Only some few years ago Lisbon was thought of by many as a strange and untidy place full of tumbledown buildings inhabited by poor people. This was certainly no good for the overall image of the capital of Portugal, all the more this country is often referred to as the 'Poor Man of Europe'. Much of the Lisbon's population found that the above is at least partially true, though still being proud of their bright and lively home city.
The sort of renovation that brought Lisbon to its present state may only be compared with the events of 14-15 centuries when the city played the role of political and commercial center of a huge empire that ranged from Brazil to India.
This massive renewal was initiated in the course of preparation for the World Expo 1998. Lisbon gained financial support from the Portugal Government as well as from the EU authorities. The project presupposed reconstruction and expansion of the nearly ruined subway transportation system, crossing the River Tagus with a new bridge and certainly total redesign of the Expo site located in Parque das Nacoes.
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