Lisbon, the capital and cultural centre of Portugal
Lisbon (Portuguese Lisboa [liʒˈβoɐ]) is the capital and largest city of Portugal as well as the administrative district of the same name and is located at a bay of the estuary of the Tejo river in the extreme southwest of Europe at the Atlantic coast of the Iberian peninsula.
The commercial port at the Tejo bay was called Alis Ubbo before the Roman rule. Lisbon, founded by the Phoenicians, was given Roman town charter in Julius Caesar's time under the name Colonia Felicitas Iulia. In 711, like most of the Iberian peninsula, the town fell to the Moors; in the context of the Second Crusade, Lisbon became Portuguese in 1147 and was thus placed under Christian rule again. After the relocation of the royal seat of Coimbra in 1256, under King Afonso III, the city became the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal. Around 1500, Lisbon experienced a brilliant rise to become one of the most glamorous trading and port cities of its time.
A violent earthquake in 1755 sealed the city's economic decline, which had begun decades earlier, and caused a sensation throughout Europe. In the 19th century Lisbon experienced a resurgence.
In recent years, however, the city has shrunk massively (from over 800,000 inhabitants around 1980 to around 500,000 around 2017); many people have moved to the surrounding area. Lisbon has to contend with considerable structural problems, including the dilapidated structure of many buildings and the enormous amount of road traffic.
Lisbon is still the largest city in Portugal, with the most important port, the seat of government, the highest state and government authorities, several universities and the Academy of Sciences, and is today the political, economic and cultural centre of the country.
Lisbon is the seat of several European Union agencies, including the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and the European Maritime Safety Agency. The Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) also has its headquarters in Lisbon.