Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, located on the mouth of the river Tagus along the Atlantic Ocean.
According to a legend Lisbon was founded by the Greek hero Odysseus. The history of this city goes back more than 3000 years. Archaeological findings uncovered remains that point to the possible existence of a Phoenician settlement. Around 200 BC the Romans conquered Lisbon. After the collapse of the Roman empire, the city was conquered by Germanic tribes and a period of decay started. After the Mores conquered most of the Iberian peninsula, the city started to flourish and became again an important trade center.
Alfonso Henriques, who became Portugal's first king in 1139, conquered the city together with crusader Gilbert of Hastings in 1147. After victory Alfonso started to convert an existing fortress to a royal palace: Castelo de São Jorge. At the same time construction of the Sé Catedral de Lisboa started and Gilbert became bishop of Lisbon.
The city strongly and quickly developed on both cultural and economical level. In 1290, the university of Lisbon was founded. With the expeditions of Vasco da Gama around 1500, the Portuguese golden age started. King Manuel I started with the construction of the Hieronymites Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos), upon return of da Gama.
On November the 1st 1755, Lisbon was struck by a heavy earthquake that took the lives of more than 15000 people around Lisbon and an estimated total of 40000 to 50000 people in Portugal, Spain and Morocco. After these horrible events, the city was largely rebuilt on initiative of the first Marquis of Pombal. His influence can be clearly seen in the rather rigid street pattern of the southern part of Lisbon's quarter Baixa. Also under Salazar's regime many constructions were erected like for instance 'Ponte 25 de Abril', which resembles to San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge and which was constructed by the same company. More recently, in 1998 Lisbon hosted the world exposition.
The excellent weather, location along the Atlantic Ocean and abundance in different architectural styles over a long period make the city of seven hills very distinguished from any other European city.