From downtown Lisbon to the top of the huge Marquês de Pombal roundabout, stretches a long avenue. This huge street is famous for its expensive restaurants, fancy hotels and a lot of high-end fashion shops; but it's really more than just a shopaholic’s dream. This great avenue is a cultural hub, where the city’s biggest events take place. The heart of Lisbon is called Avenida da Liberdade.
Avenida da Liberdade, due to its being such a wide and long route, is often used for the city's many parades and marches. At the 25th of April, the avenue is used for the parade celebrating the Portuguese Revolution (the event that gives the avenue its name). In June, during the festivities called Santos, there is also a great parade going all the way down to the Rossio square. Many politically driven marches take place here, since its central position is optimal for gathering more attention! This, of course, is also taken in advantage for other parades or events, such as artisanal markets that pop-up along the avenue from time to time.
Its also here where you can find a myriad of theaters and other venues! One very obvious is the Cinema São Jorge, right in the center of the avenue; it is here where most film festivals in Lisbon take place since it has one of the largest screening halls in the city. But there are also concerts and comedy shows here. On the other side of the street is Teatro Tivoli, an older theater, and very well regarded for its dance and music performances.
On the bottom of the avenue, you have venues like Teatro Politeama, which is a theater much more dedicated to “Revistas”, a type of musical comedy. Next to it, one can find the Coliseu dos Recreios, a venue used for many different types of shows, but whose main attraction is concerts.
And on top you have Cinemateca Portuguesa, a wonderful place to see classic films, with a really wonderful line-up of retrospectives, special screenings and talks on cinema all year round (a personal favorite).
Some of these places are well known but in my next article, I’ll focus more on the smaller details that help make Avenida da Liberdade the true heart of the capital.
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