If you look for a place where service is second to none you’ve found it. I was not surprised by Portugal but I couldn’t imagine the excitement of the city, the beauty and its history.
I hadn’t been here in almost 20-years and what I noticed are a people who have flourished and proved they are leaders in the European community, something many doubted. Lisbon is recognized as an alpha-level global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism and is one of two Portuguese cities (alongside Porto) to be recognized as a global city and it is.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the second-oldest European capital city (after Athens), predating other modern European capitals by centuries, and I am not going to lecture anyone on the history. But for those who didn’t;’t know, in 1755, Lisbon was one of the largest cities in Europe until the catastrophic event shocked the whole of Europe and left a deep impression on its collective psyche.
In the first years of the 19th century, Portugal was invaded by the troops of Napoléon Bonaparte, forcing Queen Maria I and Prince-Regent John to flee temporarily to Brazil. By the time the new King returned to Lisbon, many of the buildings and properties were pillaged, sacked or destroyed by the invaders. During World War II, Lisbon was one of the very few neutral, open European Atlantic ports, a major gateway for refugees to the U.S. and a haven for spies with more than 100,000 refugees were able to flee Nazi Germany via Lisbon.
Lisbon was the site of three revolutions in the 20th century; the first, the 5 October 1910 revolution, brought an end to the Portuguese monarchy and established the highly unstable and corrupt Portuguese First Republic. The 6 June 1926 revolution would see the end of that first republic and firmly establish the Estado Novo, or the Portuguese Second Republic, as the ruling regime. The Treaty of Lisbon, which forms the constitutional basis of the European Union, was signed at the Jerónimos Monastery in 2007. The Carnation Revolution 25 April 1974 ended the right-wing Estado Novo regime and reformed the country to become as it is today, the Portuguese Third Republic. In 2000 they joined the European Union and the rest is history.