Praça do Comercio, Lisboa, Portugal, 2017[open in full screen]  


 
  Previous square Shafariz, Lisboa
❖ Praça do Comercio deserves very special place in out collection but also has special significance the city of Lisbon. Until 1755 this was a location of the King Dom José I Royal Ribeira Palace.

On the morning of 1 November, 1755, the earthquake of estimated magnitude of 9 struck the city of Lisbon. It lasted around 5 minutes and opened up cracks up to 5 m. Survivors rushed to the open space of the docks for safety and watched as the water receded and then after 40 minutes returned as a tsunami and engulfed the harbour and downtown area. It was followed by two more waves. In the areas unaffected by the tsunami fire quickly broke out, and flames raged for five days. Minimum quarter of the total population of 200.000 people in Lisbon at the time, perished. Royal family was unharmed but King developed the fear living within walls, that lasted until his death, and the court was accommodated in a huge complex of tents.

See map from 1755 bellow with location of Praça do Comercio, ever since locally called Terreiro do Paço – Place where Palace used to be. Notice beneath the new plan traces of the streets before earthquake. The fourth option boldly proposed razing the entire Baixa quarter and "laying out new streets without restraint". This last option was chosen by the king and his minister.

  Keen to have a new and perfectly ordered city, the king commissioned the construction of big squares [Rossio and Municipio also in our collection are among those], rectilinear, large avenues and widened streets – the new mottos of Lisbon. New Pombaline buildings are among the earliest seismically protected constructions in Europe.

This square is typical "Place Royal" [of course this Paris square is also in our collection] and probably the most beautiful one on the Iberian peninsula. Three storied uniform buildings with continuous arcades surround the square on three sides. Triumphal arch in the center of the north building accentuate the entrance to Rua Augusta and the fourth side opens up towards the Tagus River.

During our stay in Lisbon we stumbled upon the book Secret Lisbon, by Vitor Manuel Adriao, historian and philosopher, that revealed lot of esotheric knowledge of Portugal. Among others mysterious Cais das Colunas [quay of the columns] that stands on the south side of this Praça. Clearly Masonic columns are identical to the columns of Solomon's Temple, are opening square to the river and beyond to new continents, believing that the "Secret King" will disembark here arriving from the "Island of Utopia".

  With the same reasoning equestrian statue of Dom Jose I, standing in the middle of the square is facing the quay ready to announce arrival of the universal emperor.

Behind him Augusta Street Arch is opening up Lisbon to the world. Cais das Colunas becomes the entrance to the "Temple of the desired one" and Augusta arch is representing the gate to the "City of Mysteries. Lot more symbolism is hidden in the statue of Dom Jose and Augusta Arch, curious clock on the Arch and the Praça overall.

It's central location and starting point for any city explorations is making this space extremely valuable both for locals and visitors.

We have visited this square in 2002, and again in 2010, but back then square was with much less charm, especially its river side.

The square has also been the scene of historic events such as the double assassination on February 1908, when king Carlos and Luis Filipe - the heir to the throne - were assassinated here. In 1974 thousands of people assembled on the square during the revolution that overthrew the dictatorial Salazar regime.
Next square Praça do Minicipio, Lisboa

 


















 
             
 
sociability
10
ceremonial
x
uses & activities
10
religious
x
access & linkages
10
social
x
comfort
10
residential
x
image
10
court yard
x
tourist value
10
with park
x
total
60
street, shopping
x


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Last time updated on 16 April, 2017 12:52