How much do you know about Lisbon? This is a short list of interesting facts about Lisbon, most of which you probably did not know. This knowledge will help you take a fresh look at one of the oldest cities in Europe.
1. Lisbon is not a city of seven hills
Most locals will tell you, “Welcome to the city of the seven hills.” The fact is that this statement is not true. They are deliberately misunderstood in order to make Lisbon more like Rome, also known as the city of the seven hills.
2. The highest hill
Graça is the highest of Lisbon’s hills, but it has been removed from the original and official list. The seven lucky ones lined up in this order: San Jorge, San Vicente, San Roque, Santo Andre, Santa Catarina, Chagas and Santa Anna.
3. All crows were called Vincents
Ravens have been a symbol of the city since 1173, when they accompanied the body of Saint Vincent to Lisbon, where he was buried. You will always find crows in the castle of San Jorge and below at Se. Every coal merchant in the city kept ravens as pets. All these beloved pets have always had the same name: Vicente, in honor of the saint.
4The First City To Import Guinness
It is not in the Guinness Book of World Records, but records from 1811 show that Lisbon was the first city in the world to import Guinness beer. O’Gillins and Hennessy’s are among the few pubs in Lisbon where you can enjoy a perfectly poured pint of Guinness — continuing a tradition that is over 203 years old.
5. Delicacies on the Tagus River
The Tagus River is not the most attractive of the rivers. No one (in their right mind) wants to plunge into its waters. But the world-famous oysters once grew in this river.
Interesting article: Azulejo: Portuguese Tile Art
6. Two imitator monuments
The Portuguese cardinal visited Rio de Janeiro in 1934, just three years after the completion of the famous Brazilian monument to Christ the Redeemer. He was so impressed that he decided that Lisbon should have one just like it. This is how the monument to Christ the King (Cristo Rei) appeared. Similarly, in 1532 Bras de Albuquerque traveled to Italy, saw the Diamanti Palace in Ferrara, returned and decided to build the House of Thorns.
The highest officials of the Catholic Church in Portugal justified the statue of Christ the King, saying that it was a sign of gratitude to God for answering a special prayer to keep Portugal out of World War II.
8. This is one of the smallest bookstores in the world.
Bertrand is known as the world’s oldest bookstore, and this is a well-known fact. But Livraria do Simao is one of the smallest with an area of only 3.8 square meters. meters. However, it holds 4,000 books! It is so small that when a customer enters, the store owner usually leaves the premises.
9 Spies Came To Lisbon From All Over The World
Interesting spy fact: During the Second World War, the richest European refugees created a small community around the casinos of the city of Estoril near Lisbon. They spent their days on the beach, dancing the night away, having banquets. And when they gambled, the stakes were much higher than you think. The best spies of all Western countries worked hard in these circles. The most famous is Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels, who was here in the service of British Naval Intelligence.
10. Cafe seats for writers
In one of Lisbon’s classic cafes, Martinho da Arcada, there are two tables that remain empty and are constantly “reserved”. One for Fernando Pessoa, Portugal’s most popular poet, and one for Nobel laureate José Saramago, Portugal’s most beloved writer.
Continuing the theme of the sights of Lisbon: Restauradores Square and the Monument to the Restorers
11. The World’s Only Public Tie Mirror
At least there is no other city in the world with such a mirror. You will find it next to door number 115 in Piazza D. Pedro IV. The inscription reads: “Put in order the knot of your tie” (componentha o no da sua gravata).
13. Only five people know the recipe for Lisbon’s favorite pastry.
In a city where no one keeps secrets, there are still secrets. The secret recipe for Pastel de Belen has never been written down and is only transmitted orally. However, with great secrecy comes great responsibility, and the keepers of this recipe take special precautions: they never travel in the same plane, get into the same car, or order the same dish in a restaurant.
14. Lisbon and Freemasonry
It is said that the whole Baixa was designed and built on the principles of Masons: there are seven streets (one of which is Golden Street and the other is Silver Street), three squares, two columns by the river, one triumphal arch and many other facts. It is difficult to say whether this is somewhat true, because freemasonry is covered with a veil of mystery.
15. Lisbon — Capital?
Technically, Lisbon is not the capital of Portugal. There are no official documents confirming this fact. The city became the capital by accident when King Alfonso III settled with his court in Lisbon. This made sense since Lisbon was already the largest and most important city in Portugal.
16. Bridge 17 kilometers long
Vasco da Gama Bridge is the longest bridge in Europe, its length exceeds 17 kilometers. Related fact: The Guinness Book of Records writes about a dinner attended by 15,000 people. Where was this dinner? Yes, on the Vasco da Gama bridge when it opened in 1998.
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