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Geography and Landscape


Costa de Lisboa is, as the name suggests, the coast of Lisbon. Major coastal areas are Cascais and Estoril. Lisboa is a district in Portugal. With an area of 2761 km² It's the fourth largest district. The district of Lisbon borders north on Leiria, east on Santarém, south-east on Setúbal and west on the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of the district and the country is the city of Lisbon.


The Costa de Lisboa landscape includes rocky bays, long sand beaches and forests.

Costa da Caparica, LisbonCosta da Caparica, LisbonPhoto: Antonio Periago Miñarro CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Climate and Weather

Cascais sunset lighters on the Costa de LisboaCascais sunset lighters on the Costa de LisboaPhoto: Nelson L CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

The Portuguese capital's climate is moderate with hot and dry summers. The average annual temperature is 16,8 °C and the annual precipitation is 753 mm. This rain falls mainly in late autumn and winter. At other times, it is usually quite sunny, because the sun shines over 2700 hours a year.

During winter, many Atlantic depression is coming along Portugal. In December, January and February, 110 mm falls monthly. It's also sunny in winter. Due to its location on the Atlantic, it is soft with temperatures around 14 degrees. It is almost never before night frost.

In March and April it is getting slightly milder, the temperature is around 18°C on average; it is therefore becoming dryer and sunny. Low-pressure areas follow a more northern course and the influence of the high-pressure area over the Azores is increasing. Which causes more sun and less rain. The temperatures are usually between 20 and 25 degrees.

Plants and Animals


Cork Oaks Portugal Cork Oaks PortugalPhoto: Bextrel CC 4.0 International no changes made

In the Costa de Lisboa you can see eucalyptus, maples, chestnuts, cork oaks and ferns. Portugal is the largest producer of cork and cork products. Portugal has 30% of all cork oaks in the world. Herbs include rosemary, thyme and lavender.


Sardines, Portugal Sardines, PortugalPhoto: Notafly CC 4.0 International no changes made

Costa de Lisboa is home to a variety of animals, including mongoose, fallow deer and roe deer. The fish-rich seas around the Costa de Lisboa have been successfully exploited for centuries (sardine, anchovy, cod). This area is also an important intermediate station for bird migration. Waders, avocets, curlews and godwits are the main migratory birds. There are also eagles, owls, buzzards and guillemots.



Remains of a roman theater in lisbon Remains of a roman theater in lisbonPhoto: Adam Jones CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

According to legend, Lisbon was founded by the Greek hero Odysseus on his long journey home, the Odyssey. Around 1200 BC. a Phoenician trading post was created. Around 200 BC. the city was conquered by the Romans. When the Roman Empire fell, the city fell into the hands of peoples from the north and fell into disrepair.

Moorish Castle in Sintra 25 kilometers from lissabbon Moorish Castle in Sintra 25 kilometers from lissabbonPhoto: Lacobrigo CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Among the Muslims, who invaded around 714, the city flourished and became an important trading center again. The town's name was al-Ushbuna or al-Ishbunah. During a raid in 798, Alfonso II of Asturias fell. entered the city, but was unable to keep it. The Umayyads of Andalusia took town on a rebellious Muslim, Tumlus in 809. In 955, it was Ordoño III of León who sacked Lisbon and imposed peace on Caliph Abd-ar-Rahman III. From 1022, Lisbon formed the independent Taifa of Lisbon. Raymond of Burgundy, heir to Galicia, entered Santarém and Lisbon in 1093. Yusuf ibn Tashfin Emir of the Almoravids from Morocco recaptured the city in 1094. In 1111 it was again the Almoravids, now under Sir ibn Abi Bakr, who took Lisbon and Santarém.

King Alfonso I of Portugal King Alfonso I of PortugalPhoto: RickMorais CC 4.0 International no changes made

King Alfonso I of Portugal, who had proclaimed himself the first king of the initially smaller Portugal in 1139, conquered Lisbon on October 21, 1147, after a failed attack in 1140, with help from the crusader Gilbert of Hastings, among others. The siege lasted 17 weeks and the Muslims eventually vomited from hunger. The Christians staged a true massacre among the residents (154,000) of al-Ushbuna, making little distinction between Christians and Muslims. For example, the 'bishop' of the city, along with a delegation of other Christian and Muslim leaders, was also murdered by the Crusaders. The remaining Muslims were given a free retreat and, along with al-Ushbuna, also left al-Ma'din (Almada) on the south bank of the Tagus.

Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon Castelo de São Jorge in LisbonPhoto: Vitor Oliveira CC 2.0 Generic no changes made
Alfonso I then had an existing fortress on a hill converted into a royal palace. The Castelo de São Jorge fulfilled this role until the early 16th century. The cathedral where Hastings was the first bishop of Lisbon, was also built. The seat moved from Coimbra and Lisbon became the capital of Portugal in 1255.
The city developed strongly, both economically and culturally; For example, in 1290 the University of Lisbon was founded which later moved to Coimbra and is still standing today. With Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India, around 1500, the Portuguese Golden Age began. King Manuel I had the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos built after Da Gama's return.

Marqu & ecirc; s van Pombal examines plans for the construction of Lisbon Marqu & ecirc; s van Pombal examines plans for the construction of LisbonPhoto: RickMorbais CC 4.0 International no changes made

On November 1, 1755, the city hit by a major earthquake (better known as the Lisbon earthquake). The many deaths, 15,000 according to some sources, were caused not only by collapses, but also by fires and high waves from the river. Reconstruction began under the pragmatic prime minister, the later Marques of Pombal. His influence is reflected in the austere street plan of the south of the Baixa district. The 20th century dictator António de Oliveira Salazar also modernized the city. In 1998 Lisbon hosted the Expo '98 World Exhibition.

See also the history of Portugal on Landenweb.


Portuguese stroll in a square in Lisbon Portuguese stroll in a square in LisbonPhoto: Muffin CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

The population of the area including the city of Lisbon is almost 3 million. (2013 census). Many Portuguese citizens live abroad, mostly for economic reasons. Following the decolonization of Angola and Mozambique, hundreds of thousands of so-called retornado have returned to the mother country. Some of them have emigrated to Brazil after some time.


Portuguese Language Map Portuguese Language MapPhoto: Public domain

The official language is Portuguese. Portuguese is a Romance language and is closely related to Spanish. However, the pronunciation is very different. Portuguese has a unique sound and is immediately recognizable. Anyone who has ever listened to Fado music will recognize both the raw and melancholic of this language. Portuguese is a global language and is spoken by more than 160 million people, especially in Brazil. that is archaic in pronunciation and vocabulary than the language spoken in Portugal. In terms of sentence structure, on the other hand, it is more modern. Due to the many influences of other languages, Brazilian Portuguese has about 10,000 words more than Portuguese in Portugal.


Church of the holy cross in Braga, Portugal Church of the holy cross in Braga, PortugalPhoto: Jose Goncalves CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The former national church of Portugal is the Roman Catholic Church. About 80% of the population claims to be Catholic, although mass participation has been declining in recent years. There are three archdioceses, namely Braga, Évora and Lisbon, with eight, two and eight dioceses respectively. Lisbon has been the seat of a patriarch since 1716, who has also been a cardinal since 1736.

Fatima, a catholic pilgrimage site in Portugal Fatima, a catholic pilgrimage site in PortugalPhoto: Güldem Üstün CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Portugal has a tradition of Marian worship, the most famous religious cult in Portugal is the alleged apparition of the Virgin Mary to three children in Cova da Iria, in the village of Fátima, in 1917. The apparition of the Heavenly Mother in this small village in the district of Santarém has led hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima every year, many in hopes of a cure.

The Protestant churches have about 50,000 members. There are also smaller groups of Muslims, Hindus (from the former colony of Goa) and Jews.


State structure

Assembleia da república PortugalAssembleia da república PortugalPhoto: Jose Manuel CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

In 1982 a new constitution, replacing the old one in 1976, came into effect. It abolished the Military Revolutionary Council and limited the president's power. Furthermore, Marxist and socialist elements were removed from the constitution. The president, who is elected every five years by universal suffrage, appoints the prime minister and has the right to dismiss his government. The president is also Commander in Chief of the Army. The government is in a relatively weak position as it is politically accountable to the president and to parliament. The parliament consists of one chamber, the Assembleia da República and consists of 250 members. For the current political situation see chapter history.

Administrative division

Districts of PortugalDistricts of PortugalPhoto: TUBS CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Historically, Portugal has been divided into eleven provinces: Minho, Trás-os-Montes, Alto Douro, Douro Litoral, Beira Alta, Beira Baxia, Estramadura, Ribatejo, Alto Alentejo, Baixo Alentejo and Algarve. Portugal is divided into 18 districts and two autonomous regions (the Azores and Madeira) headed by an appointed governor. The districts are divided into municipalities (concelhos).


Economy Portugal in general

Export PortugalExport PortugalPhoto: R. Haussmann, Cesar Hidalgo, CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

After the revolution of 1974, a large number of industrial companies and banks were nationalized, but by the end of the 1970s, many of these nationalizations were reversed. The new 1982 constitution opened the way to further liberalization of the economy. A number of sectors were opened up to the business community. From 1985, after two years of recession, there was some recovery. Especially the accession to the European Community (EC) in 1986 has benefited the country. Since that year, the average annual growth of the economy has been around 4.6%. The shadow side of the economic recovery is high inflation and the growing trade deficit. Portugal is exceptionally affected by the recession as a result of the credit crisis. In recent years, Portugal has been experiencing an economic contraction of around -2% and high unemployment (8.9% in 2017). The Portuguese economy is now doing much better. In 2017, the economy grew by 2.5%.

In May 2014, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced that Portugal no longer had to rely on emergency loans from other euro countries and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Portugal would try on its own to get its public finances in order. Since 2011, Portugal has been steered through the economic and financial crisis with EUR 78 billion in emergency loans and as a result, the budget deficit had already substantially narrowed.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

Wine cellars Port winesWine cellars Port winesPhoto: Ricardo Martins CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Agriculture contributes 2.2% to the gross national product and provides work for 8.6% of the labor force. Portugal is receiving financial support from the European Union to modernize the agricultural sector. Emphasis is placed on increasing productivity. Farmers are urged to form cooperatives again. Arable farming is carried out on small farms in the north. There is a lot of large land ownership in the south. Although the south, in particular, is very fertile, agriculture does not meet its own needs due to the lagging behind technology and the poor infrastructure. Many foods have to be imported. The main products of arable farming are grain, maize, beans, rye, rice, potatoes, olive oil and wine. Viticulture is mainly concentrated in the valleys of the rivers Minho known for the Vinho Verde, the Douro port! and the Tagus. Livestock farming is mainly carried out in the north. Sheep and pig farming is done on the coast in the provinces south of the Tagus. About 40% of the ground surface is covered with forest. Portugal covers half of the world's cork needs.

Fisheries are of great importance, both for food and for exports. Inshore fisheries mainly fish for sardines, tuna and shellfish. The Portuguese also fish further from home, cod (Bacalhau) is the national food par excellence.

Mining and Industry

Wine cellars Port winesWine cellars Port winesPhoto: Grafton CC 4.0 International no changes made

Portugal does have mineral reserves, but extraction is not very profitable. Only the production of wolframite, copper, tin, lead, coal and iron ore (iron content 50%) is of interest.

Industry contributes 22.1% (2017) to GDP and provides employment for 23.9% of the labor force. Compared to other Western European countries, the industry is still quite poorly developed. Small-scale companies dominate the picture. Lisbon, Porto, Setubal and Sines are the main centers for the industry. Of interest are the textile and fish canning industry, the wine-growing industry, shipbuilding (Lisbon), the petrochemical industry and car assembly.

Energy and trade

Solar power plant in Serpa, PortugalSolar power plant in Serpa, PortugalPhoto: Ceinturion CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The hydropower plants in the north and center of Portugal are of great importance for the energy supply. But Portugal has to import a lot of petroleum to meet its energy needs. Solar energy is now also becoming an important factor.

The exports mainly consist of clothing and textiles, wine, preserved fish, cork, wood and paper. The main buyers are Spain, Germany, France and the rest of the European Union. The total value of exports was $ 62 billion in 2017.

Petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, iron and steel are the main products to be imported. Here, too, Spain and the European Union are the most important trading partners. The total value of the imports was $ 74 billion in 2017.

Almost all trade is done by sea. Portugal has traditionally been a seafaring nation. Lisbon and Porto are the main ports.


Lisbon Airport, PortugalLisbon Airport, PortugalPhoto: Ex13 CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The road network of more than 70,000 kilometers is well maintained, but the infrastructure is still insufficient. Portugal does not have an extensive railway network, it covers approximately 3,500 kilometers. Shipping is of great importance. The national airline is Air Portugal. The main airports are Lisbon, Porto and Faro.

Holidays and Sightseeing

Sights Lisbon

Torre de Belem in Lisbon Torre de Belem in LisbonPhoto: Berthold Werner CC 4.0 International no changes made

Santa Maria de Belém is home to the World Heritage Sites of the Hihi Ronymite Monastery Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Torre de Belém. The explorer Vasco de Gama, among others, is buried in the monastery.

Rossio Square in Lisbon Rossio Square in LisbonPhoto: Güldemüstün CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Baixa, the "lower town", is the center of Lisbon. Here is the Rossio, the main square of the city for centuries. Praça dos Restauradores is almost attached to Rossio's main square. On the very large square Praça do Comércio, located on the Tagus, was the royal residence until Portugal became a republic in 1910. The Bairro Alto district, west of the Baixa, has many restaurants and nightlife options. The neighborhood, about thirty meters higher, can be reached from the center with the Elevador de Santa Justa. This lift was designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel in the neo-Gothic style from around 1900.

Alfama in Lisbon Alfama in LisbonPhoto: Jimmy Baikovicius CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

To the east of the center is the Alfama, an old working-class district. With its many steep streets, stairs and alleys, it is an important attraction. Several fado houses can be found in Alfama. These are small restaurants where traditional fado is performed. In this fado neighborhoods such as Alfama, Bairro Alto and Mouraria, but also Lisbon and Portugal are frequently sung about. Tram line 28 meanders through the district, on which very old tram equipment runs. This tram line is often used by tourists, but is also still important for opening up the district. The city's best known and oldest church, Lisbon Cathedral, is also here.

Lisbon parque das nações Lisbon parque das naçõesPhoto: KHReichert CC 2.0 Genérica no changes made

A few kilometers east of the center is the "new center" on the exhibition grounds: the Parque das Nações known from Expo '98. These include the Oceanário de Lisboa, an aquarium, the Vasco da Gama shopping center, the Vasco da Gama Tower, a funicular and the Gare do Oriente train station.
The city also has two bridges worth seeing. The Ponte 25 de Abril, named after the 1974 Carnation Revolution, connects Lisbon with the Outra Banda, the south bank of the Tagus. The design is based on that of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. There is also the new bridge over the Tagus: the 17-kilometer Vasco da Gama bridge.

Beaches and resorts

Estoril Beach, Costa de Lisboa Estoril Beach, Costa de LisboaPhoto: Vitor Oliveira CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Cascais is a less luxurious seaside resort but very cozy, it was originally a fishing village, now Cascais and Estoril merge. Estoril is a residential area half an hour from Lisbon, the nightlife is located around the casino.
Costa de Caparica, this is a fishing village 20 kilometers south of Lisbon. The Lisbon beach area has a typical Portuguese atmosphere. Other seaside resorts out there are Sesimbra (40 kilometers south of Lisbon) and Ericeira (50 kilometers north of Lisbon).

Sintra , Palace de Pena Sintra , Palace de PenaPhoto: Singa Hitam CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Sintra is located in the Serra de Sintra north of Lisbon. The city is known for its royal palace (Palacia Real) and the high-lying Castello de Pena.
South of Lisbon, the coastline is officially called Costa Azul, but for convenience it is often classified with the Costa Lisboa. North of Lisbon, the coastal strip is the most visited part of the Costa de Lisboa. Both in the north and in the south of Lisbon, the coastal strip is sheltered behind the ridges, in the north the Serra de Sintra, in the south the Serra da Arrabida.

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Last updated December 2021
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