Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. Approximately three million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area which represents about 27% of the country’s population. Lisbon sits on the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The west part of the city’s metropolis is called Cabo da Roca. It is the westernmost point of Continental Europe.
A global city
Lisbon is a global city and one of the major economic centres on the continent. It also offers one of the largest container ports on Europe’s Atlantic coast. Additionally, Humberto Delgado Airport serves nearly 27 million passengers a year, making it the 20th busiest airport in Europe.
One of the oldest cities in Europe
Despite its modern-day attributes, Lisbon is actually one of the oldest cities in Europe. It predates other modern European capitals such as Rome, Paris or London, by centuries.
A popular legend is that the mythical hero Odysseus founded the city on his way home from Troy. Additionally, modern archaeological excavations show a Phoenician presence here from 1200 BC.
Emperor Julius Caesar
However, we do know that the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar created a municipality called Felicitas Julia during the days of the Roman Empire. From the 5th-century onwards, Germanic tribes ruled the city and surrounding area. Subsequently, the Moors captured the region during the 8th-century. Next came the Crusaders in 1147 who reconquered the city for the Christian faith. Since that time, Lisbon has continued to be the major political, economic and cultural centre of the country.
De facto part of the Constitution
Unlike most capitals of the world, Lisbon’s status as the capital of Portugal has never been confirmed officially by statute. The city’s position as country’s capital formed through constitutional convention only. However, Lisbon as the capital of Portugal is a de facto part of the Constitution.