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1. Portugal is the oldest country in Europe with defined borders since 1139.

2. Portuguese is the official language in 9 countries (Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome & Principe, Equatorial Guinea and East Timor. Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language of the world with 215 million Portuguese Speakers.

3. In 1755 Lisbon was struck by one of the strongest earthquakes in Europe with a magnitude of 9.0 and 85% of the city was destroyed.

4. Portuguese people tend to call the locals from Lisbon “Alfacinhas” meaning tiny lettuces, this happens as primitive Lisbon was famous for lettuce production.

5. Benfica Football club from Lisbon is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for having the largest number of fans: an estimated total of 14 million worldwide and over 170,000 registered paying supporters.

6. In Martinho da Arcada, one of Lisbon’s classic cafés, there are two tables that are kept empty and are permanently ‘reserved’. One is for Fernando Pessoa (possibly Portugal’s most popular writer) and another for the Literature Nobel laureate José Saramago. However if you would like to catch up with Fernando Pessoa, he tends to be seat down at Brasileira Café in Chiado!

Lisbon Portugal Daniella Orsi
Photo: Daniella Orsi

7. Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is the longest bridge of Europe with a total length  of 17km long (10.5 miles).

8. Opened since 1732, Bertrand Bookstore located at Rua Garret in Chiado, is the oldest bookstore in the world still in operation, elected in 2011 by the Guinness Book. But still regarding bookstores, Lisbon host probably the smallest in the world, the ‘Livraria Simão’ with only 3.8 sq metres. It’s so small that when a customer walks in, the owner usually has to leave.
Chiado Lisbon
Photo: Armando Alves

9. Lisbon is the first city to have bought Guinness out of the United Kingdom, records from the year 1811 show.

10. The underground of Lisbon downtown area hosts roman galleries that are one open to the public 3 days per year.

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Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simões