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Discover The New Chiado In The Historical Center Of Lisbon

Aug 17, 2007
Lisbon November 11, 2006 - This mystical location of the Portuguese capital will unfold in numerous cultural activities and street entertainment with one goal, to promote the city culture and bring life to Chiado, an area that was once the nucleus of leisure before a great fire destroyed part of its history.

The program includes initiatives for all ages, and covers a number of institutions and cultural spaces of the area. On the program you will find Guided Tours around many inaccessible locations in Chiado, Classical Music Recital, Jazz, and Readings that liven up the Coffee Shops, Theaters, Museums and Churches of Chiado.

Traveling the streets of Lisbon constantly challenges our imagination and the preference of amblers.

About Chiado

Used since 1567, the word Chiado has been applied in various situations, one of the most interesting origins is from the sound "chiar" the horse carriages made going along the typical Portuguese roman roads. A second mention refers to the nickname of a 16th Century Poet, Antonio Ribeiro, "O Chiado".

Traditionally the area is known for its intellectual connections, you will find various statues of literature personalities such as Fernando Pessoa, a famous 19th and 20th Century Portuguese poet, found in stone sitting at a table outside the coffee shop, "A Brasileira".

In some occasions, the name "Chiado" is only used to identify Garrett Street - Rua Garrett, the main commercial area, named after the writer and poet Almeida Garrett. The street goes from the Chiado Square (Largo do Chiado) down town, and is famous for the shops, cafes and libraries. The area devastated by the fire has gradually been restored.

Around the Chiado Square stand two Baroque churches: the Italian Church of Loreto Church on the north and the Church of Nossa Senhora da Encarnacao in front, having the exterior walls decorated essentially with tiles.

About Lisbon

Lisbon dates back to pre-Roman times. Its early years were spent as a battleground, with Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians in turn overthrown. In 205 BC, the Romans began their two-century reign in Lisbon, which became the most important city in the western Iberian region and was renamed Felicitas Julia by Julius Caesar.

The 15th century brought the Age of Discoveries - Portugal's golden era of sea exploration. The wealth from these expeditions transformed Lisbon into the seat of a vast empire. It also spawned the extravagant Manueline architectural style, best typified in the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos in Belem.

In 1755, a massive earthquake reduced the city to rubble, after which a huge reconstruction effort was made, resulting in some of the most harmonious and beautiful buildings of the late 18th century in Baixa Pombalina.

The Rio Tejo (Tagus) still dominates Lisbon life, but the main industry is now tourism as the city grows in popularity as a tourist destination. The city center is a buzzing grid of grand streets with all the trappings of any other Western European city but also rumbling old trams, antiquated funiculars and elevators that help negotiate Lisbon's steep hills.

Traditionally, the nightlife center has been Bairro Alto, with its fado clubs, traditional, canteen-style bars, and upscale discos. The simplest thing is to walk in and out of a number of them, ordering an imperial (half pint) or a caneca (pint) if the place looks especially inviting. The bars are open until 04h00, often with lock-ins. The minimum age for purchasing alcohol is 16 years. Much of the action has moved on to the Docas (Docks) district, just to the east of Ponte 25 de Abril. One bar after another occupies a row of converted warehouses at the Doca de Santo Amaro, with a crowded promenade and tables out front.

Fado is a form of music that developed in Lisbon in sailor's bars during the late eighteenth century. It is a mournful, romantic singing style that fits somewhere between blues and flamenco and bemoans the death of Portugal's great Golden Age. These traditional sounds are best heard at one of the Casas do Fado.
About the Author
Jose Felix is the Marketing and Communications Manager for ARTEH, the Best Independent Hotel Chain - Publituris Awards.

To visit the Hotels or make your reservations please go to ARTEH - Hotels and Resorts.
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