Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Bairro Alto

The Bairro Alto district (literally the Upper City) is, like the Alfama, an historic enclave dating from 1513, which is reached in a novel way via the Santa Justa Elevator (a structure reminiscent of the Eiffel tower in Paris) from the lower city. The colourful district resounds to the calls of vendors and fishmongers, and the windows and balconies are festooned with laundry and bird cages. At night the area comes alive with some of the finest fado cafes in the city, along streets lit by Victorian lanterns. Fado is the famous brand of music and dance brought to Portugal by African slaves in the 19th century, characterised by songs of sadness and despair, and there is no better place in Portugal to experience this musical genre than in the Bairro Alto of Lisbon.