The Arab district is probably the most suggestive part of the city, the only area which survived the earthquake of 1755. Here the memory of past time is still alive and visible in the noisy lanes and decadent buildings.
The Alfama reached the peak of its development under the Arab domain, when it was chosen as the seat of merchants and aristocracy. After the Reconquista the district turned into a popular borough, mainly inhabited by fishermen, while the Moorish moved to the area which corresponds today to the district of Mouraria ( as the name self suggests).
Over the 20th century, Mouraria and the nearby squares of Rossio and Figueira, along with the district of São Bento, became the multiethnic heart of Lisbon, a city in which the glorious colonial past has been balanced by a recent history of immigration from the former African and Asian colonies of Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, São Tomé and Macao.
The atmosphere you can breathe in these districts is unforgettable: narrow streets leading to large squares and open spaces, where the eyes need time to become acclimatized to the bright light of the sun; beautiful decorated façades and azulejos alternating with old buildings worn out by time and natural elements; and above all this, some of the finest miradourous of Lisbon.