From the cobblestone streets to the old city walls, Lisbon is filled with reminders of its past. As such, it’s no surprise that Lisbon is often referred to as “The Soul of a Nation”.
Located on seven hills along the Tagus River estuary, Lisbon has been an important port since ancient times. The Phoenicians are believed to have settled here around 1200 BC and were followed by Greeks who established trading posts in the area. During Roman rule (200 BC-400 AD), Lisbon was known as Olissipo or Felicitas Julia and became one of the most critical cities in Lusitania Province. It was during this time that some of Lisbon’s iconic structures were built, including Trajan’s Arch, which still stands today.
In 1147, Christian forces captured Lisbon from Muslim rulers, ending nearly 500 years of Moorish rule over Iberia Peninsula. This event marked a significant turning point for Portugal as it began to develop into a powerful nation-state under King Afonso Henriques I who declared independence from Spain in 1143. Following his death in 1185, Alfonso II continued his father’s legacy by establishing Portuguese maritime trade routes, which allowed for increased wealth and power throughout Europe.
During this period, several architectural masterpieces were constructed including Belém Tower (1519), Jeronimos Monastery (1502), Sao Jorge Castle (1147), among others. These sites are now considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to their immense historical importance. They also reflect Portugal’s strong ties with other European nations at this time – particularly Spain – through their shared Catholic faith.
Today, visitors can explore these historic sites while taking part in various cultural activities such as fado music performances or traditional Portuguese cuisine tastings, all while enjoying stunning views across the Tagus River estuary.