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50 years of Freedom: Lisbon on the 25th of April

Lisbon is on Tour 25th April
Lisbon is on Tour 25th April

This year we celebrate 50 years of freedom. April 25th, 1974, was the biggest moment in Portuguese democracy, as it became the stage for one of the most remarkable revolutions of the 20th century.

The 25th April Revolution, also known as the Carnation Revolution, took down the authoritarian regime of Estado Novo and paved the way for democracy in Portugal. As we celebrate this historic event, let’s explore the streets of Lisbon and the places where the revolution unfolded and the people who played key roles in shaping its course.

Pre-Revolution Lisbon

Portugal was under the dictatorial regime of the Estado Novo, in force since 1933, led by figures such as António de Oliveira Salazar and later Marcelo Caetano. In this period of dictatorship people couldn’t speak out if they disagreed, and the country faced economic stagnation and social inequality. However, a growing hidden discontent grew among the Portuguese people, fueled by aspirations for freedom and democracy.

Lisbon is on Tour at Praça do Comércio
Lisbon is on Tour at Praça do Comércio

The Beginning of Change

Our journey starts at Praça do Comércio, the busy square that witnessed the beginning of the Carnation Revolution. On that important day, military officers and soldiers, inspired by the desire for change, launched a coup to overthrow the regime. As the revolutionaries advanced, civilians joined in, offering them carnations as symbols of peace and solidarity. The square became a sign of hope and freedom as things changed against the dictatorship.

Largo do Carmo (Photography by Reinaldo Rodrigues/Global Imagens)
Largo do Carmo (Photography by Reinaldo Rodrigues/Global Imagens)

The Final Stand

Our next stop takes us to Largo do Carmo, a historic square situated in the heart of Lisbon. It was here that the final showdown between the regime and the group of young revolutionary captains unfolded. Led by Captain Salgueiro Maia, the military forces surrounded the headquarters of Marcelo Caetano, demanding his surrender. In an amazing show of control and determination, the regime gave up, marking the peaceful end of many decades of dictatorship and the start of a new era.

Preserving the Memory

As we reflect on the events of April 25th, we continue our journey to the incredible Museu do Aljube, a museum that keeps the memory of Portugal's fight for freedom alive. Located in the old part of Alfama, the museum tells the story of the resistance against the Estado Novo, showcasing artifacts, testimonies, and exhibitions that remind us of the bravery and strength of those who fought for democracy.

As we finish walking around Lisbon on the 25th of April, let us remember and honor the legacy of the Carnation Revolution. It reminds us of the power of ordinary people that can achieve extraordinary change, and the importance of protecting democracy and human rights.

Let's keep feeling inspired by the courage, bravery and sacrifice of those who came before us, as we strive to build a brighter and more just future for generations to come.

We invite you to visit Lisbon with Lisbon is on Tour’s Team, and immerse yourself in the rich history and unique culture of our beloved city.

Join us this month in commemorating April 25th, celebrating the spirit of freedom and democracy in the streets of Lisbon.

Check some events you can’t miss in the city, to commemorate this day:

  • Exhibition “Factum” by the photographer Eduardo Gageiro, at Cordoaria Nacional. 170 photographs as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of April 25, 1974.

  • Exhibition “Viva a Liberdade” by Alfredo Cunha, at Underdogs, in Marvila.

  • Open Doors of the Town Hall - The doors of the building are open to the public who can visit the facilities - Praça do Município - April 25th - 10am to 6pm

  • Parade Apr 25, 2024 3pm - 8pm. The parade starts at Praça Marquês de Pombal, continues along Avenida da Liberdade and ends at Praça D. Pedro IV (Rossio), where there will be 2 interventions and several cultural moments with performances by several groups.

  • Check more events on the official website 50 Anos 25 de Abril.

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