Lisbon's largest square is situated along the Tagus River in the elegant Pombaline Baixa district,
Praça do Comércio, commonly known as Terreiro do Paço, was the location of the Royal Ribeira Palace until it was destroyed by the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Rebuilt to the site you see today, Praça do Comércio features traditionally painted buildings lining the three sides, a grandiose statue of King José I positioned in the centre and the triumphant Rua Augusta Arch (Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta) situated at the entrance to the plaza and Rua Augusta, an arterial thoroughfare linking Praça do Comércio to Pedro IV (Rossio) Square.
Not only a destination lined with restaurants that attract tourists in droves, dining or ogling at the classic architecture, shopping at the weekend handicrafts market then wandering through the arcades and plaza, but the square is also a major transport hub, with tour buses and trams departing from a transport rank along Praça do Comércio's north side.
READ MORE: The Praça do Comércio Handicraft Market.
What would any square be without an abundance of flapping birds...? As Praça do Comércio is set along the Tagus River, this is one area where you will find more seagulls than pigeons, in fact, seagulls have overpowered the presence of pigeons completely, forcing them further inland.
Also located by Praça do Comércio and serving as a historic symbol of the port of entry to Lisbon, is Cais das Colunas: a pair of pier columns and set of marble stairs in alignment with the Rua Augusta Arch and King José I statue, situated on the Tagus riverbank. The stairs are now engulfed by water, however, once upon a time directed down to the water's edge.
Praça do Comércio location
Praça do Comércio, 1100-148 Lisboa, Portugal.
by Natalie Marie.
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