Libon, Portugal-4/18/2016

Rossio Square/stroll downtown

Praça do Comércio

Dinner at Sea Me

Son, Valerie, and Thomas flew from Paris to spend a few days with us in Lisbon.  We met up at his hotel and then we just took a stroll in the Baixa district to see Lisbon's historic downtown.

Rossio Square

Rossio Square is the popular name of the Pedro IV Square (Praça de D. Pedro IV) located downtown of Lisbon.  Rossio square has been one of its main squares since the Middle Ages. It has been the setting of popular revolts and celebrations, bullfights and executions, and is now a preferred meeting place of Lisbon natives and tourists.


A twenty-three meter tall column with a statue of Dom Pedro IV graces the center of the square. Pedro IV, after whom the square is officially named, was king of Portugal and the first emperor of Brazil.
According to a persistent rumor the bronze statue was meant to portray emperor Maximilian of Mexico, however this is disputed by historians. At the foot of the column, which was installed in 1870, are allegorical statues representing Justice, Courage, Restraint and Wisdom.


In 1889 two monumental Baroque fountains were installed on either side of the Monument to Pedro IV.
The two identical fountains were originally cast at the foundry in Val d'Osne, France and then imported to Portugal

Walking toward one of the fountain.

Mermaid statues inside the fountain



The sculptures embellishing the fountains, depict mythical figures, created by the French sculptors Mathurin Moreau and Michel Lienard


Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II

The Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II is a historical theatre and is one of the most prestigious Portuguese venue,  located in the Rossio square.

Neoclassical architecture design by the Italian architect Fortunato Lodi. The façade is a portico  with six Ionic columns reused from the Saint Francis Convent of Lisbon and a triangular pediment decorated with sculpted relief showing Apollo and the Muses.


Monumento aos Restauradores

The Monumento aos Restauradores (Monument to the Restorers) with an obelisk located in the center of the square memorializes the victory of the Portuguese Restoration War. The war, which saw the end of the House of Habsburg and the rise of the House of Braganza,from 1640 to 1668.

Along the sides of the obelisk are the names and dates of the battles fought in the Portuguese Restoration War. At the base of the statue, there are two allegorical statues symbolizing "Independence" and "Victory", by sculptors Simões de Almeida and Alberto Nunes.

The height of the Restorers Monument is 30 meters with the main obelisk standing half of this height. Positioned on the base pedestal are two angels representing independence and victory.


Interestingly the government did not pay for this monument as the funding for this monument came from wealthy families both in Portugal and Brazil.

The whole funding was organized by the Marquis de Sá da Bandeira who then commissioned Antonio Tomás da Fonseca to create the obelisk monument which was inaugurated in 1886. The monument was the first official location that the republic Portuguese flag was unveiled. The flag was first flown on the 1st December 1910 and the flag is the same as the one used today.


 TheTeatro Eden is probably Lisbon's most beautiful Art Deco buildings, designed by architects Cassiano Branco and Carlo Florencio Dias. Opened in 1931 The Teatro Eden was Lisbon’s major cinema/theatre with an imposing facade that still dominates the main square Praca dos Restauradores.

In 1989 the cinema closed its doors and remained empty until 2001 and then it was converted into a hotel with 134 room apartment hotel known as the Orion Eden Hotel.

 The facade has been retained but slightly modified by removing the two huge film advertising film poster spaces and converted the space by providing an atrium.

Elevador de Santa Justa-Santa Justa elevator

Elevador de Santa Justa is situated at the end of Rua de Santa Justa, it connects the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher Largo do Carmo (Carmo Square).

The Elevator is a vertical structure consisting of a metallic tower, an observation platform, walkway and a base. The largest part of the structure runs parallel to the Rua de Santa Justa. With a height of 148 feet, covering seven stories, the tower includes two elevator cabins, decorated in wood, mirrors and windows, and an initial capacity for 24 passengers in each (updated to 29 people later).

This elevator was designed by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, a French-Portuguese engineer knows for designing several elevators and funiculars in Portugal.  We had the chance to see the funicular he designed in Nazaré

He was also a student of Gustave Eiffel and probably got influenced by Eiffel use of metal materials for the Eiffel tower.


Avenida da Liberdade- Liberty Avenue

Avenida da Liberdade is a grand boulevard tree-lined, running from Rossio and connects the old town with the newer upper town.  Before the 1755 earthquake this was the city's royal promenade. 


The present street build in 1880 and inspired by Paris's Champs Elysees, is lined with lots of designers stores.


Many of the original buildings of the Avenue have been demolished in the last decades and replaced by modern office and hotel buildings.



Court yard on the side of Rossio Station

We were looking for something to eat for lunch..




We stopped by a small restaurant for lunch


Thomas with street performers.

Next...Praça do Comércio



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