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Lisbon wins European City of the Year 2012 and UNESCO award for Fado

And the winner is………Lisbon!

The Academy of Urbanisn confirms Lisbon as winner – The European City of the Year 2012.

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And the winner is………Lisbon!

The Academy of Urbanisn confirms Lisbon as winner – The European City of the Year 2012.

Visitors to the fabulous capital of Portugal have always enjoyed the superb combination of vibrant downtown, historic quarters with parks and gardens and cool contemporary development. Lisbon has successfully managed to sustain its classical and modern architecture (much rebuilding was necessary after the great earthquake of 1755) and has carefully invested in and managed urbanism projects.

The Academy of Urbanism is an autonomous, politically independent organisation whose goals are the recognition, learning and promoting of best practices in urbanism.

Awards are presented yearly following careful and detailed inspection of nominee cities. For 2012 Lisbon was nominated along side Oslo and Gothenburg.

During the delegation’s visit earlier this year, special note was taken of Lisbon’s project for sensitive development of the River Tagus waterfront (now home to the annual Festival dos Oceanos) and the revival of Mouraria, one of the city’s typical, historic quarters.

Winners were announced and awards presented at a ceremony in London on 14 November 2011.

So whilst Lisbon is one of the most stunning and sought-after capitals in Europe, it is now the official winner of ‘European City of the Year 2012’ – a worthy accolade from one of the most respected authorities of urbanism. Congratulations Lisbon!


A two day decision-making process relating to the flagship Portuguese fado music resulted in a positive vote on 27 November.Fado is now the holder of UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage of Humanity award and UNESCO experts stated that Portugal’s application was exemplary.

Although fado music can be heard all over Portugal, it is Lisbon that is the great city of fado. This is a truly distinctive melancholic form of traditional singing, accompanied by classical and Portuguese guitars.The main themes of fado are passion, fate and regret and it is believed that its roots may be in African slave songs or Moorish songs.

There are fado bars and restaurants in many of Lisbon’s old quarters including the Alfama and Bairro Alto districts.To fully understand and appreciate fado, the Museu e Casa Do Fado is worth a visit. Located on Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, it’s is an intriguing museum illustrating this Portuguese passion. Visitors can learn about the history, hear the music, see how the 10-stringed Portuguese guitars are made – and even visit a 1940’s fado house.

About the author


Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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