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The oldest district of Lisbon, it spreads down the southern slope from the Castle of Sγo Jorge to the Tagus river. Its name, derived from the Arabic Al-hamma, means fountains or baths. During the Islamic invasion of Iberia, the Alfama constituted the largest part of the city, extending west to the Baixa neighbourhood. Increasingly, the Alfama became inhabited by fishermen and the poor: its fame as a poor neighbourhood continues to this day. While the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake caused considerable damage throughout the capital, the Alfama survived with little damage, due to its compact labyrinth of narrow streets and small squares. It is a historical quarter of mixed-use buildings of homes with small shops, Fado bars and restaurants. Modernizing trends have invigorated the district: old houses have been re-purposed or remodelled, while new buildings have been constructed. Fado, the typically Portuguese-style of melancholy music, is common (but not obligatory) in the restaurants of the district.
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Additional Photos by Daniel Draghici (dkmurphys) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5753 W: 83 N: 11624] (77526)
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