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It's the oldest and most captivating quarter of Lisbon.
Alfama's narrow, winding, hilly, cobblestone alleys are lined with whitewashed buildings adorned with wrought iron balconies sporting colorful potted flowers. Best explored on foot.
St George's Castle
It crowns Alfama and is a Hillman Wonder in itself. Click St George's Castle to view its web page.
Panoramic views of Lisbon
Outstanding ones exist from the castle and some viewpoint terraces.
Nightlife and dining
The area is renowned for its Fado Houses (featuring impassioned soulful singers) and small seductive restaurants.
They include the Lisbon Cathedral (dates back to the 12th century) and St Vincente de Fora monastery.
History in brief
The locality goes back to Roman and Visigoth times, but came into its own during the 8th to 12th century Moorish era. It was during that period when the iconic alley maze took form and when the quarter picked up its name (Alfama derives from the Arabic term denoting spring, fountain, or bath).
Great Lisbon earthquake
This monstrous seismic event leveled most of Lisbon and beyond. Fortunately, it spared many Alfama structures and therefore the quarter's alluring architectural character. Reason: The site is built on a bedrock outcropping.
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