Properties for sale in the Center of Portugal
Lisbon is a fascinating city. It has been the capital of Portugal ever since 1256. Lisbon was for a period occupied by the Moors and Afonso Henriques liberated Lisbon in 1147.
We know from the evidence found on excavation sites that Lisbon was already a settlement in the Bronze Age.
Lisbon has endured several Earth quakes the earliest recored one took place in 1505, followed by a second one only a few short years later in 1512.
The Quake however which caused the most damage was the one which followed in 1755. This Earthquake left almost nothing standing what was by than an already important and beautiful city. The centre of Lisbon was totally destroyed.
Marquês do Pombal was given by the King the opportunity to create a new Lisbon. He created wide avenues, plazas and streets which did not resemble anything ever seen before. Lisbon became the most modern city of its time and one of the wealthiest too. Lisbon housed at that time around 650,000 people.
The Lisbon District of Baixa
This part of Lisbon was the pride of the Marquês do Pombal and centre piece of his beloved Lisbon. He named the streets after the the type of homes and businesses they homed, such as Banks and and trading Houses. Names like Rua do Ouro (gold), Rua da Prata (silver), Rua dos Sapateiros (shoemakers), and Praça do Comércio (trading) gave precise notice of what type of business was to be found in ta particular street.
Many businesses had to move out of Baixa as they could not expand and are now located in other more modern parts of the Lisbon. But there sre still mmany institutions who satyed inn their historic buildings, such as the fish market at Cais de Sodré.
Places to visit if you like old and beautiful architecture are the squares of Praça do Comércio and the Rossio. Of further interest is also the church of Conceição Velha, the Sé (Cathedral), and the 16th Century Casa dos Bicos.
The Lisbon District of Alfama
Alfama is the oldest area of Libon which has survived, and this district lies under the walls of the Castle of São Jorge continuing all the way down to the Baixa.
Narrow tiny streets and small plazas and squares lets you see into a time gone by.
The ancient Moorish quarter known as Mouraria is as real as it was than, still a residential area, but at night time it is transformed into a busy night life scene with bars and taverns where you can hear Fado.
Here you find the medieval quarter of Santa Cruz, and certain old very narrow streets, Rua de São Miguel, Rua de São Pedro and Largo do Chafariz de Dentro.
Tuesdays and Saturdays in the morning on the edges of Alfama, at the Campo de Santa Clara, there is a "flea market" known as "Feira da Ladra" and you should make an effort to go and see the market..
The Lisbon District of Bairro Alto
is located on the opposite hill from the Alfama and is linked with the Baixa by a top class shopping street named Chiado.
Here you can find some of Lisbon’s select society shops selling famous brand names alongside national products. The Chiado has its own special cafes, and are popular meeting places for writers and artists.
A novel way to reach the Bairro Alto from the Baixa is to use the "Elevador de Santa Justa" designed and built by the French architect "Eiffel". The very same who has designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris. You can also use one of the two "funicular-like" trams- The Bairro Alto originally developed in the 16th Century as a residential quarter for traders, has now become a centre for nightlife with many classy restaurants, bars and clubs.
A fantastic ruin caused by the earthquake of 1755 is the 14th Century Igreja de Carmo, and the chapel that survived the quake has been converted into an Archaeological Museum.
It’s maybe surprising, but The Alentejo is the largest region in Portugal. Lots and lots of countryside it was one the most important agricultural area in the country. The Alentejo has some fantastic beaches which can compete with any beaches anywhere.
Agriculture is still the main income source of The Alentejo, this beautiful part of the Portugal. The produce consists mainly from: olives, wines, cork, eucalyptus, grain, sunflower, carthame, fruit, lamb, pigs, as well as some remarkable good quality granite, schist and marble.
The Alentejo has a varied countryside, open countryside to the south of The Alentejo, and the hill of granite which border on the Spain in the north-east. The variety of the landscape of The Alentejo is simply extraordinary.
Such a vast area of land needs water and The Alentejo has one of the largest water surfaces in Europe. Located in Moura which is the centre of the agriculture in The Alentejo is the largest dam in Portugal.
The Alentejo has its very own National Park too; To the east of the town Portalegre is The Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede. You should visit the medieval villages and you will see that not much has changed since those long bygone days
Mértola another town worth visiting has its National Park area as well, named Parque Natural do Vale Guadiana. This Nature reserve is almost uninhabited unlike The Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede. is mainly uninhabited and is a contrast to the previous one. To the west lies the coastal area of The Alentejo which runs from the sea port of Sines all the way to Cape de São Vicente. This is also a protected area with miles of sandy beaches. Beja is the capital of the the "Baixo Alentejo" (South Alentejo), the capital of the Alto Alentejo (North Alentejo) is Évora.
Both Beja as well as Evora have a long and interesting history. Their historic richness reflects on the turbulent times both The Alentejo and these cities have had. Their history is rich and ruins and historic buildings are plentiful. These buildings tell a story of battles invasions and occupation, either by Moors, Vandals, Romans, or rival royal families of Portugal
If you are interested in experiencing this truly special part of Portugal, The Alentejo, you should do it by staying in the many Pousadas. These “Guesthouses” are full of history and magnificent architecture.
Visit The Alentejo you will never forget the experience.