These old quarters from the time of the Arabs were not destroyed by the great earthquake (1755). Alfama and Mouraria with alleys, small squares decorated with cobblestones, flights of stairs, and dead ends remind us of what Lisbon looked like in the middle age.
After leaving the downtown we head to Mouraria, an old Moorish ghetto, when the city was reconquered in 1147 Mouraria was located outside the city wall.
In a hidden alley, we reach the Beco da Achada, a cozy square that looks like a courtyard, with a gothic house from the 15th century. From 3 different terraces: Chão do Loureiro (an old market hall), Portas do Sol, and Sta Luzia, there are superb views over Bairro Alto, Alfama, Baixa, and the south bank of the river Tagus.
Then we take a walk through Alfama, the oldest quarter of Lisbon, with its Moorish roots, a real labyrinth of picturesque alleys, hidden corners, and narrow staircases.
One of the highlights of the old town is the Cathedral, a fortified church that replaced a mosque after the reconquest.
Continuing downhill, we arrive at the harbor, up to the House of the Pointed Stones with a unique facade. The son of the Viceroy of India, Albuquerque, had this Italian-style city palace built in 1522. Now it houses the Saramago foundation.
After learning about the history of the old town and understanding its development nothing better than a fresh drink in one of the several bars at the beautiful Commerce Square, the visit card of Lisbon.