Civilopedia entry Edit
As one of the oldest cities in the world, Portugal's capital, Lisbon, has long been a prized trade hub on the Iberian Peninsula. Although Lisbon had existed in one form or another for a thousand years, the city became an integral part of the Roman trade network following their victory over Carthage during the Punic Wars. In August 711 AD, Moslem Berber forces took the city; the Moors were fairly liberal rulers, allowing all sorts of Moslems, Jews, and even Christians to continue to practice their faith … for a hefty tax. And it remained an active port, center of Moorish trade with north European nations.
But the Reconquista saw crusader knights, led by Alfonso (later, the First as King of Portugal) took the city and promptly got rid of all the non-believers. Nonetheless, despite all the intolerance and autos-da-fé, Lisbon continually expanded as its port became the point of departure for Portuguese vessels sailing throughout the world. During the Age of Discovery in the 15th Century, many notable Portuguese explorers set out from Lisbon, including Vasco da Gama, the first to sail from Europe to India.
In 1755, one of the deadliest earthquakes in recorded history, the Great Lisbon Earthquake, rattled the Iberian Peninsula, nearly destroying all of Lisbon. Modern historians estimate that up to 100,000 people may have been killed as a result of the quake, and extensive reconstruction efforts were required to rebuild the crumbling city. Despite all the turmoil of various European wars (notably the Napoleonic one when the royal family fled to Brazil), Lisbon managed to remain more-or-less intact.
In the present day, Lisbon is home to more than 500,000 residents and still serves as one of Europe's leading centers of commerce and trade. Lisbon is also a popular tourist destination, as the city features many examples of historic architecture, along with several fine museums and cultural festivals.
- Lisbon's city-state symbol is based on the wavy lines found on the Coat of arms of Lisbon.