#224 - Praça do Comércio

"Comercio Square"
Lisbon's monumental riverside square

This vast waterfront square also known as Terreiro do Paço or "the palace's square," is where the royal palace stood for over two centuries until 1755, when its was destroyed by the Great Earthquake. The royal family moved to another residence in the district of Belem, and the new arcaded buildings acted as the port of entry to the city.

On the north side is a triumphal arch and one of the city's legendary cafes, Café Martinho da Arcada. It dates from 1782 and was a favorite of poets Fernando Pessoa and Almeida Garrett and of novelist Eça de Queiroz.

In the center of the square is a statue of King Jose I showing him on horseback, wearing his emperor's mantle, and measuring 14 meters in height counting from the pedestal.

Lisboa Welcome Center, the city's main tourism office, is located in one of the classical building on the west side the square. Here visitors can request information about the city, buy a tourist card that provides discounts on several attractions, use the internet service, or shop at a store offering traditional Portuguese products.

There have been plans to pedestrianize the area all the way to the river, sinking road traffic into a tunnel, freeing this elegant space to host cultural functions. The government offices now housed in the buildings surrounding the square would move to a new location, restaurants with outdoor tables and a modern museum dedicated to the Age of Discovery would replace them.

Where: Baixa (Downtown)
How: Metro - Baixa-Chiado Station

Sights Nearby

Municipal Square - Home of the City Hall palace.
Rua Augusta - The city's main shopping street.
Conceição Velha Church - Church that survived the Great Earthquake.
Santa Justa Elevator - An Eiffel Tower-like landmark with views over the city.
Rossio Square - Lisbon's elegant main square.
Figueira Square - Busy square and transporation hub.
São Domingos Church - A church marked by tragedy.
Rua das Portas de Santo Antão - Pedestrian street lined with seafood restaurants.
Rossio Station - A monumental train station.
Restauradores Square - Large busy square.
Avenida da Liberdade - The city's main avenue."


1 comment:

George Townboy said...

Gorgeous shots and awesome, well written, post! Lisbon and Mary Jo rock!!