If you picked Lisbon for your holidays – hey, great choice! – then read the following curiosities about the city. We bet you’ll leave your friends and the locals impressed if you throw some of these during a random conversation.
Fun facts about Lisbon
São Vicente (St Vincent) is the city’s patron, not Santo António, who as a Lisbon native (though known in English as St Anthony of Padua) is the most popular saint.
The café Martinho da Arcada still has a table permanently reserved for long-dead poet Fernando Pessoa.
The city has seven hills: Castelo, São Vicente, São Roque, Santo André, Santa Catarina, Chagas and Sant’Ana.
The Castelo de São Jorge (St George’s Castle) as you see it today is not the original Moorish-medieval fortress, but almost entirely a 1940s replica.
The Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) in Belém is not the original version. That was made of plaster and fibre over a wooden frame. On 15 February of 1941 a cyclone swept the lightweight original figure of Infante Dom Henrique (Prince Henry the Navigator, who heads the procession of carved figures) into the river.
The Lisbon region has three sitesclassed as UNESCO World Heritage: the Torre de Belém, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Cultural Landscape of Sintra.
Back in the 19th century you had to pay to enter the Passeio Público – now the Avenida da Liberdade.
The lights on the Cristo Reistatue on the south bank of the Tagus are switched off at 1am in summer and midnight in winter.
The world’s highest ogival (pointed) arch is in Lisbon: it is the central one in the Aqueduto das Águas Livres, the 18th-century aqueduct.
Feeding the city’s pigeonsis prohibited under Clause 1 of Article 60 of the Solid Waste Regulations.