Lisbon (Port. Lisboa), capital of Portugal, stands on the northern shore of a bottle-shaped expansion of the Tagus, 9 miles from its mouth ; it is 412 miles by rail WSW. of Madrid. The city extends for 4 or 5 miles along the shore, and climbs up the slopes of a low range of hills, occupying a site of imposing beauty. The oldest part of Lisbon is that which escaped the earthquake of 1755; it lies on the east, round the citadel, and consists of narrow, intricate streets, not over clean. It is still known by its Moorish name of Alfama. The western portions were built after the earthquake, with wide and regular streets, fine squares, and good houses. The summits are mostly crowned with what were formerly large monasteries. The gloomy cathedral of the 'patriarch,' built in 1147, restored after 1755, has a Gothic facade and choir. The large church of St Vincent contains the tombs of the royal (Braganza) family. The church of Estrella is a reduced copy of St Peter's at Rome. In San Roque is a chapel thickly encrusted with mosaics and costly marbles. But the finest structure in the city is the Gothic monastery and church of Belem, a monument to the great seamen of Portugal; it was begun in 1500 on the spot from which Vasco da Gama embarked (1497) on his momentous voyage. Inside the church are new tombs (1880) to Camoens and Vasco da Gama, and the grave of Catharine, wife of Charles II. of England. The monastery is now used as an orphanage and foundling hospital. Neither of the royal palaces possesses features of great interest. A fine square facing the bay is surrounded with government offices, the handsome custom-house, and the marine arsenal. There are an academy of sciences (1779), with a library of 60,000 vols., a polytechnic school, a medical school, a conservatory of music, a public library of 200,000 vols, and 9500 MSS., museums, two observatories, etc. A magnificent aqueduct (1738) brings water to the city from springs 9 miles to the north-west. In the cemetery of the English church Fielding was buried in 1754. The pop. of the city was 246,343 in 1878 ; but the municipal boundaries were enlarged in 1885 so as to include Belem and other suburbs, and the pop. is now about 350,000. A series of forts protect the seaward approaches. The harbour is one of the finest in the world, well sheltered, deep close to the quays, and capacious enough to hold all the navies of Europe at once. Nevertheless the government spent (1886-1900) £2,400,000 in improving the port. The imports include corn, cotton goods, sugar, fish, coal, timber, tobacco, coffee, and petroleum ; the exports, wine, cork, fish, cattle, oil, salt, and fruits. The most important industries are in gold and silver wares and in jewellery ; next come cotton-spinning and weaving, the manufacture of silk, hemp, chemicals, hats, boots, tobacco, soap, cutlery, and stoneware, and iron-founding.
Lisbon is a contraction of Olisipo, its name as capital of the Lusitanians. From the Romans it passed to the Goths, from the Goths to the Moors (716), who kept their hold of it down to 1147, when Alfonso I. of Portugal seized it with the help of English, German, and Flemish crusaders. It was made the capital of the kingdom in 1422. In 1580 it was seized by Alva for Philip II. of Spain ; and it was from this port that the 'in-vincible' Armada set sail. When the Duke of Braganza roused his countrymen to shake off the Spanish yoke (1640), he recaptured Lisbon, and once more it became the capital. On 1st November 1755, in less than ten minutes, the greater part of the city was made a heap of ruins, 30,000 to 40,000 persons were killed, and damage done to the extent of nearly 20 millions sterling. The French held the city for ten months during 1807-8. St Antony of Padua, Camoens, and Pope John XXI. were natives. See Macedo, Guide to Lisbon (1875).