Alfama is Lisbon’s most emblematic quarter and one of the most rewarding for walkers and photographers thanks to its medieval alleys and outstanding views. Because its foundation is dense bedrock, it survived the 1755 earthquake, and a walk through this old-fashioned residential neighborhood is now a step back in time. It is a village within a city still made up of narrow streets, tiny squares, churches, and whitewashed houses with tile panels and wrought-iron balconies adorned with pots of flowers, drying laundry, and caged birds. It was settled by the Romans and Visigoths (it was also an important Jewish quarter in the 15th century), but it was the Moors who gave the district its atmosphere and name (alhama means springs or bath, a reference to the hot springs found in the area). They were also responsible for its web of streets created as a defense system, while at the same time enabling their homes to remain cool in the summer.
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