Expo 1998 LISBON
Category: Specialized International Exhibition
Opening: May 22, 1998
Closing: September 31, 1998
Participating countries: 143
Site Area: 50 ha (123.5 acres)
Image: César Corona, 1998.
Expo 1998 Lisbon was held to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India. The event showcased the best of Portugal and other countries, with pavilions, exhibits, performances, and events that entertained and educated visitors from around the world.
The transformation of the Expo site into a sustainable zone within the city had a significant impact on the surrounding area, featuring residential, commercial, and recreational spaces that continue to attract visitors and residents alike.
The year 1998 was a significant year for Portugal as it marked the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India. To commemorate this event, the city of Lisbon hosted a specialized international exhibition, which attracted millions of visitors from all over the globe. Expo 1998 Lisbon was a significant event that showcased the best of what Portugal had to offer, and it was a moment of pride for the Portuguese people.
The Expo was located on the eastern edge of Lisbon, along the Tagus River, in an area that was once a dilapidated industrial zone. The site underwent a massive transformation, and the organizers created a futuristic, high-tech, and sustainable zone within the city. The theme of the Expo was "Oceans: Heritage for the Future," which was a fitting tribute to Portugal's rich maritime history.
One of the Expo 1998 Lisbon's main pavilions was the "Oceanarium," which was one of the world's largest aquariums. The Oceanarium showcased a variety of marine life from different parts of the world, including sharks, penguins, rays, and otters. Visitors were transported through underwater tunnels and could watch the creatures swimming above and around them. The Oceanarium was an instant hit and was one of the most popular attractions at the Expo.
The Expo had numerous pavilions that showcased the various countries that participated in the event. These pavilions were designed to represent the countries' cultural heritage, economic progress, and technological innovations. Each pavilion was unique and provided visitors with a glimpse into the country's history, culture, and people.
Central to Expo 1998 LIsbon was the Portuguese Pavilion, which was designed by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. The pavilion was a stunning white structure with a curved roof that resembled the hull of a ship. Inside, visitors were treated to a multimedia experience that highlighted Portugal's achievements in science, technology, and culture.
Image: Jose Manuel. CC by 2.5.
Other notable pavilions included the French Pavilion, which showcased France's contributions to the arts and culture, and the Japanese Pavilion, which highlighted Japan's technological advancements and cultural heritage. The German Pavilion featured a massive water fountain that showcased the country's water management techniques and conservation efforts.
Aside from the pavilions, the Expo had numerous exhibits, performances, and events that entertained visitors throughout the day. There were musical performances by renowned artists, theatrical shows, and dance performances that showcased different cultures from around the world. Visitors could also participate in interactive exhibits that allowed them to explore different aspects of science, technology, and the environment.
One of the most memorable events at the Expo was the Aqua Matrix show. Every evening, visitors gathered to watch a spectacular show of lights and colors that illuminated the night sky.
The Expo was not just a showcase of the best of what Portugal and other countries had to offer; it was also a platform for discussions and debates on various issues that affect the world today.
The Expo was also a significant catalyst for development in the eastern part of Lisbon. The transformation of the industrial zone into a high-tech, sustainable city within the city significantly impacted the surrounding area. The Expo site was designed to be environmentally friendly, and many of the buildings and structures were repurposed after the event. The area now features residential, commercial, and recreational spaces that continue to attract visitors and residents alike.