Lisbon became a refuge for many Axis exiles during World War II. Their voyage would begin in Lisbon and end in the United States or Great Britain. There was a large-scale exodus of rural people from the provinces to the capital in the 1950s. The surrounding areas were filled with peasants uprooted from their farms and living in squalor. Brandoa was the largest and best known of these.
Portugal’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Dr. Pedro Theotonio Pereira, and Bernard Morgan, a retired solicitor from London, organized the first Tall Ships’ Race in 1956, a 20 of the world’s remaining large sailing ships. The race took place from Torquay, Devon, to Lisbon and was meant to mark the end of the era of the great sailing ships. However, the public interest was so intense that race organizers founded the Sail Training International Association to direct future events. Tall Ships Races have taken place annually since then in various parts of the world, attracting millions of spectators.
Below are some fascinating historical photos of Lisbon in the1950s.