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Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a fascinating city, rich in history and culture. Quaint trams still travel the original tracks in most of the city. The Alfama is one of the city’s important historic areas, with a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets that seem to always be going up hill. Views (miradouros) over the Tagus River are found from some of the higher points. Near the top is the Castelo Sao Jorge, a focal point that can be seen from many parts of the city.  The Alfama was once a poor area, however now it’s heavily visited and home to many artisans and tourist activities. The Alfama is also where Fado music originated. A melancholy blues style, it’s traditionally sung by women accompanied by a classical guitar. You can hear Fado most evenings sung in bars and restaurants in the Alfama and other districts. In Baixa/Chiado you will find Rossio Square with its swirling painted cobblestones and focal point for Lisbon since medieval times. Carmo Convent, once one of the largest churches in Lisbon is also here. It was one of the structures that was heavily damaged by a tragic earthquake in 1755. Now an archaeological museum, it has a haunting quality with its roof open to the sky above, framed by some of the remaining arches.

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