Activities In Portugal’s 10 Lisbon Fun Facts.
Impress your mates and maybe some locals with 10 Lisbon Fun Facts, updated for 2022.
1, Is That Crow Vincent?
It is reported that from 1173 Crows have represented Lisbon after they escorted the body of Saint Vincent to Lisbon, for his burial. Traditionally you would see crows around the Castle in São Jorge and around the Church Sé. The cities wealthy coal merchant would keep a pet crow and normally named them ??? you guessed it Vincent.
2, A Fine Copy
The Castelo de São Jorge (St Georges Castle) is not the original medieval fortress that many tourists think it is. It is actually a replica, a direct copy, built in the 1940s. At the beginning of the last century the castle was in disrepair and mostly in ruins. Salazar, the authoritarian ruler of Portugal from 1932 to 1968, decided to rebuild the unloved castle with a view to glorifying the achievements of the Nation. Did you spot the copy?
3, Lisbon 1st To Import Guinness
Number 3 on our list of 10 Lisbon Fun Facts. Guinness is the drink of the gods and clearly the people of Lisbon knew that before the rest of the world. In 1820s Lisbon imported Guinness out of Ireland directly from the Arthur Guinness II the son of Arthur Guinness the creator of Guinness.
4, That’s A lot Of People
In 2016 the Mosteiro Dos Jerónimos monument had been visited by 1 million tourists. The actual 1 millionth visitor was Aurore Albert and her boyfriend, Misha Senelle, from Marseille. The event was marked by a bell and by energetic applause to signal the occasion, unsurprisingly taking the couple by surprise. The event was captured by Portuguese news and television programmes.
5, Lisbon Spy Epicentre
During the Second World War, both Allies and Nazi serving military members descended on the Casino town of Estoril. Portugal was a neutral country during WWII and both sides honoured this neutrality. The “spies” spent their time dancing, dining and gambling where the stakes were HIGH! Both sides gained knowledge and information by bugging the other side. The 007 writer Ian Fleming even spent time in Estoril when in the British Naval Intelligence.
6, Don’t Feed The Pigeons!
Do not feed the pigeons! Feeding pigeons in the city of Lisbon was made illegal under the solid waste regulations. You will find some older locals still feeding the pigeons in parks, however overfed flocks of pigeons multiply at a exceptionally quick rate and are a threat to public health. Its actually better for pigeons too not to be dependant on humans for food. Lets move on from the cooing to number 7 on our list of 10 Lisbon Fun Facts.
7, If they told you you could die!
If they told you, they would have to kill you! Only 5 people in Lisbon know the secret recipe for the famous Pastel de Belém and they will not tell. The 5 have memorised the recipe and the protect the secret to their death. They never travel in the same plane, take the same car or order the same dish at any restaurant. All that precaution for a pastry! Now that is one great Lisbon Fun Facts.
8, Belém Tower Was A Prison
The tower has a grisly history with many battle being fought in front of the tower and opposing troops being quartered in the towers dungeons. Today the Tower sits on the edge of the Tagus river providing stunning images of Lisbon. Visitors are permitted inside the tower and luckily they are no longer quartered, well not to our knowledge anyway!
9, For Hands That Do Dishes
On the 22nd March 1998, Lisbon entered the Guinness World Records book for the longest table ever set. Seating 15,000 people the table spanned the whole of the Vasco Da Gama bridge. The people ate eight tonnes of “feijoada” which took two weeks to make. The event was sponsored by Fairy washing up liquid and if you are old enough you probably remember the advert. “For hands that do dishes that feel soft as your face, its mild green fairy liquid” …arhhh memories!!
10, Metachronal Rhythm
We have reached our last fact on our list of 10 Lisbon Fun Facts. Lisbon holds the record for the longest Mexican Wave or an example of a metachronal rhythm. A Mexican wave is achieved when successive groups of spectators briefly stand, yell, and raise their hands. Consisting of 8,453 participants it took place at Parque das Nações on the 12th August 2007. What a day to tell the grandkids about!
Thanks for reading 10 Lisbon Fun Facts.
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