Home to several historic sites and parishes, the Alfama district has an ancient mystique all its own. From churches to bars to Roman ruins, an entire day can be spent roaming through the history of Lisbon
A Place of Faith
The Sé de Lisboa (Lisbon Cathredral), the Convento da Graça (Convent of the Grace), the Igreja de Santo Antonio (Church of Saint Anthony–on the site believed to be his birthplace), all give evidence to the importance of the faith in Lisbon and the beautiful buildings built for worship. At the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora are the burial sites of the Kings of the House of Braganza, which ruled Portugal for centuries, and the Church of Santa Engrácia, which is now the National Pantheon, is the final resting place for Portuguese presidents, poets, and other notables as well as the symbolic tombs for Vasco de Gama and Henry the Navigator.
Fado, Food, and Fun
Fado is a musical genre particular to Lisbon and finds its roots in Alfama. Many bars and clubs feature singers who specialize in this form of melancholy, yet beautiful, sound. Alfama is filled with restaurants, especially seafood venues, that serve everything from simple rustic fare to high-end dining. Wandering through the narrow streets, it is easy to find music clubs, stumble into the Feira da Ladra–a flea market that dates from the Middle Ages, or simply find one of the many high viewing areas that afford amazing views of the tiled-roofs of Alfama and the surrounding city.