Lisbon | Portugal

Lisbon (/ˈlɪzbən/; Portuguese: Lisboa, IPA: [liʒˈboɐ] (About this sound listen)) is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 552,700 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km². Its urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.7 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (which represents approximately 27% of the country's population). It is continental Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost areas of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains.

Lisbon is recognised as a alpha-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism. Lisbon is the only Portuguese city besides Porto to be recognised as a global city. It is one of the major economic centres on the continent, with a growing financial sector and one of the largest container ports on Europe's Atlantic coast. Additionally, Humberto Delgado Airport served 26.7 million passengers in 2017, being the busiest airport in Portugal, the 3rd busiest in the Iberian Peninsula and the 20th busiest in Europe, and the motorway network and the high-speed rail system of Alfa Pendular links the main cities of Portugal (such as Braga, Porto and Coimbra) to Lisbon. The city is the 9th-most-visited city in Southern Europe, after Rome, Istanbul, Barcelona, Milan, Venice, Madrid, Florence and Athens, with 3,320,300 tourists in 2017. The Lisbon region contributes with a higher GDP PPP per capita than any other region in Portugal. Its GDP amounts to 96.3 billion USD and thus $32,434 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. It is also the political centre of the country, as its seat of Government and residence of the Head of State.

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and one of the oldest in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by centuries. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the 5th century, it was captured by the Moors in the 8th 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.

The city prospered as piracy was eliminated and technological advances were introduced, consequently 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. 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. 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. Among the majority of Latin speakers lived a large minority of Greek traders and slaves.

Around 80 BC, the Roman Quintus Sertorius led a rebellion against the dictator Sulla. During this period, he organised the tribes of Lusitania and Hispania and was on the verge of forming an independent province in the Sertorian War when he was assassinated.

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: 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.

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. 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.

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.

The westernmost part of Lisbon is occupied by the Parque Florestal de Monsanto (English: Monsanto Forest Park), a 10 km2 (4 sq mi) urban park, one of the largest in Europe, and occupying ten percent of the municipality.

The city occupies an area of 100.05 km2 (39 sq mi), and its city boundaries, unlike those of most major cities, coincide with those of the municipality. The rest of the urbanised area of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, known generically as Greater Lisbon (Portuguese: Grande Lisboa), extends to the city of Setúbal and includes several administratively defined cities and municipalities, such as Amadora, Queluz, Agualva-Cacém, Odivelas, Loures, Sacavém, Almada, Barreiro, Seixal and Oeiras

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 and Pedro Álvares Cabral departed for Brazil in 1499. It is also a former royal residence and features the 17th–18th century Belém Palace, a former royal residence 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 l (1515–1520) to guard the entrance to the port. It stood on a little island in right side of the Tagus, surrounded by water. 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) built for the Portuguese World Fair in 1940. 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 Lisbon districts. Here is located the Estádio do Restelo, house of Belenenses.

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.

Lisbon is home every year to the Lisbon Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, the Lisboarte, the DocLisboa – Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival, the Festival Internacional de Máscaras e Comediantes, the Lisboa Mágica – Street Magic World Festival, the Monstra – Animated Film Festival, the Lisbon Book Fair, the Peixe em Lisboa – Lisbon Fish and Flavours, and many others.

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 the Expo '98 (1998 Lisbon World Exposition).

Humberto Delgado Airport is located within the city limits. It is the headquarters and hub for TAP Portugal as well as a hub for Easyjet, Azores Airlines, Ryanair, EuroAtlantic Airways, White Airways, and Hi Fly. A second airport has been proposed, but the project has been put on hold because of the Portuguese and European economic crisis, and also because of the long discussion on whether a new airport is needed. However, the last proposal is military air base in Montijo that would be replaced by a civil airport. So, Lisbon would have two airports, the current airport in north and a new in the south of the city.

Cascais Aerodrome, 20 km West of the city centre, in Cascais, offers commercial domestic flights.

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