The So Popular and Beautiful Rossio Square in Lisbon
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The So Popular and Beautiful Rossio Square in Lisbon

The elegant Rossio Square in Lisbon, was offically named Praça de Dom Pedro IV. It has always been the main meeting point in the Portuguese Capital with its famous cafés, pastry and flowers shops as well as newspapers and books stands. It is the only site of Lisbon that was not rebuilt after the terrible earthquake of 1775.

The elegant Rossio Square in Lisbon, was officially named Praça de Dom Pedro IV. It has always been the main meeting point in the Portuguese Capital with its cafés, pastry and flowers shops as well as newspapers and books stands. It is the only site of Lisbon that was not rebuilt after the terrible earthquake of 1775. The name Rossio dates back to the Middle-Ages. The square used to house the Inquisition Palace and was the theater of auto-da-fés. Many death sentences were carried out here. Corridas, military parades and public feasts also took place on this square.

The Rossio is walled on three of its sides by edifices of the 18th and 19th centuries whose basements are occupied by famous cafés such as the Nicola (18th century), where the Lisbon writers came. The celebrated poet Maria Barbosa du Bocage (1765-1805)  used to meet his friends in the Café Nicola. In the centre of the square was erected a high column with the statue of King Pedro V, proclaimed in 1826. He also was the first sovereign of the independent Brazil under the name Pedro I. The bronze statue of the King appears handing the Lisbon people the liberal constitution created and written in Brazilian land. The boundaries of the square are marked to the North by the Teatro Nacional Dona, named after Dom Pedro's daughter. The Italian architect Fortunato Lodi built this Neo-Classical edifice in 1840. The façade is centered on a portico presenting six Ionian columns and a triangular fronton decorated with allegories and a statue of Gil Vicente, creator of the Classic Portuguese Drama. His works had been banned by the Inquisition in the 16th century.

On the right side of the theater is found the Baroque Church of Sao Domingos which was founded in the middle of the 13th century and restored after the damages of the 1755 earthquake. Behind the church, you cannot miss the Palacio da Independência, with its reddish façade in the Manueline Style, although it later turned more to Mannerist austerity. It was here that the independence of Portugal vis-à-vis Spain was declared in 1640.

In the North-West end of the square, stands the Manueline façade with grand horse-shoe arches of the popular Estaçao do Rossio (19th century), the railway station  communicating with Sintra. Architects Eugenio dos Santos and Carlos Mardel reconstructed the square in the second half of the 18th century and gave this typical Pombaline Style aspect to the edifices. This style is characterised by prefabricated building methods and anti-seismic features. 

Rossio Square, Lisbon

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/Pra%C3%A7a_Don_Pedro_IV_%28Rossio%29.jpg

Fountain on the Rossio Square, Lisbon

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/P%C3%A7a._do_Rossio_-_Lisboa.jpg

Statue of King Pedro IV, erected in 1874, Rossio Square, Lisbon

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Lisbon07.jpg

Rossio train Station, Lisbon

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/EstacaoRossioLisboa.JPG

Teatro Nacional Dona, Rossio Square, Lisbon.

Imùage source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/P%C3%A7a._do_Rossio_-_Lisboa_%28Portugal%29.jpg

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Comments (1)
Ranked #13 in Europe

Your words have taken me on a meandering tour of Lisbon square as if I was a tourist there.thank you

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