500 years of Bohemia in Bairro Alto

Wed, 15.08.2018

A neighbourhood of aristocratic families, merchants and sailors

On the past 15th of August, our Language School invited its students for a journey to Bairro Alto. For Lisboners, this neighbourhood is a preferential place to go out at night. During the day, it’s completely unrecognizable: with few people in the streets and some restaurants open. We had the opportunity to witness the life during the day in this neighbourhood.

Indira Leão, our history teacher, told us that Bairro Alto was planned by D. Manuel I and constructed in the 16th century. Camões square was a poorest neighbourhood made with the wreckages of the Palace ruined by the disaster of 1755. It was known as Casebres de S. Loreto and it only became a square in 1867.

Bairro Alto was created to host the merchants and the sailors that benefited with the Portuguese overseas expansion. In this time, it was called Vila Nova de Andrade. In 1553, with the transference of Saint Roque’s Church to the Jesuits it changed to Bairro Alto de São Roque. The presence of the Jesuits attracted the aristocratic families.

We had also the opportunity to see some part of the Ferdinand’s wall inside a mall in Rua da Misericórdia. This was the defensive wall that divided the city between the life inside and outside the walls. Bairro Alto belonged to the outside part of the Ferdinand’s wall.

Indira also informed us that after the earthquake many aristocratic families left their palaces in Bairro. In the 19th century, this palaces had another purpose: to be the edges of the main newspapers in Portugal.

After the tour we could relax with a drink and gather in the belvedere of São Pedro de Alcântara.

Take a look at our amazing photos!

Check out the photos of our bohemian tour yesterday 😃😊

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A visit into Lisbon’s nightlife

Have you already been in Bairro Alto to drink and socialize with your friends? Did you know that this is one of the most typical neighbourhoods in Lisbon to go out at night? Do you know that Fado also flourished in Bairro Alto? If you can’t answer, we’ll give you the answers to these questions and more! Join us in our bohemian tour on the 15th of August.

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, will show us the mythical streets and places in Bairro Alto. For the ones who already know Bairro Alto at night, they’ll see how different it is during the day. The neighbourhood goes through an incredible transformation: during the day it’s quiet and calm. However, after the sunset the nightlife emerges and attracts locals and tourists that are looking for bars and fun. It has been the preferential spot for the Lisbon nightlife since the 80’s of the 20th century.

Bairro Alto is only 500 years of existence. The planning and the construction of the neighbourhood were connected with the seaquake of 1531 that affected Lisbon. During the 19th century until the 20th century, Bairro Alto housed the edges of the main journals and typographies in Portugal. It was a place for intellectuals, journalists, sailors and prostitutes. The Fado came to life also here in the typical “tavernas” where all people used to gather.

We’ll have the opportunity to meet the popular bars, restaurants and houses of Fado that make part of Bairro Alto.

After the tour, nothing better than to contribute to this bohemian lifestyle in Bairro by drinking and socializing.

Don’t miss this opportunity and keep in touch with our weekly events in the School Events section in our website!