Roman period, Barbarian and Muslim

Lisbon was born of a “citadel” located north of the current castle of S. Jorge ( St. George). This would be one of many human groups developed in the prehistoric period. Through develop population growth action of the Romans (195 BC) and inherent socio-economic development, soon it would be awarded the rank of “city”, taking advantage of its urban equipment: monuments, theaters and Roman Baths. There was a cross roads of four Roman roads: three for Merida and one to Bracara Augusta (Braga). Its characteristic “opidum”, where the Romans focus their strategic defense, it follows from the ground reflection on the one hand, and natural protection to the Tagus estuary and the arm of the river which then developed the West and penetrated deep into the territory. Olisipo (started so be called the city) was characterized by the existence of a fixed population center defended by soldiers. In its environs was up adding a number of cultivators families of the earth, in exchange for bread, fruit, wine, vegetables and cattle, received protection and defense.
Century III crisis, which undermined and weaken Roman society, has its repercussions on the entire Iberian Peninsula. The successive invasions of new people or Germans in 500 AD (Visigoths, Swabians) or Arabs in 700 AD, transformed the physiognomy of the population. Due to the climate of insecurity and war, the city acquires a very peculiar feature: fortress where they take refuge fugitive inhabitants advancing Christian armies. It is a population of rich landowners and merchants, who move to the inside of the walls and construct a wealthy city for the treatment and business the ports of Africa and Asia.
In the period of the Christian Reconquest, the Muslim Lisbon is a city coveted and repeatedly attacked and occupied by the Christian armies (occupation by Castile in 1000 AC).
Lisbon was then the most opulent shopping center across Africa and much of Europe. It is abundant of all commodities; has gold and silver. There is no shortage blacksmiths. There is nothing in it uncultivated or sterile; before, their fields are good for any culture … its air are healthy, and there in the city hot baths. … The top of the hill is girded by a circular wall, and the city walls down the hill to the right and to the left, to the bank of the Tagus.

1st Dynasty

In 1147, D. Afonso Henriques, 1st King of Portugal, conquers the city. With Christian participation, gives the expansion of Lisbon beyond its walls. Inherited past there were two suburbs – Baixa ( Low city) and Alfama. The branch of the river definitely disappears in séc.XIII.
D.Fernando, then King of Portugal, in the face of threats of Castile (Spain), creates a new defense wall called “Cerca Nova” (1373-75).
Of 16 Hectares of Moorish period the new city passes for 101.65 Hectares that is 6.5 times higher. The final fixing of the capital of the kingdom, and therefore the court, takes place in the reign of Afonso III.
Lisbon is then the core of an important economic exchange system, locating the small properties in the horticultural culture that prevails in the immediate vicinity, which could have influenced the location of the two vegetable core markets: Praça da Figueira and Praça da Ribeira.

2nd and 3rd Dynasty

João I, King of Portugal, creates the first urbanization on the hill do Carmo (1400). Thus intended to satisfy the needs of an ever growing population, expropriating for such fields.
The court of King Manuel I abandon the castle and fixed the Royal Palace in the “Terreiro do Paço”, where we focused all the commercial life of the city (1500).
At this point appears in the Bairro Alto the first subdivision (Renaissance) that transforms gardens and orchards in the streets and houses, growing suddenly as popular neighborhood, but later became an area where the aristocracy would build their palaces.
The Bairro Alto marks the passage of the century. Sixteenth to seventeenth in the urban life of Lisbon and the acquisition of an urban and architectural awareness.


1755 marks a period of development. The earthquake (on November 1, All Saints Day, at 10 am), and the fire that followed, devastated two thirds of all the streets and have destroyed three thousand twenty thousand existing home.
The earthquake covered the whole area of downtown, the neighborhoods of the Castle and the Carmo area, i.e the most intensely urban areas of the city.
In its place would be born to Lisbon Pombal, with an urban subject to fixed rules and a pragmatic scientism that causes admiration worldwide. The main driver was the Marquis of Pombal, the Prime Minister , assisted by architects and engineers, Manuel da Maia, Eugénio dos Santos and Carlos Mardel (1755-76).
The plan, without a doubt innovative, based on a planned direction lined streets, whose architectural options based on building regulations, taking into account basic concepts of resistance to seismic actions.
The urban system obeyed strokes composition axles where the symmetry was compulsory subject, and we want it usually highlight the extremes, monuments or statues: Rua Augusta with the triumphal arch, through which, on its axis, placed the statue of D.José.
Pombal created incentives of interest to the new commercial bourgeoisie class.
The northern Rossio opens the “Public Garden” (1764), playground of the bourgeoisie. It was a latticed garden with waterfalls, ponds with fountains and gazebo, which was later open to new avenues and future neighborhoods built by a bourgeoisie on the rise. From 1780 appears the public lighting of the city and in 1801 the streets have been given the name displayed.

Post-Pombal Períod

After the victory of liberalism and from the end of Pombal administration architectural grandeur accompanies public buildings: Basilica da Estrela, Opera S.Carlos and Ajuda Palace. The city limits are then successively always extended in “circles” with center in the downtown area. The layout of the streets obeyed the criteria resulting from the demand for housing.
The construction of the National Theatre D. Maria II (1843-46), the Architect . F. Lodi, in full Rossio Pombalino with neo classic features, is a break with the previous period. There is a new spirit of renewal and new aesthetic ideals. Appear new gardens: St. Pedro of Alcântara, Estrela, Prince Royal, and the planting of trees in Rossio. This leads to a naturalistic view. The “Public Walk” creates an avenue and the disruption of the development prospects of the city in a radio nuclear form concentric, it is absolutely innovative.
A new development axis following would Avenida da Liberdade. The opening of the Street Fontes Pereira de Melo has led to expansion of the city from the Freedom Park (now Eduard VII) to Campo Grande, through the Rotunda Picoas, Ressano Garcia Avenue (Av. Republica) and the entire planning of the adjacent streets parallel and perpendicular to an orthogonal development. Frederico Ressano Garcia was the plan, county engineer. Born-called “Avenidas Novas” (New Avenues), which define the great outpouring urban city today.


After World War I, fill up the empty mesh resulting from strokes of the axes of the new avenues. Liberdade Avenue is presented unambiguously as the primary axis of the new city. Then appear buildings like the Palace Hotel and the Castelo Melhor Palace (Foz). The Art Nouveau style (late) is revealed in works such as the Tivoli Cinema architect Raul Lino, Eden Theatre and the Hotel Vitória ,Cassiano Branco Architect. There are new neighborhoods with investment property, occupied by an expanding middle class. The leisure equipment constituted by landscaped public parks.
From the 30s the architect begins to play a greater role in the construction of new buildings. It is this time to the Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques.
It is the period Duarte Pacheco, Mayor and later Minister of Public Works (1930-43). You build new neighborhoods admittedly designed by new urbanists of wide streets and homogeneity of the design of frontages, (commonly known as “Português Suave” Portuguese Smooth style).
Under the guidance of Duarte Pacheco, the municipality decides the creation of a park in Monsanto. Crossed by a highway linking Lisbon to the National Stadium is made landscaping of the park instituting a legal system of expropriation of land especially for this purpose.
It was recognized then that a development plan for the city would have to involve a program of creation of parks and gardens, not only as the foundation of beauty and Enjoyment of its regulars, but also as pure air supply essential to life in the city.
Are created new neighborhoods (Encarnação and Alvalade) predecessors of the appearance and development of urbanization Olivais (Groves) and Chelas, an application of the principles stated in the Charter of Athens.
It is the time of great free residential blocks and separated by green areas, seeking greater sun exposure and better aeration according to the models already tested in other countries. It is also this time the garden arrangement of squares resulting from urban composition, in order to create recreational areas and children’s games.
More recently appear municipal initiatives set cohabiting with private housing developments located here and there that fill the spaces “still free”, the border areas of Lisbon City.