The influence of a very diverse set of cultures in Portugal’s history is evident in the drastic contrast offered by its cities. Portugal cities are treasure chests of a rich past. The Moors influence can be witnessed more prominently in Algarve, the southern most region of the country, in its fishing towns of Tavira, Faro, Olhão and Lagos, or in the town of Silves where the well preserved Moorish castle is a must visit landmark.
The North has remained closer to the pioneering cultures of the Iberian peninsula with its cultural roots deeply embedded and intertwined with neighboring northern Spain. Porto claims its invincible past, not ever succumbing to Spanish and French invasions. Guimaraes holds claim of the birth of the Kingdom of Portugal. Braga relinquishes the title of the Religious capital of Portugal.
The center proudly claims to be the epicenter of Lusitania and the Lusitanos, trademark of the Portuguese culture. After all it was the great Viriato that fought the Romans to keep the identity that later was claimed to be Portugal. It has some of the most interesting landmarks to visit, from Aveiro, Viseu and Coimbra to the Estrela mountain range, Obidos, Marvao, Batalha, Alcobaca and the Catholic pilgrimage town of Fatima. Quaint towns such as Nazare, Peniche, Cascais and Sesimbra line up the coastline.
Learning about the capital city of Lisbon is much like pealing an onion where layers of civilizations have been uncovered by archaeologists and historians . Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world and the oldest in Western Europe, centuries older than other European capitals such as Madrid, Rome London and Paris. Civilizations and cultures that influenced Lisbon include the Celtics, Phoenicians, Romans and the Moors. Lisbon has an endless amount of monuments and historic sites worth spending a few days of your time. In the modern era, it remained independent and free during world war II thus becoming the center of espionage for both Allies and Nazis, earning the name “The Spy City”. It is definitely one of the mos beautiful capitals in Europe and worth putting it in your bucket list.