lisbon.
By 1755, Lisbon was one of the largest cities in Europe; the catastrophic event shocked the whole of Europe and left a deep impression on its collective psyche. In southwestern Spain, the tsunami caused damage to Cadiz and Huelva, and the waves penetrated the Guadalquivir River, reaching Seville(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ460E battery). In Gibraltar, the sea rose suddenly by about two metres. In Ceuta the tsunami was strong, but in the Mediterranean Sea, it decreased rapidly. On the other hand, it caused great damage and casualties to the western coast of Morocco, from Tangier, where the waves reached the walled fortifications of the town, to Agadir, where the waters passed over the walls, killing many. The tsunami also reached Cornwall, in the present United Kingdom, at a height of three metres(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11L battery). Along the coast of Cornwall, the sea rose rapidly in vast waves, and then ebbed equally rapidly. A two metre tsunami also hit Galway in Ireland, and did some considerable damage to the Spanish Arch section of the city wall. Voltaire wrote a long poem, Poême sur le désastre de Lisbonne, shortly after the quake, and mentioned it in his 1759 novel Candide (indeed, many argue that this critique of optimism was inspired by that earthquake) (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11Z battery). Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. also mentions it in his 1857 poem, The Deacon's Masterpiece, or The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay. In the town of Cascais, some 30 km (19 mi) west of Lisbon, the waves wrecked several boats and when the water withdrew, large stretches of sea bottom were left uncovered(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11M battery).
After the 1755 earthquake, the city was rebuilt largely according to the plans of Prime Minister Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, the 1st Marquess of Pombal; the lower town began to be known as the Baixa Pombalina (Pombaline Downtown). Instead of rebuilding the medieval town, Pombal decided to demolish what remained after the earthquake and rebuild the downtown in accordance with principles of modern urban design(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18M battery). It was reconstructed in an open rectangular plan with two great squares: the Praça do Rossio and the Praça do Comércio. The first, the central commercial district, is the traditional gathering place of the city and the location of the older cafés, theatres and restaurants; the second became the city's main access to the Tagus River and point of departure and arrival for sea-going vessels, adorned by a triumphal arch (1873) and monument to King Joseph I(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18 battery).
Late modern and contemporary
The construction of the Rossio Train Station, at Pedro IV Square, in 1886.
In the first years of the 19th century, Portugal was invaded by the troops of Napoléon Bonaparte, forcing Queen Maria I and Prince-Regent John (future John VI) to flee temporarily to Brazil. By the time the new King returned to Lisbon, many of the buildings and properties were pillaged, sacked or destroyed by the invaders(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ210CE battery).
During the 19th century, the Liberal movement introduced new changes into the urban landscape. The principal areas were in the Baixa and along the Chiado district, where shops, tobacconists shops, cafés, bookstores, clubs and theatres proliferated. The development of industry and commerce determined the growth of the city, extending north along the Avenida da Liberdade (1879), distancing itself from the Tagus River(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31S battery).
Lisbon was the site of the regicide of Carlos I of Portugal in 1908, an event which culminated two years later in the First Republic.
The city refounded its university in 1911 after centuries of inactivity in Lisbon, incorporating reformed former colleges and other non-university higher education schools of the city (such as the Escola Politécnica – now Faculdade de Ciências). Today there are 3 public universities in the city (University of Lisbon, Technical University of Lisbon and New University of Lisbon), a public university institute (ISCTE - Lisbon University Institute) (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31Z battery) and a polytechnic institute (IPL – Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa).
The Proclamation of the Portuguese Republic in Lisbon's Municipal Square.
During World War II Lisbon was one of the very few neutral, open European Atlantic ports, a major gateway for refugees to the U.S. and a haven for spies. More than 100,000 refugees were able to flee Nazi Germany via Lisbon.
During the Estado Novo regime (1926–1974), Lisbon was expanded at the cost of other districts within the country, resulting in nationalist and monumental projects. New residential and public developments were constructed(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31E battery); the zone of Belém was modified for the 1940 Portuguese Exhibition, while along the periphery new neighborhoods appeared to house the growing population. The inauguration of the bridge over the Tagus allowed rapid connection between the two sides of the river.
Lisbon was the site of three revolutions in the 20th-century. The first, the 5 October 1910 revolution, brought an end to the Portuguese monarchy and established the highly unstable and corrupt Portuguese First Republic(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31J battery). The 6 June 1926 revolution would see the end of that first republic and firmly establish the Estado Novo, or the Portuguese Second Republic, as the ruling regime. The final revolution, the Carnation Revolution, would take place on 25 April 1974 and would end the right-wing Estado Novo and reform the country as the current Portuguese Third Republic(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31M battery).
The Treaty of Lisbon was signed at the Jerónimos Monastery in 2007.
In the 1990s, many of the neighborhoods were renovated and projects in the historic quarters were established to modernize those areas; architectural and patrimonial buildings were recuperated; the northern margin of the Tagus was re-purposed for leisure and residential use; the Vasco da Gama bridge was constructed; and the eastern part of the municipality was re-purposed for Expo '98(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31B battery), to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's sea voyage to India, a voyage that would bring immense riches to Lisbon and cause many of Lisbon's landmarks to be built.
In 1988, a fire in the historical district of Chiado saw the destruction of many 18th-century Pombaline style buildings. A series of restoration works has brought the area back to its former self and made it a high-scale shopping district(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ32 battery).
The Lisbon Agenda was a European Union agreement on measures to revitalize the EU economy, signed in Lisbon in March 2000. In October 2007 Lisbon hosted the 2007 EU Summit, where agreement was reached regarding a new EU governance model. The resulting Treaty of Lisbon was signed on 13 December 2007 and came into force on 1 December 2009(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ410 battery).
Lisbon has been the site for many international events and programs. In 1994, Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture. On 3 November 2005, Lisbon hosted the MTV European Music Awards. On 7 July 2007, Lisbon held the ceremony of the "New 7 Wonders Of The World" election, in Luz stadium, with live transmission for millions of people all over the world. Lisbon alternates with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosting the Rock in Rio music festival, the largest in the world(.co.uk/sony-vaio-vgn-fz21-battery.html">Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21 battery).
Lisbon hosted the NATO summit (19–20 November 2010), a summit meeting that is regarded as a periodic opportunity for Heads of State and Heads of Government of NATO member states to evaluate and provide strategic direction for Alliance activities.
Lisbon is located at 38°42′49.75″N 9°8′21.79″W, situated at the mouth of the Tagus River and is the westernmost capital of a mainland European country(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21S battery).
The westernmost part of Lisbon is occupied by the Parque Florestal de Monsanto (English: Monsanto Forest Park), an 10 km2 (4 sq mi) urban park, one the largest in Europe, and occupying ten per cent of the municipality.
The city occupies an area of 84.94 km2 (33 sq mi), and its city boundaries, unlike those of most major cities, are narrowly defined by its historical centre. The rest of the urbanized area of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, known generically as Greater Lisbon (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21M battery) (Portuguese: Grande Lisboa), is actually several administratively defined cities and municipalities, such as Amadora, Queluz, Agualva-Cacém, Odivelas, Loures, Sacavém, Almada, Barreiro, Seixal and Oeiras
Lisbon has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa) with mild winters and warm to hot summers. The average annual temperature is 21.5 °C (70.7 °F) during the day and 13.5 °C (56.3 °F) at night(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ38M battery). Average annual temperature of the sea is 17.5 °C (63.5 °F). In the coldest month – January – the high temperature during the day typically ranges from 11 to 19 °C (52 to 66 °F), the low teperature at night ranges from 3 to 13 °C (37 to 55 °F) and the average sea temperature is 15 °C (59 °F). In the warmest month – August – the high temperature during the day typically ranges from 26 to 34 °C (79 to 93 °F), the low temperature at night ranges from 16 to 21 °C (61 to 70 °F) (Sony VAIO VGN-SZ battery) and the average sea temperature is 20 °C (68 °F). Generally, a summer season lasts about 6 months, from May to October. Three months – March, April and November – are transitional, sometimes the temperature exceeds 20 °C (68 °F), with an average temperature in these three months of 18.9 °C (66 °F) during the day and 12.0 °C (53.6 °F) at night. December, January and February are the coldest months, with an average temperature of 15.5 °C (59.9 °F) during the day and 8.9 °C (48.0 °F) at night(Sony VGN-NR11S/S Battery). Among all metropolises (together with Valencia) and capitals (together with Malta) in Europe, Lisbon has the warmest winters, and the mildest nighttime temperatures in Europe: among the warmest in the winter – from an average of 8.3 °C (46.9 °F) in the coldest month, and comfortable 18.6 °C (65.5 °F) in the warmest month. Rain occurs mainly in winter, the summers being generally dry. Sunshine hours are about 2,800 per year, from an average of 4.6 hours of sunshine duration at day in December to an average of 11.4 hours of sunshine duration at day in July(Sony VGN-NR11M/S Battery).
The Alcântara docks, a trendy hangout.
Locally, Lisbon inhabitants may more commonly refer the spaces of Lisbon in terms of historic bairros (neighborhoods). These communities have no clearly defined boundaries and represent special quarters with a common historical culture, identifiable architectural landmarks, livings standards and/or local personality, such as Bairro Alto, Alfama, Chiado, and so forth(Sony VGN-NR260E/S Battery).
Main article: Alcântara
Although today it is quite central, it was once a mere suburb of Lisbon, comprising mostly farms and palaces. In the 16th century, there was a brook there which the nobles used to promenade in their boats. Through the late 19th century, Alcântara became a popular industrial area, with lots of small factories and warehouses. Through the centuries, this area has lost all of its charm and old buildings, as well as its brook (where the women of the village would do their laundry) (Sony VGN-NR260E/T Battery).
In the early 1990s, Alcântara began to attract youth because of the number of pubs and discothèques. This was mainly due its outer area of mostly commercial buildings, which acted as barriers to the noise-generating nightlife (which acted as a buffer to the residential communities surrounding it). In the meantime, some of these areas began to become gentrified, attracting loft developments and new apartments(Sony VGN-NR260E/W Battery), which have profited from its river views and central location.
A tram in Alfama's Portas do Sol.
Main article: Alfama
The oldest district of Lisbon, it spreads down the southern slope from the Castle of São Jorge to the Tagus river. Its name, derived from the Arabic Al-hamma, means fountains or baths. During the Islamic invasion of Iberia, the Alfama constituted the largest part of the city, extending west to the Baixa neighbourhood. Increasingly, the Alfama became inhabited by fishermen and the poor: its fame as a poor neighbourhood continues to this day(Sony VGN-NR11Z/S Battery). While the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake caused considerable damage throughout the capital, the Alfama survived with little damage, due to its compact labyrinth of narrow streets and small squares. It is a historical quarter of mixed-use buildings of homes with small shops, Fado bars and restaurants. Modernizing trends have invigorated the district: old houses have been re-purposed or remodelled, while new buildings have been constructed(Sony VGN-NR11Z/T Battery). Fado, the typically Portuguese-style of melancholy music, is common (but not obligatory) in the restaurants of the district.
Main article: Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto (literally the upper quarter in Portuguese) is an area of central Lisbon. It functions as a residential, shopping and entertainment district: it is the heart of the Portuguese capital's nightlife, attracting its youth. Lisbon's Punk, Gay, Metal, Goth, Hip Hop and Reggae scenes, all count the Bairro as their home, due to the specialization of its clubs and bars. Although fado, Portugal's national music still survives in the new nightlife, the crowds in the Bairro Alto area are a multicultural mix of cultures and entertainment(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21E battery).
The Baixa's Rua Augusta, which leads to Lisbon's famous Terreiro do Paço.
Main article: Baixa Pombalina
The heart of the city is the Baixa (Downtown) or city centre; the Pombaline Baixa is an elegant district, primarily constructed after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, taking its name from its benefactor, 1st Marquess of Pombal, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, who was the minister of Joseph I of Portugal (1750–1777) and a key figure during the Portuguese Enlightenment. Following the 1755 disaster(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21Z battery), Pombal took the lead in rebuilding Lisbon, imposing strict conditions and guidelines on the construction of the city, and transforming the organic street plan that characterised the district before the earthquake into its current grid pattern. As a result, the Pombaline Baixa is one of the first examples of earthquake-resistant construction. Architectural models were tested by having troops march around them to simulate an earthquake(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21J battery). Notable features of Pombaline structures include the Pombaline cage, a symmetrical wood-lattice framework aimed at distributing earthquake forces, and inter-terrace walls that were built higher than roof timbers to inhibit the spread of fires.
The Jerónimos Monastery, one of the most visited buildings in all of Portugal.
Main article: Belém
Belém is famous as the place from which many of the great Portuguese explorers set off on their voyages of discovery. In particular, it is the place from which Vasco da Gama departed for India in 1497. It is also a former royal residence and features the 17th–18th century Belém Palace(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11 battery), former royal residence and now occupied by the President of Portugal, and the Ajuda Palace, begun in 1802 but never completed.
Perhaps Belém's most famous feature is its tower, Torre de Belém, whose image is much used by Lisbon's tourist board. The tower was built as a fortified lighthouse late in the reign of Dom Manuel (1515–1520) to guard the entrance to the port. It stood on a little island in right side of the Tagus, surrounded by water(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M battery). Belém's other major historical building is the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery), which the Torre de Belém was built partly to defend. Belém's most notable modern feature is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries).In the heart of Belém is the Praça do Império: gardens centred upon a large fountain, laid out during World War II. To the west of the gardens lies the Centro Cultural de Belém. Belém is one of the most visited Lisbonite districts(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S battery).
Luís de Camões Square, the center of activity and life in the Chiado district.
Main article: Chiado
The Chiado is a traditional shopping area that mixes old and modern commercial establishments, concentrated specially in the Carmo's and Garrett's streets. Locals as well as tourists visit the Chiado to buy books, garments, and pottery as well as to have a cup of coffee. The most famous café of Chiado is A Brasileira, famous for having had poet Fernando Pessoa among its customers. The Chiado is also an important cultural area, with several museums and theatres(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E battery). Several buildings of the Chiado were destroyed in a fire in 1988, an event that deeply shocked the country. Thanks to a renovation project that lasted more than 10 years, coordinated by celebrated architect Siza Vieira, the affected area is now recovered.
The Baroque-Neoclassical Estrela Basilica is the main attraction of this district. The huge church has a giant dome, and is located on a hill in what was at the time the western part of Lisbon and can be viewed from great distances(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J battery). The style is similar to that of the Mafra National Palace, in late baroque and neoclassical. The façade has two twin bell towers and includes statues of saints and some allegoric figures. Sao Bento Palace, the seat of Portuguese parliament and the official residences of the Prime Minister of Portugal and the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal, is in this district(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21L battery).
A view of the Parque das Nações.
Main article: Parque das Nações
Parque das Nações is the newest district in Lisbon, having emerged from an urban renewal programme leading to the World Exhibition of Lisbon 1998, also known as Expo'98. The area suffered massive changes giving Parque das Nações a futuristic look. A long lasting legacy of the same, the area has become another commercial and higher end residential area for the city. Central to this is the Gare do Oriente (Orient Station) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M battery), one of the main transportation hubs of Lisbon for trains, buses, taxis, and the metro. Its glass and steel columns are inspired by Gothic Architecture, lending the whole structure a visual fascination (especially in sunlight or when illuminated at night). It was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava from Valencia, Spain. Across the street, through Vasco da Gama Mall, is Parque das Nações (Park of the Nations), site of the 1998 World Expo(Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H battery).
The area is pedestrian-friendly with new buildings, restaurants, gardens, the Lisbon Casino, the FIL building (International Exhibition and Fair), the Camões Theatre, as well as the Oceanário de Lisboa (Lisbon Oceanarium), the second largest in the world. The district's Pavilhão Atlântico has become Lisbon's "jack-of-all-trades" performance arena. Seating 20,000, it has staged events from concerts to basketball tournaments(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21M battery).
The population of the city proper is, as of 2011, 547,631 and the metropolitan area (Lisbon Metropolitan Area) more than 2,800,000 according to the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (National Institute of Statistics). The Lisbon Metropolitan Area incorporates two NUTS II (European statistical subdivisions): Grande Lisboa (Greater Lisbon), along the northern bank of the Tagus River, and Península de Setúbal (Setúbal Peninsula), along the southern bank (which represents the Portuguese sub-regions of Região Lisboa (Lisbon Region). The population density of the city itself is 6,458 inhabitants per square kilometre (16,730 /sq mi) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW21Z battery).
Like most metropolitan cities, Lisbon is surrounded by many satellite cities or suburbs, and it is estimated that more than one million people enter Lisbon every day for business or employment from these communities. Cascais and Estoril are among the most vibrant neighbouring towns for night life. Beautiful palaces, landscapes and historical sites can be found in Sintra and Mafra. Other major municipalities around Lisbon include Amadora, Oeiras(Sony VAIO VGN-FW32J battery), Odivelas, Loures, Vila Franca de Xira and, in the south bank of the Tagus river estuary, Almada, Barreiro and Seixal.
Lisbon's port, one of the largest and most important ports in Europe.
The Lisbon region is the wealthiest region in Portugal and it is well above the European Union's GDP per capita average – it produces 45% of the Portuguese GDP. Lisbon's economy is based primarily on the tertiary sector. Most of the headquarters of multinationals operating in Portugal are concentrated in the Grande Lisboa Subregion, specially in the Oeiras municipality(Sony VAIO VGN-FW17W battery). The Lisbon Metropolitan Area is heavily industrialized, especially the south bank of the Tagus river (Rio Tejo).
The Lisbon region is rapidly growing, each year are higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) PPP per capita: € 22,745 (2004) – € 23,816 (2005) – € 25,200 (2006) – € 26,100 (2007).
The Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Portugal's largest bank, is based in Lisbon.
The country's chief seaport, featuring one of the largest and most sophisticated regional markets on the Iberian Peninsula, Lisbon and its heavily populated surroundings are also developing as an important financial centre and a dynamic technological hub(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31E battery).
Lisbon has the largest and most developed mass media sector of Portugal, and is home to several related companies ranging from leading television networks and radio stations to major newspapers.
The Euronext Lisbon stock exchange, part of the pan-European Euronext system together with the stock exchanges of Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, is tied with the New York Stock Exchange since 2007, forming the multinational NYSE Euronext group of stock exchanges(Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E battery).
Lisbonite industry has very large sectores in oil, as refineries are found just across the Tagus, textile mills, shipyards and fishing.
Before Portugal's sovereign debt crisis and a EU-IMF rescue plan, for the decade of 2010 Lisbon was expecting to receive many state funded investments, including building a new airport, a new bridge, an expansion of 30 km (18.64 mi) underground, the construction of a mega-hospital (or central hospital), the creation of two lines of a TGV to join Madrid, Porto, Vigo and the rest of Europe, the restoration of the main part of the town (Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H battery) (between the Marquês de Pombal roundabout and Terreiro do Paço), the creation of a large number of bike lanes, as well as modernization and renovation of various facilities.
A Lisbon electric tram in the Chiado.
Lisbon's public transport network is extremely far-reaching and reliable. The Lisbon Metro as its main artery, connecting the city centre with the upper and eastern districts, and now reaching the suburbs(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31M battery). Ambitious expansion projects will increase the network by almost one third, connecting the airport, and the northern and western districts. Bus, funicular and tram services have been supplied by the Companhia de Carris de Ferro de Lisboa (Carris), for over a century.
A traditional form of public transport in Lisbon is the tram. Introduced in the 19th century, the trams were originally imported from the USA, rarely called the americanos. The earliest trams can still be seen in the Museu da Carris (the Public Transport Museum) (Carris) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW31J battery). Other than on the modern Line 15, the Lisbon tramway system still employs small (four wheel) vehicles of a design dating from the early part of the twentieth century. These distinctive yellow trams are one of the tourist icons of modern Lisbon, and their size is well suited to the steep hills and narrow streets of the central city.
Tram of the city
There are four commuter train lines departing from Lisbon: the Cascais, Sintra and Azambuja lines (operated by CP – Comboios de Portugal), as well as a fourth line to Setúbal (operated by Fertagus) crossing the Tagus river, over the 25 de Abril Bridge(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31Z battery). The major railway stations are Santa Apolónia, Rossio, Gare do Oriente, Entrecampos, and Cais do Sodré. The city does not offer a light rail service (tram line 15, although running with new and faster trams does not fall onto this category), but there are plans to build light rail lines to provide service along the city's periphery.
There are other commuter bus services from the city: Vimeca, Rodoviaria de Lisboa, Transportes Sul do Tejo, Boa Viagem, Barraqueiro are the main ones, operating from different terminals in the city(Sony VGN-NR11Z Battery).
Lisbon is connected to its suburbs as well as throughout Portugal by an extensive motorway network. There are three circular motorways around the city; the 2ª Circular, the CRIL, and the CREL.
The city is connected to the far side of the Tagus by two important bridges:
Lisbon's 25 de Abril Bridge, the first bridge built across the Tagus at Lisbon.
The 25 de Abril Bridge, inaugurated (as Ponte Salazar) on 6 August 1966, and later renamed after the date of the Carnation Revolution, was the longest suspension bridge in Europe.
The Vasco da Gama Bridge, inaugurated on May 1998 is, at 17.2 km (10.7 mi), the longest bridge in Europe(Sony VGN-NR11S Battery).
The foundations for a third bridge across the Tagus have already been laid, but the overall project has been postponed as per the economic crisis in Portugal and all of Europe.
Another way of crossing the river is by taking the ferry. The company is Transtejo-Soflusa, which operates from different points in the city to Cacilhas, Seixal, Montijo, Porto Brandão and Trafaria under the brand Transtejo and to Barreiro under the brand Soflusa(Sony VGN-NR110E Battery).
Lisbon's Portela Airport is located within the city limits. It is the headquarters and hub for TAP Portugal as well as a hub for SATA International, Luzair, EuroAtlantic Airways, Portugália, White Airways, and High Fly airlines. It has been proposed that a New Lisbon Airport should be built. The project has been put on hold due to the Portuguese, and overall European, economic crisis and also because of the long discussion on whether there is a need for a new airport at all.
The rectory and main campus of the New University of Lisbon(Sony VGN-NR110E/T Battery).
The city has several private and public secondary schools, primary schools as well as Kindergärten. In Greater Lisbon area there are also international schools such as Saint Julian's School, the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon, Saint Dominic's International School, Deutsche Schule Lissabon, Instituto Español de Lisboa, and Lycée Français Charles Lepierre.
There are three major public universities in Lisbon: the University of Lisbon (Lisbon's oldest university in operation, founded in 1911, also called the Classic University of Lisbon) (Sony VGN-NR110E/S Battery), the Technical University of Lisbon (founded in 1930) and the New University of Lisbon (founded in 1973), providing degrees in all academic disciplines. There is also one state-run university institute – the ISCTE - Lisbon University Institute, and a polytechnic institute – the Polytechnical Institute of Lisbon.
Major private institutions of higher education include the Portuguese Catholic University, as well as the Lusíada University, the Universidade Lusófona, and the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, among others(Sony VGN-CR11Z Battery).
The total number of enrolled students in higher education in Lisbon was, for the 2007–2008 school year, of 125,867 students, of whom 81,507 in the Lisbon's public institutions.
The monument to the Great War on the Avenida da Liberdade.
The city of Lisbon is rich in architecture; Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque, Modern and Postmodern constructions can be found all over Lisbon. The city is also crossed by historical boulevards and monuments along the main thoroughfares, particularly in the upper districts; notable among these are the Avenida da Liberdade (Avenue of Liberty), Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, Avenida Almirante Reis and Avenida da República (Avenue of the Republic) (Sony VGN-CR11S Battery).
There are several substantial museums one can visit in the city. The most famous ones are the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art), the National Azulejo Museum, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (Calouste Gulbenkian Museum), containing varied collections of ancient and modern art, the Museu Nacional do Traje e da Moda (National Museum of Costume and Fashion), the Berardo Collection Museum (Modern Art) at the Belém Cultural Center(Sony VGN-CR11M Battery), the Museu da Electricidade (Electricity Museum), the Museu Nacional dos Coches (National Coach Museum, containing the largest collection of royal coaches in the world), the Museum of Pharmacy, Museum of the Orient, the Museu do Teatro Romano (The Roman Theatre Museum), and the Lisbon City Museum.
Lisbon's Opera House, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, hosts a relatively active cultural agenda, mainly in autumn and winter(Sony VGN-CR11E Battery). Other important theatres and musical houses are the Centro Cultural de Belém, the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Teatro Camões.
Lisbon's Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in the upscale Chiado district.
The monument to Christ the King (Cristo-Rei) stands on the southern bank of the Tagus River, in Almada. With open arms, overlooking the whole city, it resembles the Corcovado monument in Rio de Janeiro, and was built after World War II, as a memorial of thanksgiving for Portugal's being spared the horrors and destruction of the war(Sony VGN-CR21E Battery).
13 June is Lisbon´s holiday in honour of the city´s saint Anthony of Lisbon (Portuguese: Santo António). Saint Anthony, also known as Saint Anthony of Padua, was a wealthy Portuguese bohemian who was canonised and made Doctor of the Church after a life preaching to the poor. Ironically, although Lisbon’s patron saint is Saint Vincent of Saragossa, whose remains are housed in the Sé Cathedral, there are no festivities associated with this saint(Sony VGN-CR21S Battery).
Eduardo VII Park, the second largest park in the city following the Parque Florestal de Monsanto (Monsanto Forest Park), extends down the main avenue (Avenida da Liberdade), with many flowering plants and greenspaces, that includes the permanent collection of subtropical and tropical plants in the winter garden (Portuguese: Estufa Fria). Originally named Parque da Liberdade, it was renamed in honour of Edward VII of England who visited Lisbon in 1903(Sony VGN-CR21Z Battery).
The Pavilhão Atlântico, Lisbon's largest and a popular entertainment venue.
Lisbon is home every year to the Lisbon Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, the Lisboarte, the DocLisboa – Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival, the Arte Lisboa – Contemporary Art Fair, the Festival of the Oceans, the International Organ Festival of Lisbon, the MOTELx – Lisbon International Horror Film Festival, the Lisbon Village Festival, the Festival Internacional de Máscaras e Comediantes(Sony VGN-CR31S Battery), the Lisboa Mágica – Street Magic World Festival, the Monstra – Animated Film Festival, the Lisbon Book Fair, the Peixe em Lisboa – Lisbon Fish and Flavours, the Lisbon International Handicraft Exhibition, the Lisbon Photo Marathon, the IndieLisboa – International Independent Film Festival, the Alkantara Festival, the Temps d´Images Festival and the Jazz in August festival. (Sony VGN-CR31E Battery)
Lisbon has been home five times (in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012) to Rock in Rio, one of the world's largest pop-rock festivals. Annual popular music events within the metropolitan area include the Optimus Alive! and Super Bock Super Rock festivals.
Lisbon is also home to the Lisbon Architecture Triennial, the Moda Lisboa (Fashion Lisbon), ExperimentaDesign – Biennial of Design and LuzBoa – Biennial of Light.
In addition, the mosaic Portuguese pavement (Calçada Portuguesa) was born in Lisbon, in the mid-1800s(Sony VGN-CR31Z Battery). The art has since spread to the rest of the Portuguese Speaking world. The city remains one of the most expansive examples of the technique, nearly all walkways and even many streets being created and maintained in this style.
In terms of Portuguese cities, Lisbon was considered the most livable in a survey of living conditions published yearly by Expresso.
Sport Lisboa e Benfica's Estadio da Luz, Lisbon and Portugal's largest stadium.
Lisbon has a long sporting tradition. It hosted several matches, including the final, of the UEFA Euro 2004 championship(Sony VGN-CR41Z Battery). The city also played host to the final of the 2001 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the European Fencing Championships in 1983 and 1992, as well as the 2003 World Men's Handball Championship, and the 2008 European Judo Championships. From 2006 to
The city hosts three association football clubs in Portugal's highest league, the Primeira Liga, including its most successful club of all time, Sport Lisboa e Benfica. Commonly known as just Benfica(Sony VGN-CR41S Battery), the club have won 32 league titles in addition to two European Cups. The city's second-most successful club is Sporting Clube de Portugal (commonly known as Sporting or in the English-speaking world as Sporting Lisbon), winner of 18 league titles and the 1964 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. A third club, C.F. Os Belenenses (commonly Belenenses or Belenenses Lisbon), based in the Belém quarter, have won a solitary league title.
Other sports, such as indoor football, handball, basketball and roller hockey are also popular. There are many other sport facilities in Lisbon(Sony VGN-CR41E Battery), ranging from athletics to sailing to golf to mountain-biking. Every March the city hosts the Lisbon Half Marathon, while in September the Portugal Half Marathon.
Lisbon has two UEFA category four stadiums; Benfica's Estádio da Luz (Stadium of Light), with a capacity of over 65,000 and Sporting's Estádio José Alvalade, with a capacity of over 50,000. There is also Belenenses' Estádio do Restelo, with a capacity of over 30,000. The Estádio Nacional, in nearby Oeiras, has a capacity of 37,000 (Sony VGN-CR42Z Battery)and was used exclusively for Portuguese international football matches and cup finals until the construction of larger stadia in the city. It held the 1967 European Cup Final.