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The Truth About the 25th of April

The Truth About the 25th of April

by Clare Christopher

Travelers to Lisbon never miss the 25th of April Bridge. It hangs over the Tagus River and frames the photos of every tourist – and local – who catches a glimpse of its picturesque red arches.



But what many visitors miss is the true story behind the span – and its namesake date. Here’s the 4-1-1 on 4-25:

  • The 25th of April is a national holiday in Portugal called “Freedom Day.”
    MFA - Carnation revolution - 25 of April - Portugal

    MFA – Carnation Revolution  4/25/74

  • Freedom Day commemorates 1974’s Carnation Revolution when the Portuguese people backed a military coup and overthrew the Estado Novo dictatorship that had ruled the country since 1933.
  • The Carnation Revolution got its name from the country’s peaceful transition of power: The soldiers did not use their guns and stuck flowers in the barrels instead.
  • The revolution brought democracy to Portugal and emancipated its colonies in Africa, Angola, Mozambique and Guinea.
  • When it was dedicated in August 1966, the 25th of April Bridge was named Salazar Bridge after the longtime leader of the dictatorship. Soon after the revolution, the bridge was rechristened after the “25th of April” as were many other landmarks around Portugal.
  • The 25th of April Bridge bears a strong resemblance to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco but its actual “twin bridge” is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The same company designed both bridges in the 1930s.
    San Francisco Bay Bridge

    25th of April’s Twin Bridge: SF-OAK Bay Bridge

  • The builders purposely painted the 25th of April Bridge “International Orange” – the same color as San Francisco’s Golden Gate – because the reddish hue stands out against the thick fog that occasionally envelops both bridges.
  • The 25th of April Bridge was the largest suspension bridge outside of America and the fifth largest in the world when it opened in 1966. Today it is the 27th largest.
  • Rail lines were added to the lower deck of the bridge in 1999. You can ride across the bridge on the trip from Lisbon to Evora or on the commuter lines that travel across the river from the center of Lisbon to the suburb of Almada.
    25 of April - Portugal Holiday

    25 of April – Portugal Holiday

  • The most classic views of the 25th of April Bridge are from the Castle of St. George, the Belem Tower and the monument to Christ the King on the Almada side. We also love the river-level views from the Santa Apolónia Docks and shots of the hipster neighborhood surrounding the LX Factory with the northern overpass in the background.


Discover the Possibilities! Get the best shots of the 25th of April Bridge by traveling with a Lisbon expert: Email us today at [email protected] for ideas of how to make the most of your time in Europe’s safest, oldest and most affordable capital!


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