#213 - Praça do Comércio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square) is located in the city of Lisbon, Portugal. Situated near the Tagus river, the square is still commonly known as Terreiro do Paço (Palace Square), because it was the location of the Royal Ribeira Palace (Paços da Ribeira) until it was destroyed by the great 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. After the earthquake, the square was completely remodelled as part of the rebuilding of the Pombaline Downtown ordered by the Marquis of Pombal.

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Urban development of the banks of the Tagus (the Ribeira) was given a definitive impulse in the early 1500s, when King Manuel I built a new royal residence - the Ribeira Palace - by the river, outside the city walls. The area was further developed with the building of a port, ship building facilities (the Ribeira das Naus), the Casa da India and other administrative buildings that regulated the commerce between Portugal and other parts of Europe and its colonies in Africa, Asia and America.

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On November 1, 1755, during the reign of King José I, a great earthquake followed by a tsunami and fire destroyed most of Lisbon, including the Ribeira Palace and other buildings by the river. José I's Prime Minister, the Marquis of Pombal, coordinated a massive rebuilding effort in the enlightened spirit of the time. The Royal Palace was not to be rebuilt, and the square was given a regular, rational arrangement in line with the reconstruction of the new Pombaline Downtown, the Baixa.

The large square (170 m by 170m) in front of the Ribeira Palace, called Terreiro do Paço (Palace Square), was rebuilt following the symmetrical design of Portuguese architect Eugénio dos Santos. He designed a large, rectangular square in the shape of an "U", open towards the Tagus river. The buildings have galleries on their groundfloors, and the arms of the "U" end in two large towers, reminiscent of the monumental tower of the destroyed Ribeira Palace, still vivid in the architectonic memory of the city. His plan was realised almost completely, although decorative details were changed and the east tower of the square and the Augusta Street Arch were only finished in the 19th century.

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The square was named Praça do Comércio, the Square of Commerce, to indicate its new function in the economy of Lisbon. The symmetrical buildings of the square were filled with government bureaus that regulated customs and port activities. The main piece of the ensemble was the equestrian statue of King José I, inaugurated in 1775 in the centre of the square. This bronze statue, the first monumental statue dedicated to a King in Lisbon, was designed by Joaquim Machado de Castro, Portugal's foremost sculptor of the time.

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Opening towards the Augusta Street, which links the square with the other tradicional Lisbon square, the Rossio, the original project by Eugénio dos Santos planned a triumphal arch, only realised in 1875. This arch, usually called the Arco da Rua Augusta, was designed by Veríssimo da Costa. It has a clock and statues of the Glory, Ingenuity and Valour (by the French sculptor Camels) and those of Viriatus, Nuno Álvares Pereira, Vasco da Gama and, of course, the Marquis of Pombal.

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On February 1, 1908 the square was the scene of the assassination of Carlos I, the penultimate King of Portugal. On their way back from the palace of Vila Viçosa to the royal palace in Lisbon, the carriage with Carlos I and his family passed through the Terreiro do Paço. While crossing the square, shots were fired from the crowd by at least two men: Alfredo Costa and Manuel Buiça. The king died immediately, his heir Luís Filipe was mortally wounded, and Prince Manuel was hit in the arm. The assassins were shot on the spot by members of the bodyguard and later recognized as members of the Republican Party - which two years later overhtrew the Portuguese monarchy. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To see more photos click here


#212 - The Arc of Rua Augusta

The Arch of Triumph Rua Augusta is part of the whole architecture of Commerce Square, perhaps the most monumental square of the city of Lisbon.
The decision of building a Square was taken following the works of reconstruction, just after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. The project of the authors of Mardel and Carlos Eugenio dos Santos include the construction of a large square, supplemented by a statue of King Joseph I and a triumphal arch. The works of construction started in 1759, given that in 1775, the year of the official opening of the equestrian statue, the work of the arc had already started. The work continued in the square, and around 1815 were only placed the columns that supposed to bear the future triumphal arch. Only later in 1843, is that it will launch new tender for its construction, won by the architect Veríssimo Jose da Costa. The work only started in 1862, leaving only the arc completed in 1873. The large-scale sculptures that decorate only been placed in 1875, and are the authors of Vitor Bastos and A. Calmels.
The arch has three bodies and the central, higher, also the most important for the load that has iconographic. This gives central body, inside, a decoration of carved panels, and a rosette which marks the closing of the arc back whole. The side facing the street Augusta presents a monumental clock, ornamented with vegetalistas reasons, while the side facing the river can be seen from the actual shield with the arms of Portugal, in relief, and surrounded by sheets of palm. The real shield is flanked by statues of four major, two on each side, representing, Nuno Alvares Pereira, the Marquis de Pombal (right), Viriato and Vasco da Gama (left). Behind these figures largest in Portuguese history, are two figures recostadas (one on each side), representing the rivers Douro (right) and Tagus (left). At the top of the arch is a sculpture group that is the crowning glory the Génio and value, and below an inscription in Latin iron.
The triumphal arch of the Rua Augusta, as well as the entire architecture of Commerce Square has been classified as National Monument since 1910. [*]


211 - Carmo Convent

The Carmo Convent (Portuguese: Convento da Ordem do Carmo) is a monument located in the city of Lisbon, in Portugal. The mediaeval convent was ruined in the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, and the ruins of its Gothic church (the Carmo Church or Igreja do Carmo) are the main trace of the great earthquake still visible in the city.

The Carmo Convent is located in the Chiado neighbourhood, on a hill overlooking the Rossio square and facing the Lisbon Castle hill. It is located in front of a quiet square (Carmo Square), very close to the Santa Justa Lift.

Nowadays the ruined Carmo Church is used as an archaeological museum (the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo or Carmo Archaeological Museum).

The Carmo Convent was founded as a convent for the Carmelite Order in 1389 by the Portuguese knight Nuno Álvares Pereira. Álvares Pereira was Constable of Portugal, meaning that he was the supreme military commander after the King. At the service of King John I, Álvares Pereira commanded the Portuguese army in the decisive Battle of Aljubarrota (1385), in which the Portuguese guaranteed their independence by defeating the Castilian army.

The Carmo Convent was initially inhabited by Carmelites from Moura (southern Portugal), which entered the convent in 1392. In 1404, the pious Álvares Pereira donated his wealth to the convent and, in 1423, he also became a brother of the convent.

On November 1, 1755, the great earthquake destroyed most of the convent and its church. The Convent library and its 5000 books were all lost. The convent was remodelled and eventually became a military quarter. The church was never fully rebuilt and, after a period as wood storage house, it was donated in 1864 to the Association of Portuguese Archaeologists, which turned the ruined building into a museum.

In the 20th century, during the Carnation Revolution, the Carmo Headquarters was the last stronghold of the Presidente of the Estado Novo, Marcelo Caetano, and the military loyal to him. The old Carmo Convent building is now used by the Municipal Guard (Guarda Republicana).

The Carmo Convent and its Church were built between 1389 and 1423 in the plain Gothic style typical for the mendicant religious orders. There are also influences from the Monastery of Batalha , which had been founded by King John I and was being built at that same time. Compared to the other Gothic churches of the city, the Carmo Church was said to be the most imposing in its architecture and decoration.

The church has a Latin cross floorplan. The main facade has a portal with several archivolts and capitals decorated with vegetal and anthropomorphic motifs. The rose window over the portal is partially destroyed. The south side of the church is reinforced by five flying buttresses, added in 1399 after the south wall collapsed during the construction work. The old convent, located to the right of the facade, has been rebuilt in neo-Gothic style in the early 20th century.

The church interior has a nave with three aisles and an apse with a main chapel and four side chapels. The stone roof over the nave collapsed after the earthquake and was never rebuilt, and only the pointed arches between the pillars have survived.

The nave and apse of the Carmo Church are the setting for a small archaeological museum, with pieces from all periods of Portuguese history. The nave has a series of tombs, fountains, windows and other architectural relics from different places and styles.

The old apse chapels are also used as exhibition rooms. One of them houses notable pre-historical objects excavated from a fortification near Azambuja (3500–1500 BC).

The group of Gothic tombs include that of Fernão Sanches, a bastard son of King Dinis I, (early 14th century), decorated with scenes of boar hunting, as well as the magnificent tomb of King Ferdinand I (reign 1367-1383), transferred to the museum from the Franciscan Convent of Santarém. Other notable exhibits include a statue of a 12th century king (perhaps Afonso Henriques), Spanish-Moorish azulejos and objects from the Roman and Visigoth periods. [*]


#210 - Rua alexandre Herculano Sky II

Alexandre Herculano de Carvalho e Araújo (March 28, 1810—September 13, 1877), Portuguese historian, was born in Lisbon of humble stock, his grandfather having been a foreman stonemason in the royal employ.


On entering parliament in 1840 he resigned the editorship to devote himself to history, but he still remained its most important contributor. Up to the age of twenty-five Herculano had been a poet, but he then abandoned poetry to Garrett, and after several essays in that direction he definitely introduced the historical novel into Portugal in 1844 by a book written in imitation of Walter Scott. Eurico treats of the fall of the Visigothic monarchy and the beginnings of resistance in the Asturias which gave birth to the Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula, while the Monge de Cister, published in 1848, describes the time of King John I, when the middle class and the municipalities first asserted their power and elected a king in opposition to the nobility.

From an artistic standpoint, these stories are rather laboured productions, besides being ultra-romantic in tone; but it must be remembered that they were written mainly with an educational object, and, moreover, they deserve high praise for their style. Herculano had greater book learning than Scott, but lacked descriptive talent and skill in dialogue. His touch is heavy, and these novels show no dramatic power, which accounts for his failure as a playwright, but their influence was as great as their followers were many, and they still find readers. [*]


#209 - Rua Alexandre Herculano Sky I

Alexandre Herculano de Carvalho e Araújo (March 28, 1810—September 13, 1877), Portuguese historian, was born in Lisbon of humble stock, his grandfather having been a foreman stonemason in the royal employ.
He received his early education, comprising Latin, logic and rhetoric, at the Necessidades Monastery, and spent a year at the Royal Marine Academy studying mathematics with the intention of entering on a commercial career. In 1828 Portugal fell under the absolute rule of D. Miguel, and Herculano, becoming involved in the unsuccessful military pronunciamento of August 1831, had to leave Portugal clandestinely and take refuge in England and France. In 1832 he accompanied the Liberal expedition to Terceira Island as a volunteer, and was one of D. Pedro's famous army of 7500 men who landed at the Mindelo and occupied Oporto. He took part in all the actions of the great siege, and at the same time served as a librarian in the city archives. He published his first volume of verses, A Voz de Propheta, in 1832, and two years later another entitled A Harpa do Crente.

Privation had made a man of him, and in these little books he proves himself a poet of deep feeling and considerable power of expression. The stirring incidents in the political emancipation of Portugal inspired his muse, and he describes the bitterness of exile, the adventurous expedition to Terceira, the heroic defence of Oporto, and the final combats of liberty. In 1837 he founded the Panorama in imitation of the English Penny Magazine, and there and in Illustraco he published the historical tales which were afterwards collected into Lendas e Narratives; in the same year he became royal librarian at the Ajuda Palace, which enabled him to continue his studies of the past. The Panorama had a large circulation and influence, and Herculano's biographical sketches of great men and his articles of literary and historical criticism did much to educate the middle class by acquainting them with the story of their nation, and with the progress of knowledge and the state of letters in foreign countries. [*]


#208 - Another Rossio sky view


#207 - Sky watch today

Today sky view: Twin Towers


#206 - Chiado Sky Series 7


#205 - Chiado Sky Series 6


#204 - Chiado Sky Series 5



#201 - Chiado Sky Series 2


#200 - Chiado Sky Series 1


#199 - Chiado Area 8

Chiado 8 Contemporary Art, opened in January 2002, is a project of Loyalty World Insurance Company, which, taking advantage of the location of one of its central buildings, decided to participate in efforts to rehabilitate the Chiado by creating a space of disseminating contemporary art.

24 MAY - 15 JUL 2008

"Putting Fear in its Place" is the title of the new individual exposure of Alexandre Estrela, a presentation in Chiado Area 8 in Lisbon, included in the programme by commissioner Ricardo Nicolau. It belongs to the generation of artists who said during the decade of 1990, Star has since developed a broad and consistent work marked by a profound reflection on the procedures for production of the image and its reception.

Largo do Chiado, 8
1249-125 LISBOA


#198 - Encarnação Church

Just at the opposite side of the street and in front of Loreto church you find Nossa Senhora da encarnação Church wich I dedicate to the cute George Townboy who loves churches.

Encarnação Church

The lovely Encarnação Church is situated in the heart of Lisboa, in the exquisite historical old quarter of Lisboa, Chiado, right in front of the famous Our Lady of Loureto Church.
Founded in 1708, for its construction part of the medieval defensive wall of the 14th century was demolished. The set of this church and the Loreto Church formed one of the noble entrance doors in Lisboa.

The Temple got quite destroyed with the big earthquake of 1755, and in 1784 got several modifications and restoration works, according to the plan of the renowned Architect Manuel Caetano de Sousa.

The façade of the Temple presents a neo-classical architectonic style combined with a range of Rocaille elements. The façade also houses the interesting Saint Catherine images that were part of the ancient medieval door. [*]


#197 - Chiado, Nossa Senhora do Loreto Church

Nossa Senhora do Loreto Church
Situated in the exquisite historical old quarter of Lisboa, Chiado, in the historical centre, the charming Nossa Senhora do Loreto Church has remote origins in the 13th century, yet the present building dates from the 18th century.
The devotion to Our Lady of Loreto was brought to Portugal by Italian traders that installed in the region during the 13th, 14th and 15th century, being that the reason why this church is often named as the “Italian Church”.
The previous temple would have been built nearby the defensive walls of Lisboa in the 14th century, and later in 1573 was restored and enlarged, and dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto. The current Church dates from 1676, and with the big earthquake and fire of 1755 got quite destroyed, and consequently restored and re-built in 1785.
The project of the Temple was signed by the same architect of the wonderful São Carlos Theatre, José da Costa e Silva, and is characterized by a central nave with twelve lateral chapels with the twelve Apostles, covered with the noble Italian marble. The main façade is famous for its Our Lady of Loreto Image and by the pontifical coat of arms of Borromini (17th century), sided by two angels. [*]


#196 - Chiado


#195 - Chiado, São Roque Church

Home of the world's most expensive chapel - São Roque Church

The church with the plainest façade in Lisbon has one of the city's richest interiors. Each of the chapels is a masterpiece of Baroque art but the showpiece is the fourth one on the left, the "world's most expensive chapel."

Designed in Rome using the most costly materials available, including ivory, agate, porphyry, lapis lazulli, gold and silver, it was blessed by the Pope and shipped to Lisbon in 1747.Of note is also the chapel's "paintings," which are not paintings but extraordinarily detailed mosaics, and the ceiling painted with scenes of the Apocalypse. Today this chapel is considered a masterpiece of European art.

Adjoining the church is a Museum of Sacred Art, containing 16th century Portuguese paintings (including one of Catherine of Austria, and another of the wedding ceremony of King Manuel I), a display of vestments, and an impressive collection of baroque silver. A highlight is a pair of bronze-and-silver torch holders, weighing about 840 pounds, among the most elaborate in Europe. [*]

Where: Largo Trindade Coelho, Bairro Alto
How: Metro - Baixa-Chiado Station
When: 10AM-5PM (Closed Mondays)


#194 - Camões Square Tram

Camões Square: Lisbon's meeting place.
This small square is the transition zone between Chiado and Bairro Alto. In its center is a monumental statue of 16th century epic poet Luis de Camões standing on a pedestal with other smaller statues of classical Portuguese authors. It faces Largo do Chiado, where there are two Baroque churches: Loreto (also known as "of the Italians") and Encarnação. Here is also Lisbon's best-known café, A Brasileira, a meeting place of several generations of intellectuals and artists. In front is a statue of poet Fernando Pessoa sitting in a chair, recalling the days when he used to write at this cafe. [*]

Chiado is nowadays one of the Lisboa’s quarters with more prestige.
Situated in between the Bairro Alto and the Baixa, here the most diversified designer’s shops can be found, as well as ateliers, art galleries, museums, restaurants, modern and traditional coffees, bookstores, theatres and many other cultural and artistic expressions.
Chiado is an historical place, frequented by modernist intellectuals and has forever being linked to a cosmopolitan Lisboa, with a strong romantic, modernist, liberal, and intellectual component.
The statue of the Poet Luís of Camões, in the square with his name, the Rua Garrett (main commercial artery of the area), the famous coffees (between them the famous one "A Brasileira", in which esplanada is the bronze figure of the great Poet Fernando Pessoa sat down in one of its preferred places of the city - in fact he was born in this quarter, nearby this coffee), the theatres of the Trindade, of São Luiz and of São Carlos (the only Opera theatre in Portugal), the Carmo Convent, the Santa Justa Elevator, the Palace Valadares (in the place where the first Portuguese university was created), the National Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Churches of Loreto, of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, and of Ordem Terceira de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, are some of the many more important monuments and symbols of Lisboa that the Chiado proudly houses.
In 1988 a serious fire of high dimensions devastated the Chiado, and since that fateful date this quarter has suffered several restoraion and re-organization works. These works have improved this historical and already so special place, with new and re-done infrastructures and facilities more accurate to the modern times, with its project directed by the respected Portuguese Architect Siza Vieira. [*]

Sights Nearby São Roque Church - Home of the world's most expensive chapel.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara - A garden with a panoramic view over the city.

Chiado Museum - Museum of Portuguese contemporary art.

São Carlos Theater - The city's La Scala-inspired opera house.

Carmo Church - Romantic Gothic ruins evocative of the Great Earthquake. Principe Real - Charming leafy square.

Miradouro de Santa Catarina - A terrace and café with a view.

Botanical Garden - An enchanting botanical garden.


#193 - Sky watch today

I had an awesome morning Downtown! Can you feel it by the photos?

#192 - Parking Meters at avenida Guerra Junqueiro

Lovely Rita meter maid
nothing can come between us
When it gets dark I tow your
heart away
Standing by a parking meter
when I caught a glimpse of Rita
Filling in a ticket in her little
white book
In a cap she looked much older
And the bag across her shoulder
Made her look a little like a
military man
Lovely Rita meter maid
may I inquire discreetly
When are you free to take some tea with me
Took her out and tried to win her
had a laugh and over dinner
Told her I would really like to see her again
Got the bill and Rita paid it
Took her home and nearly made it
Sitting on a sofa with a sister or two
Lovely Rita meter maid
where would I be without you
give us a wink and make me think of you
Lovely meter maid
Rita meter maid oh,
Lovely Rita meter,
meter maid

"Lovely Rita" is a song by The Beatles performed on the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, written and sung by Paul McCartney