Lisbon’s Past And Present

The city of Lisbon has a rich history, with periods of prosperity and declination. Even at the beginning of the Roman rule in 205 BC, it was already a thousand year-old town. Today it is the largest city and the capital of Portugal, and it is ranked as an alpha global city.

The Past

Some historians, basing on archeological findings, believe that Lisbon was a Phoenician trading post as early as 1200 BC, while others think that Lisbon in an ancient settlement that maintained commercial relations with the Phoenicians.

The Romans ruled Lisbon, then known as Olissipo from 205 BC. Julius Caesar (100 BC – 44 BC) named it Felicitas Julia, which was then a thriving shipping and trading town.

A Roman general and politician named Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus fortified the city in the 2nd century BC. Other structures built by the Romans were the Cassian Baths under today’s Rua da Prata, a great theater, temples, and a large necropolis. Ruins of a large forum and buildings built by the Romans can be found between Castle Hill and Downtown.

After the Roman rule, Lisbon was a Christian city from which Christianity was disseminated. Then it was invaded and ruled by Germanic tribes from the 5th century. Three hundred years later, in 711, the Moors took Lisbon.

Under the Moors, Lisbon prospered again. A new city wall was built, as well as many houses and mosques. The influence of the Moors is still present today. Then in 1147 the Crusaders re-conquered Lisbon, which marked a very significant event in its history. From then on, Lisbon prospered.

From 15th to 17th century, Portuguese made expeditions that discovered countries like India and Brazil. Impressive landmarks like Monasterio dos Jeronimos, Torre de Belem and Praca do Comercio were built within this period. The 16tth century was the golden age of Lisbon.

In 1755, the place was struck by a strong earthquake. From the ruins, the city was redesigned and rebuilt. Then series of political disputes and instabilities rocked Lisbon in the following years. Two world wars passed, and by the latter part of the 20th century, Lisbon stabilized. In 1986, Lisbon was admitted to the EU.

The Present

As the capital of Portugal, Lisbon is among the world’s top cities and is the gateway to commercial and industrial industries of the entire Lisbon Region, which is Portugal’s wealthiest region and which produces more than a third of Portugal’s Gross Domestic Product.

In this digital age, Lisbon City has been one of the biggest contributors to the economic development of Portugal and the social well being of its people. Its seaports, for one, are best manifestations of the vibrant economy of the region. The import and export industries serve well in boosting of the development of Lisbon. Many businessmen and investors have also taken into consideration the well-developed economy and peaceful environment of Lisbon as a perfect place to do business. Right now, this city houses hundreds of commercial establishments wherein foreigners and locals alike can dine and unwind.

Its tourism sector is also making waves as Lisbon City is the abode of many historical museums and natural parks. The cozy ambience of its downtown area suits well for tourists who just want to enjoy Lisbon’s serenity as well as the nightlife it has when evening strikes. It is also the favorite get-away place for artists since the city offers scenic views of nature’s wonders as well as museums that transport someone back to the historical events of Lisbon. The good natured and friendly people of Lisbon have contributed as well to the influx of tourists and investors in the city.

Lisbon is now one of the key players in the world of geo-politics and world market. It is an important member of the European Union and the haven of great architectural works. Wide roads, world-class bridges and skyscraper buildings as well as monumental parks clearly mark the prosperity and attraction that the city possesses.