This neighbourhood in the heart of Lisbon has over 900 years of history. In Mouraria the Muslims settled following the Christian conquest and it is speculated that in the melancholy sound of the Islamic chants is to be found the origin of the Fado genre of music. The Arab urban planning legacy is still visible in its streets and it is a neighbourhood that has always been linked with the trading activities that the capital has carried on over the centuries.
In the 20th century, with the arrival of the great wave of immigration, Mouraria became home to Chinese, Indian (from Mozambique), Pakistani, Bengali and African immigrants who settled in the neighbourhood.
Today the neighbourhood is composed of a multi-cultural social fabric with native lands on all continents. This multi-culturality mingles with the most authentic Portuguese folk culture, represented by Fado-singing, which has a very important presence in the neighbourhood. Mouraria is the neighbourhood with the lowest average rents in Lisbon, which attracts young students from Portugal and abroad.
At present the Municipal Chamber of Lisbon is carrying out the Programa de acção QREN Mouraria, as cidades dentro da cidade, in which Mouraria is present. In this context, the city’s mayor has moved his office to this area with the aim of trying to erase Mouraria’s stigmatized image and reputation for conflict.