Alcântara, Lisboa - What you need to know...
Alcantara is a riverside district in the heart of Lisbon. Very well located in the center of the town, Alcantara is one of the most pleasant places to live. In close relation with the Tagus River and the city, the connections to the riverside zone were carefully augmented and improved, providing the locals a better quality of life. The evolution of Alcantara should be interpreted and analyzed the same way as the evolution of Lisbon as a city. This district has gone through significant changes during the Industrial Revolution.
As Muslims occupied the country, the name Alcantara comes from the Arabic Al-quantãrã, meaning "bridge". The famous Battle of Alcantara took place in this bridge. Portugal lost the battle and at the same time its independence. From that moment, the spanish king Philip II began reign over Portugal. Since this national historical period to the present day, the population increases and the general advances were the causes to all the works carried out in the bridge, which had to adapt its characteristics to the displacement of people demands.
Natural resources of the riverside zone still exist and contributed to the maintenance of the country essence of Alcantara. At the same time it acts as a link between the city and the countryside. This is a great potential location and it has the ideal conditions to settle. Indeed, in the ancient times, the nobles and the royal family, who felt attracted to these brilliant conditions, built here their residences, palaces and estates.
Over time, and up to the present day, Alcantara was up revealing a place with strong potential for the development of industries and plants, mainly in the area of the valley and the river where the water and wind energy account a strong feature towards the use of natural resources. To provide the city with greater protection against the possible invaders, Dom João IV ordered to build the bulwark of the Sacramento and Livramento that represented important constructions in the city of Lisbon. However, these buildings were heavily damaged by the 1755 Earthquake. Fábrica de Pólvora, located in the riverside, was also an important construction in Alcantara area, suffering some changes during the reign of King João V and later it was transferred to another location due to population growth, leaving its mark in the area.
Alcantara has undergone major changes and improvements over the times adapting the movement and population increases, losing the characteristics of medieval village and making the area of the river a factor conducive to growth and not a limitation to the urban advancement. The Alcantara valley is crossed by one of the biggest and arrogant desires of its kingship, the Aqueduct, Aqueduto das Águas Livres, which is considered an essential aspect of Lisbon's landscape.
This area was one of the less affected in the year 1755, memorable date when occurred the earthquake in Lisbon, and this area was at the same time strongly marked by the beginning of the industrialization. It was from Alcantara, its industries and lime kilns that the city Lisbon began to be rebuilt after the disaster. At this time, Alcantara was already seen as an advantageous parish thanks to its proximity to Tagus River and the sea, because it represented a communication route and an important source of energy. The presence of industrialization declined and now there are only memoriable landmarks of its imposing and relevant passage through Alcantara.
The Estrela Basilic and the National Opera of San Carlos are important constructions of the reign of Queen Maria I, followed by a significant slowdown of the Lisbon's growth due to the country situation and consequently a decreased in the advance of Alcantara. All towns have its history and Alcantara has got one quite extensive and endowed with strong changes that originated its passage through history, through very distinct periods.
This area of relevant historical and cultural heritage, developped several projets, part of a global strategy, to integrate great quality buildings with luxury finishes in many cases. To get an idea of the importance of Alcantara history through the ages, let's take a look at some historical buildings: Quinta do Monte do Carmo, Palacete da Ribeira Grande, Palacete dos Condes da Ponte, Capela de Santo Amaro, Palácio Vale Flor, Palácio Sabugosa, Palácio dos Patriarcas, Igreja e Convento das Flamengas, Igreja de S. Pedro de Alcântara, among others.
In Alcantara there are several green and leasure areas, made to provide pleasant moments of relaxation and fun for the younger ones. Also in leisure area, it's important to mention the Santo Amaro marina, which gives water sports lovers all they need.
Lovers of good food can find in Alcantara a good reason to make this your choice of location thanks to the gastronomic spaces presents in the area, full of simplicity and exquisite details, and where we can enjoy tasty meals. In this parish there are rich menus and typical dishes of Portuguese gastronomy, accompanied by quality wines. It's nice to share moments of conviviality in this place because pleasure and satisfaction are guaranteed. Nightlife lovers also have in Alcantara one of the main centers of fun. The Santo Amaro dock has been, for many years, a fun and safe place, with several bars and nightclubs. This modernity shrouded in tradition makes Alcantara one of the most desirable place to live.
The easy connections to the rest of the city are also a great asset of Alcantara. In own car whether in public transport, links are simple and fast. The area has got lots of careers Bus and the Cascais line trains. The station Fertagus is also very close, which connects north to south across the bridge 25 de Abril, providing quick links to the national train network. Also the road links out of the city are simple and affordable.
The development of Alcantara and in particular its proximity to the port of Lisbon have provided the setting of several big business and a revival of trade which provides residents a large self-sufficiency. Currently we highlight three main commercial axes inserted in Alcantara Street, on Calvary Largo and Luís de Camões Street. These axes are performing daily trade. However, the proximity to the large shopping areas is quite large and ist's possible to quickly reache the largest supermarkets of ´the city or the most luxurious areas, such as the Avenida da Liberdade, where we can find the most exclusive fashion brands.
Alcantara has got a good supply of schools, preschool up university education. The Instituto Superior de Agronomia, where courses of Landscape Architecture, Biology, Agricultural Engineering, Food Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Forestry and Natural Resources and Animal Science are dictated, is located in Alcantara. Underlines once again the proximity to other schools, particularly in the city university, where are placed prestigious institutions and recognized international quality courses.
One of the main concerns when we are choosing a place to settle is the security. Regarding this subject, Lisbon scores again because is one of the most safe capitals of Europe. In short, Alcantara, in the heart of Lisbon, presents more than enough reasons to be a weight hypothesis in the choice of the perfect place to live.
The city of Lisbon needs no introduction. The discoveries of new worlds, in the XV century, started in Lisbon. As a result, our capital became a cosmopolitan town, welcoming everybody with open arms. Currently, besides being the capital, it is also the center of the biggest urban area of the country. It is in this metropolitan area where the head offices of the largest national companies and many international companies delegations are located, including many multinational companies. For example, the Congress Centre of Lisbon is situated there.
A parish which contributed to its county development, helping with industry advance, going beyond the agriculture, promoting the economic and consequently population development with great influence throughout the city. A local provided with features which make it special and also a place of changing where small ideas, over the years, became immortalized works of History. These historical brands crease its identity and not even the famous earthquake could destroy it. Alcantara is the ideal place to establish and achieve your personal goals and professional ambitions.