Looking for something to do in Lisbon around Alfama? You should try this tourist scavenger hunt to visit Lisbon’s Alfama district!
It will take you from Lisbon Cathedral to the Fado Museum, passing Sao Jorge Castle and St. Vincent de Fora Monastery. There are challenges at every step. Each leads to another location while offering local history and trivia.
Scavenger Hunt information :
- Church of the Immaculate Conception
- Roman Theatre Museum
- Saint-Anthony Church
- National Pantheon
- Lisbon War Museum
- Lisbon Cathedral
- Fado Museum
- Saint-Engracia Church
- Saint-Vincent de Fora Monastery
- Sao Jorge Castle
- Starting point: in front of the Lisbon Cathedral, at Largo da Sé, 1100-585 Lisbon Alfama, Portugal.
- Distance: 3.4 km / 2.11 mi
- Duration: 3 hours
- Method: walking
- Required: Fully charged smartphone with internet access (data plan) – Wifi will not be enough.
- Water bottle
- Local map
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and is located on the Atlantic coast. It is a city with several hills.
Lisbon traces its history to 1200 BC with the presence of a Phoenician trading post. Its name was Olissipo.
The Roman Empire took control of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), around 200 BC and kept it until 409 AD. There were already 30,000 inhabitants in 200 BC., Lisbon was a Christian city at the time.
Then, the gothic and barbarian empires and kingdoms conquered and ruled the area, one after the another until in 711 when Berber and Arab Muslims conquered the region.
Norway briefly controlled Lisbon in 1108 during their crusade to the holy lands. The Almoravids, another Berber Muslim dynasty, commonly known as the Moors (Moors) regained control from 1111 until 1147.
In 1147, Knights of the crusade led by Afonso I reconquered Lisbon and brought it back under Christian control. The population at that time is 154,000. Mosques were either destroyed or converted into churches. The Arabic that had been spoken here for 400 years disappeared quickly.
During the age of discovery, Lisbon launched several expeditions of naval exploration. Among its explorers is notably Vasco da Gama (1460-1469), 1st Tale of Vidigueira, the first European to go to India by sea in 1498, bypassing the southern tip of Africa. The exchange agreement with India, as well as the numerous trading posts established in Asia (Indian Ocean) and Brazil, made Portugal very rich, very quickly.
But, little by little, the French, British, and Dutch chipped away at Portugal’s trade dominance. During a succession crisis, Portugal lost its independence and fell under Habsburg-Spanish rule in 1580 for 60 years. Their ensuing war for restoration lasted between 1640 and 1668.
Napoleon Bonaparte, in turn, invaded Portugal at the beginning of the 19th century, forcing Queen Maria I and Prince Regent John VI (Joao VI) to flee to Brazil for a few years.
Portugal became a republic in 1908, but fell under the dictatorial regime of Estado Novo, Salazarism, between 1926 and 1974. The Carnation Revolution led to the 3rd republic that endures to this day.
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