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Mouraria, located in the heart of Lisbon, is one of the oldest and most authentic neighborhoods in the city. Renowned for its diverse cultural heritage and vibrant street life, it’s a captivating destination for affluent visitors or investors interested in a unique slice of Lisbon’s real estate market.

Historical Significance & Location

Rooted in deep history, Mouraria gets its name from the Moors who resided here after the Christian reconquest in the 12th century. The district is bounded by the castle hill above and downtown Baixa below, providing a breathtaking view of the city. Mouraria is a veritable open-air museum, revealing layers of history in its winding alleyways and squares.

Investment Opportunities & Lifestyle

As one of the last neighborhoods in Lisbon to undergo gentrification, Mouraria offers an array of investment opportunities, particularly in real estate rehabilitation. Prices per square meter range from €4,000 to €6,500 in 2023, with a promising appreciation rate. Furthermore, Mouraria is culturally rich, offering a mosaic of cuisines, traditions, and music – notably Fado, Portugal’s melancholic and soulful music genre.

Connectivity & Amenities

Mouraria is well connected with the rest of the city, with the Martim Moniz metro station and several bus lines facilitating easy access. The district has a variety of amenities, including the Hospital de São José and several schools. It also hosts an assortment of restaurants, featuring Portuguese and international cuisines, local shops, and traditional markets, like Mercado de Fusão, a cultural and gastronomic hub.

The Attraction Factor

Mouraria offers a plethora of sights for the history and culture lover. Among its highlights are the Castle of São Jorge, offering a panoramic view of Lisbon, and the Convento da Graça, an ancient monastery with a charming viewpoint. For Fado enthusiasts, the Museu do Fado and many local taverns where you can listen to live performances are essential stops.

Main Arteries & Squares

The principal streets of Mouraria include Rua da Mouraria, Rua Capelão, and Rua Cavaleiros. These narrow, winding streets are teeming with life and local businesses. Martim Moniz Square, at the lower end of the district, is a multicultural hub with an outdoor market and food stalls from around the world.

Prostitution and Social Evolution in Mouraria

Delving into Mouraria’s past reveals its complex and colorful societal evolution, including a period when the district was known for its brothels. From the 15th century, Mouraria, with its labyrinthine streets and peripheral location, was designated as an area where these establishments could legally operate.

In the Middle Ages, following the Christian reconquest, Mouraria, primarily inhabited by non-Christians, began to acquire a marginalized reputation. This perception influenced its transformation into a red-light district. Prostitution, not considered a crime in Portugal until the late 19th century, was nonetheless regulated, with specific areas of the city sanctioned for brothels.

Mouraria’s history with prostitution contributes to its layered narrative but does not define it today. The district has undergone significant regeneration and gentrification in recent years, transforming historical buildings into contemporary spaces. Today, Mouraria stands as a symbol of multicultural diversity, historic richness, and a deep-rooted association with Fado music, distancing itself from the shadows of its past.

Exclusive to Mouraria

Mouraria is known as the birthplace of Fado music, a unique cultural heritage that imbues the neighborhood with an unforgettable charm. The house where the first renowned Fado singer, Maria Severa, once lived, is still standing, now as a small museum.
From a real estate perspective, Mouraria has unique appeal as it is one of the last areas in central Lisbon where investors can find authentic, historic properties ripe for renovation and a vibrant cultural scene that promises to boost the district’s attractiveness and value over the coming years. It’s a tantalizing opportunity for anyone interested in owning a piece of Lisbon’s rich and diverse history, with the bonus of a potentially excellent return on investment.