Lisbon, Portugal and the great Lisbon Earthquake

The Lisbon Castle, can be seen from everywhere in the city. Lisbon is a city of hills and the castle is on one of the highest. This makes it very easy to find by sight, not always easy to walk to thanks to the winding roads though.

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Our first day in Lisbon we started on the 28 tram. This is an extremely popular way to see the sights of Lisbon and was very busy when we were there.

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Unfortunately we either got on the wrong side of the tram or it was just too busy that day and we did not end up seeing very much on our ride. We got off at Basilica Da Estrela and walked around for a while seeing some of the sights ourselves.

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And of course, ended the day with a view of the lit up castle.

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In some parts of the city, Alfama, the old quarter, it is very difficult to find your way around due to narrow, cobblestone, windy streets. In the newer area of the city (Because it was reconstructed after an earthquake/tsunami/fire). The streets are very wide and completely strait.

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On November 1st 1755, Lisbon was hit by an earthquake. Before this time, Lisbon was recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and Portugal, one of its richest countries. However, after a devastating ten minutes causing many fires, the city was in ruin, with rubble everywhere and people fleeing their homes. As if this weren’t bad enough, about 30 minutes after the earthquake, a tsunami was followed. The maximum height of this wave is estimated at 6 meters! Areas as far as 80 kilometers away from Lisbon were affected.

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Another thing that can be seen everywhere around the city are orange trees. We saw them by different churches, inside the walls of the castle and in peoples backyards.

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The day we spent at the castle was very cloudy. From the top though there are always amazing views and you can truly see the whole city.

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At the castle is an archeological dig.

These archaeological ruins show evidence of the three significant periods in the history of Lisbon: (1) the first known settlements dating back to the 7th century B.C.; (2) the remnants of the Moorish era residential area, from the time of the castle’s construction in the mid-11th century; (3) the ruins of the last palatine residence in the former alcáçova, destroyed by the earthquake of 1755.

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