Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. It is the westernmost large city located in continental Europe, as well as its westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus, and has a population of 547,631 within its administrative limits on a land area of 84.8 square kilometres. The urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of over 3 million, on an area of 958 square kilometres, making it the 11th most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3,035,000 people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (which represents approximately 27% of the population of the country).
Lisbon is recognised as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism. It is one of the major economic centres on the continent, with a growing financial sector and one of the largest container ports on Europe's Atlantic coast. Lisbon Portela Airport serves over 16 million passengers annually (2013); the motorway network and the high-speed rail system of Alfa Pendular link the main cities of Portugal. The city is the 7th-most-visited city in Southern Europe, after Istanbul, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Athens and Milan, with 1,740,000 tourists in 2009. The Lisbon region is the wealthiest NUTS II region in Portugal, GDP PPP per capita is 26,100 euros (4.7% higher than the average European Union's GDP PPP per capita). It is the 10th richest metropolitan area by GDP on the continent amounting to 110 billion euros and thus €39,375 per capita, 40% higher than the average European Union's GDP per capita. The city occupies 32nd place of highest gross earnings in the world. Most of the headquarters of multinationals in the country are located in the Lisbon area. It is also the political centre of the country, as seat of Government and residence of the Head of State. The seat of the district of Lisbon and the centre of the NUTS II Lisbon region.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by centuries. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the 5th century, it was captured by the Moors in the 8th century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city and since then it has been a major political, economic and cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon's status as the capital of Portugal has never been granted or confirmed officially by statute or in written form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the Constitution of Portugal.
These images acquired over Lisbon (Portugal) in a time window of 27 years by the Landsat 5 and 8 satellites, aim to show the different urban and terrain changes that have occurred in the city during this time. One of the most visible changes in the city is the construction of the Vasco da Gama Bridge, which can be seen in the Landsat 8 image, and leads into the metropolitan area of Lisbon. The Vasco da Gama Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge flanked by viaducts and range views that spans the Tagus River in Parque das Nações. It is the longest bridge in Europe (including viaducts), with a total length of 17.2 km, including 0.829 km for the main bridge, 11.5 km in viaducts, and 4.8 km in dedicated access roads. Its purpose is to alleviate the congestion on Lisbon's other bridge (25 de April Bridge), and to join previously unconnected motorways radiating from Lisbon. Construction began in February 1995; the bridge was opened to traffic on 29 March 1998, just in time for Expo 98, the World's Fair that celebrated the 500th anniversary of the discovery by Vasco da Gama of the sea route from Europe to India.
Another aim of these images is to promote the opportunity to download Landsat data through the ESA portals, where images captured every day are made available in near real time to the users and the scientific community.
Landsat full resolution data products are freely available for immediate download at:
View Landsat 5 TM high resolution image (JPG 4 MB)
View Landsat 8 OLI high resolution image (JPG 4.8 MB)