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Lisbon is both the capital and the largest city in Portugal. The municipality of Lisbon has a population of over 545,000 people, spread out across a surface of 84km2. The population with the greater metropolitan area included is 2.2 million, which is equivalent to 27% of the country’s entire population. The city is located on the mouth of the Tagus River, which feeds directly into the Atlantic Ocean, making it the westernmost European capital. The Lisbon municipality is made up of 53 Freguesia (subdivisions), although there have been many discussions on whether or not the city should be divided into 27 districts to simplify the overall governing. Lisbon benefits from a wonderful Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm summers.
Lisbon’s history is dominated by the discoveries of maritime explorers, the most important dating all the way back to the early 15th century. The Golden Age of Portuguese exploration was initiated by “Henry the Navigator”, who wished to break up the Arab monopoly on African and Asian trade routes. Amongst the several famous Portuguese explorers are Bartholomew Dias, who was the first European to pass Cape Hope in 1487, Vasco da Gama, who discovered a maritime route from Portugal to India and Ferdinand Magellan, the first to cross all the globe’s meridians. Lisbon’s urban history begins back when it was a commercial city for the Phoenician trader. The Romans built temples, aqueducts and baths in the city, as well as a large necropolis, the site of the present-day Praça da Figueira Square. The city was invaded by different religious groups up until 1147, when the Christians took over. Over the past century or two, Lisbon has become an international hub of culture, attracting all types of people.