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"Terreiro do Paço" Praça do Comércio - Terreiro do Paço Tip by rp6686

  Arco da Rua Augusta
by rp6686

It's easy to describe the Commerce Square, also known as Palace Square (Terreiro do Paço), in just one word: WOW! This is one of the most majestic squares of Lisboa and was once the main maritime entrance to the city. You can still see the old marble steps leading up to Commerce Square from the River Tejo. The name Palace Square is a reference to the Palace that was located here for 400 years, until the 1755 earthquake that almost completely destroyed it.

On the north side, the square is centred by an impressive 19th-century triumphal arch that leads to Rua Augusta, one of the main pedestrian shopping areas in downtown Lisboa. The arch is decorated with statues of historical personalities, like Vasco da Gama (Portuguese sailor) and Marquês do Pombal (responsible for the reconstruction of Lisbon after the earthquake).

The spacious arcaded buildings extended around three sides of the square are now occupied by government administrative offices and some restaurants.

At the centre of the Commerce Square, once used has a car-park and now given back to the Lisboetas, stands the equestrian statue of King José I, King of Portugal during the earthquake in 1755. The dark bronze horse, depicted trampling on serpents, is often called "Black Horse Square" by the English. The locals do not particularly care about the horse... but who is sitting on it!

Address: Rua Augusta 2, 1100-053 Lisboa
Directions: At Praça do Comércio

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 24, 2003
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