According to an ancient myth, Lisbon was founded by the hero Odysseus when he was finally on his way home after ten years of wandering. Such an historic event requires a fitting song. Fortunately, the Portuguese have the right solution for that…
The Portuguese capital (Lisboa in Portuguese) is situated on the Tagus River near the Atlantic Ocean. The city consists of a number of districts with Baixa Pombalina (Lower Town) as its centre. Here you will find the pleasant squares of Rossio and Praça dos Restauradores.
The Moorish district of Alfama is located east of the city centre. Narrow streets and even narrower alleys create an almost medieval atmosphere. This is reinforced by the many restaurants that play fado. Fado is the traditional Portuguese folk-blues. It describes the sorrows of life and is, therefore, always full of emotion. The songs are often melancholic and wistful, but can also be happy and enthusiastic.
In the district of Santa Maria de Belém you will find two showpieces of the city: Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. The first is a military defense tower, the second is the late-Gothic Hieronymites Monastery, an architectural masterpiece where national hero Vasco da Gama is buried.
The nightlife can mostly found in the Bairro Alto (Upper Town). There are many fado houses here as well; you only need to follow your ears. Additionally, there are a number of jazz clubs and free open-air concerts are frequently organised as well. So set out, experience the Portuguese rhythm of life and discover your own fado.
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