The Dark Heart of Lisbon

From EUR 25

City of Light, City of Darkness

Join us after the sun sets for an evening walking tour as we explore the darker side of Lisbon's history through the winding streets of Alfama and downtown Lisbon.

Lisbon is no stranger to glory and success. As one of the wealthiest and most important capitals of the 16th Century, the memories of its achievements are well known to some. Behind all the triumphs, however, lie the darker details of this beautifully lit corner of Europe, for wherever there is light there is shadow. From Portugal's slave-trading past and the dark days of the Inquisition, right up to the 20th Century and the dictator Salazar and his feared secret police, we take you on a journey through Lisbon's darker lesser explored past.

Lisbon's Dark Past Revealed

Among the many horrors, we will hear on our evening stroll highlights will include:

Inquisition: The Portuguese inquisition began in 1536 and ended in 1821.  We will touch on the Jewish massacre of 1506 and the square where the autos de fé were displayed. For 285 years people were persecuted, tortured and killed because of their religion or race and it is during those years that Lisbon has had some of the most horrific stories in Portugal's past.

The Great Earthquake: 1st of November of 1755: All Saints day and one of the deadliest days in Lisbon's history. A magnitude 8-9 earthquake strikes the city leading to candles and oil lamps falling which then started fires that consume nearly half the city. As people ran to a riversides open square for protection from the collapsing buildings three tidal waves from 5 to 10 meters tall sweep them from the shores. Join us as we relive one of the darkest days in Lisbon's history and the repercussions felt around the world.

Dictatorship and the Secret Police: Between 1926 and 1974 Portugal lived through a dictatorship led, mostly, by António de Oliveira Salazar. As a way of controlling the Portuguese population, the secret police was created in 1945 with the help of a former SS agent: the PIDE. The tales of interrogation and torture are well known, the locals would regularly complain of the screams coming from PIDE headquarters. In a period referred to by locals as 'The Long Night' the darkness would engulf the city and Portugal for near on 50 years. Even during the relatively bloodless revolution of 25th April 1974, the PIDE would be responsible for the loss of at least 4 lives on the day that light finally shone on Portugal again. 

Much more: As for the rest, well you will just have to join us and find out as we explore the streets of Lisbon in the early evening.

If you are looking for a more traditional tour of Alfama then why not join our Alfama Walking Tour

From EUR 25

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  1. In Front of Teatro Nacional D.Maria II
  2. largo sao domingo
  3. Rossio
  4. Baixa
  5. Praça do comercio
  6. Aljube
  7. Alfama
  8. Alfama