A considerable number of the Historic Shops are at least a century old. But there are some that have achieved the rare feat of surpassing two centuries. Their origins take us back to the 18th century, when Lisbon was a different city. All of them emerged in a city that was trying to get back on its feet after the Great Earthquake of 1755. In surviving until today they have seen many shops around them close. They have lived through wars, revolutions, the collapse of the monarchy, dictatorship and seen their customers leave to fight in the colonial wars and never come back. In their beginnings, the early days of their history, they added colour to a city that was much smaller, but still agitated, animated, irrequieta, dirty and full of contrasts. They had their doors open to lanes and alleyways where carriage had to share the streets with street vendors, who in turn attracted their custom with colourful market cries. A city with a very poor working class living in very tough conditions and slice of a luxurious life, often times imitating foreign models reflecting change trend cycles. That is the Lisbon that is also inscribed in the oldest Historic Shops.