Lisbon is rich in history, but many people are not aware of its heritage.
The reality is that it is one of the oldest cities in the world, older even than the capital of Italy, Rome.
The data also shows that the only city older than Lisbon that is effectively certified in Athens.
Whether it’s to get to college or simply to enjoy the scenery and watch a beautiful sunset from the highest points of the city, one of the most famous attractions in Lisbon is the yellow trams that can take you to different parts of the city.
However, you might be surprised to learn that the trams you see winding through the streets of Lisbon are, in fact, American.
These icons of the capital are replicas of the horse-drawn carriages that transported people through Harlem, New York, and New Orleans before switching to the rails.
Lisbon trams used to be called “Americanos” in Portugal.
Lisbon’s best attraction is invisible
When looking for the best things to do in Lisbon, it’s normal to opt for some museums, shops, or cocktails in Bairro Alto.
However, the most fascinating thing to visit is actually almost invisible during most of the year: the Roman Galleries.
These galleries are only open a few days a year in September due to the difficulty of access and the fact that they are flooded most of the time. Therefore, a lot of work needs to be done to prepare them for public visits.
It is worth noting that they were created by Emperor Augustus, between the 1st and 1st centuries AD. If you get the chance to go, they offer a fascinating insight into Lisbon’s history.
Belem Tower was just a customs house
When looking at outstanding Portuguese landmarks, it’s hard to go further than Torre de Belem. The architecture and history behind this monument speak for themselves and that is why so many people visit it every year.
However, recent discoveries suggest that this tower was built to be a customs house only, and not to serve as a defense of anything real. Nevertheless, this building is a must-see.
Fado means destiny
A Portuguese custom that you will probably only get to know after spending a lot of time in Lisbon is Fado.
Using the Latin word “fatum”, performances of this musical genre are held in restaurants throughout the city and are enjoyed with good food and wine.
Their themes, sometimes melancholic, range from the fact that they are written and set to music to discussing one’s fate.
Lisbon has Christ the King!
The Catholic monument was erected to celebrate the nation’s survival during World War II.
You’re unlikely to miss this great landmark, but it doesn’t hurt to learn a little about the history behind this great Lisbon attraction.
Baika Pombalina in Lisbon is the result of an earthquake
The beautiful Pombalina buildings now located in Praca do Comercio were built after the earthquake.
Yes, the entire Baica Pombalina, a famous attraction of the Portuguese capital, has been restored after being completely wiped out by Mother Nature.
You can walk along the Lisbon Aqueduct
Did you know that you can walk and explore the Aguas Livres Aqueduct, in the Alcantara Valley?
Away from the prying eyes of tour groups, this huge 18th-century aqueduct is 19 km long.
It survived the earthquake of 1755 and is now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lisbon has one of the most expensive chapels in the world
The Church of São Roque was the first Jesuit church in Portugal and one of the first in the world.
Considered one of the most outstanding examples of European art, the church of São Roque has elaborate gold-decorated chapels from Baroque architecture, including the “most expensive chapel in the world.”