IntroductionSituated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Portugal, Lisbon is a unique combination of Western Europe and Northern Africa that boasts a great cultural and historical heritage. Portugal’s largest city is the capital and hub of Portuguese business, commercial and political life. Built on the hills overlooking the harbor, the Rio Tejo (River Tagus) dominates life in Lisbon. The city’s various quarters are linked by a web of cobbled streets running up some unbelievably steep gradients served by Lisbon’s trams, funicular railway and street lift!
The Great Earthquake which struck Lisbon in 1755 destroyed much of the city and killed 40 000 of its inhabitants. The disaster shocked the rest of the continent and also marked the end of Lisbon’s ranking as one of the most active ports in the Europe. In more recent times the city has been the object of much development and modernization, especially in light of the fact that tourism has become its key industry. Named European City of Culture in 1994, successfully hosting the World Expo 98 and a triumphant bid to stage the European Football Championships in 2004 are examples of the direction and ambition of this city.