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Terry Foreman   Link to this

Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa) is the capital city and largest city of Portugal

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the fifth century, it was captured by the Moors in the eighth century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city and since then it has been a major political, economic, and cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon's status as the capital of Portugal has never been granted or confirmed officially – by statute or in written form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the Constitution of Portugal.

Most of the Portuguese expeditions of the Age of Discovery left from Lisbon during the 15th to 17th centuries, including Vasco da Gama's expedition to India in 1497. In 1506, 3000 Jews were massacred in Lisbon. The 16th century was Lisbon's golden era: the city was the European hub of commerce between Africa, India, the Far East and, later, Brazil, and acquired great riches by exploiting the trade in spices, slaves, sugar, textiles, and other goods.

Portugal lost its independence to Spain after the succession crisis of 1580; the Portuguese Restoration War, which began with a coup d'état organized by the nobility and bourgeoisie in Lisbon and executed on 1 December 1640, restored Portuguese independence. The revolution of 1640 ended the sixty-year period of dual monarchy in Portugal and Spain under the Spanish Habsburgs, although the period from 1640 to 1668 was marked by periodic skirmishes between Portugal and Spain, as well as short episodes of more serious warfare, until the Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 1688. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisbon,_Portugal

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