Lisboa, or as commonly known, Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal is a wonderful mix of cultures and traditions inherited over the past twenty centuries. This beautiful metropolis blends in influences of the Moorish and Roman invasions in the form of their architectural buildings, museums, music, festivals of worship dedicated to Roman saints and in countless other day to day activities.
This city built over seven hills, has impressively reconstructed itself after the massive earthquake and tsunami of 1755, which had reduced it to rubble. A culturally vibrant city, Lisboetas (the inhabitants of Lisbon) love their fast paced life, their cultural events, their nightlife, their music to name a few. The streets will leave you mesmerized with its energy – fish sellers with their wares, musicians performing, chestnut sellers, artists displaying their paintings, performing statues and what not.
Traditionally, June is the busiest month filled with feasts representing Portuguese culture. This month packs in partying, festivities and parades honoring Lisboetas beliefs in Roman and Christian saints. The most revered saints being Saint John, Saint Peter and Saint Anthony. The most popular festival is festa de Santo António, held in the month of June, in honor of Saint Anthony a Franciscan Friar who was canonized as a Catholic saint on June 13th 1232. Saint Anthony is chiefly popular as a matchmaker saint and young couples express their love for each other during these festival days. The air is rent with music, dancing and the aroma of grilled sardines and freshly baked traditional bread. Popular festivals also include the St. Pedro Festival in Montijo in June, festas do Colete Encarnado in July, Sea festival at the picturesque fishing village of Sesimbra in September.
Music and Dance festivals are also a part of Lisbon which enchants everyone and Lisbon culture is incomplete without the famous Fado. This popular music form which means "a common human feeling", is a variety of Fado performed by women and encompasses human emotions of love, forgotten old times, pain and suffering. Coimbra Fado the other variant is said to have been performed by men. This culture of Lisbon has thought to be inherited from Arabic influence and African slave music and traditional music of the Portuguese sailors. A few famous names who perform this art today are Amalia Rodrigues, Mariza and Cristina Branco. Today modern Portuguese music is a blend of the rural and urban and the performers mostly African- Portuguese. Pimba, a folk music form is popular and played in the rural belts. Some popular dances of Lisbon are the Circle dance and the Fandango.
Portuguese literature too has ancient roots and dates back to the 12th and 13th century and was developed mostly in the form of text and songs. The strongest influence of Lisbon's culture can probably be seen most in its architectural wonders which dot the city. The Belem tower, built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama's voyage is one such famous landmark whose Gothic design and impressive construction is a big draw. It is in fact declared as a UNESCO World heritage site.
Traditionally rich, culturally vibrant, Lisbon is a city which any traveler should not miss out on. To do so will be losing out on discovering one of the world's most beautiful cultures, people and history.
Accommodation In Lisbon - About the Author:
Salovani-Travelling To Lisbon is a portuguese familiar owned company. Their apartments are located in the heart of the old Lisbon centre, some of them with stunning panoramic views of the castle and city. The main tourist sights are within easy walking distance.