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Contents / Europe’s ‘Orient’ Lizbon
Lisbon distinguishes itself from the rest of Europe by its cosmopolitan character and melancholy mood, a legacy of its brilliant period during the Age of Discovery.

One luminous Bosphorus night last summer I attended a concert at the Esma Sultan Yali by Mariza, the magnificent voice of Portugal. In the middle of the steamy fado melodies she sang one after the other, Mariza paused for a moment, looked out at the water and said to her audience: “Lisbon is a place just like this. You know?” I could understand her sudden sense of intimacy with Istanbul, because I too had felt the same thing in Lisbon! How much Lisbon, built like Istanbul on seven hills with water flowing through it, reminds us of our own seven-hilled city...
The Tagus River, with which the unique songs of Portugal seem to commiserate like an old friend, makes a stop at Lisbon just before emptying into the Atlantic, giving rise here to a great port city.Like every major port, Lisbon too has its face turned to the sea, and a drawing of Istanbul comes to mind by Hans Christian Andersen,
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