Terreiro do Paco, Lisbon
The most beautiful place in Lisbon, this harmonious square by the river is the perfect tribute to those who died in the earthquake of 1755. The crashing of the lower part of the city allowed a reconstruction where the perfect geometry contrasts with the narrow, winding streets that survived in the surrounding hills.
The balance of all the elements in the square is better seen if you arrive from the river. All the elements, including the statue of king's José I, date form the 18th century. The only changes made in the square were... colours. Originally yellow, in 1910 the republicans decided to change it to pink. Recent analysis decided to return to the original yellow, and that's what is expecting you.
From Praça do Rossio you can take the pedestrian shopping street, Rua Augusta, down to Praça do Comércio (the Trade Square). It is a huge city square with a long history; once the home of the Royal palace, and was also used as the settings for burning heretics and for bullfights.
The great earthquake of 1755 completely destroyed the square, and it was later rebuilt in its present appearance: 180 meters by 190 meters in size! There are a huge triumphal arch decorated with marble statues, a 14 meter high equestrian statue of King D. José I, a nice view of the River Tagus from Cais das Colunas, and many beautiful surrounding buildings (mainly public authorities or ministries)...
At the opposite end of the Rua Augusta from the Rossio is this majestic waterfront square. Its north side is bounded by an elegant arcade with at its centre a grand triumphal arch, while its south side is formed by the waters of the River Tagus. The square’s alternative name of Terreiro do Paço is a reminder of the royal palace that once stood here, until destroyed, like much of the city, by the 1755 earthquake. The Royal family moved out of the city to Belém and the square became Lisbon’s port of entry. In the centre is a large statue of King Jose I on horseback, and surrounding buildings house government offices as well as the city’s main tourism office, the Lisboa Welcome Centre.
When I was here in May 2009, the square was surrounded by hoardings and evidently undergoing major restoration work. Returning in 2013 I was pleased to see the work completed (apart from the statue of King Jose I which was hidden behind hoardings) and the square now pedestrianised as had been promised, making this grand space even more attractive than before.
Terreiro do Paço/Commerce Square has a new face: Lots of restaurants and esplanades, all very different. Here is a list of the restaurants you can find and what kind of food they serve.
Nosolo Itália: Pizza. Pasta. Ice Cream. Typical Italian. Website: Nosolo Itália
Ministerium: More of a fast food restaurant. Hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, pies… They have the menu on the photos of their Facebook page: Ministerium Facebook Page
Can the Can: Portuguese food restaurant. It’s more expensive than the others but also more gourmet. They use in some dishes can products which are quite good and traditionally Portuguese (like tuna, olives and anchovies). Here is their website (also with the menu and prices): Can the Can
Populi: This one is a mix between Portuguese and Italian. The prices are also higher than average. Website has menus and prices: Populi
Museu da Cerveja(Beer Museum): As the name says this restaurant has a part where it celebrates the history and evolution of beer. The restaurant itself is all about a traditional brewery: sea food, steaks but with a contemporary decoration.
Terreiro do Paço (Palace Square) or Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square) is situated in the end of Rua Augusta and it ends on the Tagus River.
In the 16th century it was a Palace, built to be a royal residence, outside the city walls. Further in the century, a port and commerce facilities were built near the palace. However, when the 1755 earthquake hit Lisbon the Palace was destroyed. After that, the square that we know today was built in a shape of an “U” opened towards the river and the it was named after the economic function it displayed on that time.
Nowadays it has some ministries and it was recently renewed: lots of restaurants with beautiful esplanades facing the sea.
I really love this place, is one of my favorites in Lisbon.
This square on the waterfront is also known as "the palace's square" (Terreiro do Paco). This is where the royal palce stood until it was destroyed by the Great Earthquake of 1755.
On the north side of the square is one of Lisbon's most famous cafes, Cafe Martinho da Arcada. In the centre is a 14 metre high statue of King Jose I.
One side of this square opens onto the River Tagus. at the opposite end there is the magnificent Arch of Augusta. In the centre is a statue of King Jose I on horseback. The square is lined with beautiful buildings. It is possible to catch the number 15 tram to Belem from here.
The Praca do Comercio is the grand entrance to the city from the waterfront. Before the great earthquake (1755) it was home to the royal palace.
At present some of the arcaded buildings house government offices. The"Lisboa Welcome Center" is also located here. In the middle of the square stands a 14 m tall statue of King Jose I on a horse.
The Praca do Comercio is located at the southern end of the Baxia district, just on the waterfront. The nearest metro stop is "Baixa Chiado", but many trams stop directly at the square. You can also catch tram #15 to Belem here.
This is the place where the royal palace stood for two centuries until 1755, great earthquake. The royal family moved to another place Belem and the new arcaded buildings acted as the port of entry to the city. On the north side is triumphal arch and famous cafes “Cafe Martinho da Arcada. In the center of the square is a 14 meters statue of King Jose I. On the square is main city tourism office.
Praca do Commercio is in a way the main square of Lisbon, but it´s a bit of a quite square these days.
The name means the square of commerce and it used to be that as it is right by the riverfront and it is in many ways a very pretty square.
What you kinda need these days is a b it of life and more cafes there.
Most buildings on the square are goverment buildings so the trade is not flowing as much as in the past there, but the square is still pretty and you should for sure pass by there when you are in Lisbon.
The crowning glory of Pombal’s redesigned city centre, the Praca do Comercio was formerly the site of the royal palace, Palacio da Ribeiro, which was situated here for 400 years after Mauel I moved the royal residence from the Castelo de Sao Jorge to the banks of the river. The palace was completely destroyed by the 1755 earthquake and on top of the rubble of the palace, Pombal laid out the huge open square with the new palace being incorporated into magnificent arcaded buildings flanking three sides with the remaining side opening out directly onto the Targus River. Visiting dignitaries and royalty used to use this open side to disembark from boats directly into the Praca do Comercio...as fine an entrance to a capital as any! These buildings were later used as government buildings after the monarchy was overthrown in 1908 with the assassination of Dom Carlos I and his son.
In the centre of the square is a fine equestrian statue of Dom Jose I which guards the Arco da Victoria, leading to Rua Augusta.
One of Lisbon's main squares, the Praça do Comércio (Plaza of Commerce) is located near the Tagus River and is still commonly known as Terreiro do Paço (Palace Square), because it was the location of the Paços da Ribeira (Royal Ribeira Palace) until it was destroyed by the great 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. After the earthquake, the square was completely remodelled as part of the rebuilding of the Pombaline Downtown, ordered by the Marquis of Pombal.
The large square (170m by 170m) in front of the Ribeira Palace, was rebuilt following the symmetrical design of Portuguese architect Eugénio dos Santos. He designed a large, rectangular square in the shape of an "U", open towards the Tagus. The buildings have galleries on their ground floors, and the arms of the "U" end in two large towers, reminiscent of the monumental tower of the destroyed Ribeira Palace, still vivid in the architectonic memory of the city.
The square was named Praça do Comércio, the Square of Commerce, to indicate its new function in the economy of Lisbon. The symmetrical buildings of the square were filled with government bureaus that regulated customs and port activities. The main piece of the ensemble is the equestrian statue of King José I, inaugurated in 1775 in the centre of the square. This bronze statue, the first monumental statue dedicated to a King in Lisbon, was designed by Joaquim Machado de Castro, Portugal's foremost sculptor of the time.
Opening towards Augusta Street, which links the square with the other traditional Lisbon square, the Rossio, the original project by Eugénio dos Santos planned a triumphal arch, but this was only realised in 1875. This arch, usually called the Arco da Rua Augusta, was designed by Veríssimo da Costa. It has a clock and statues of Glory, Ingenuity and Valour (by the French sculptor Camels) and those of Viriatus, Nuno Álvares Pereira, Vasco da Gama and, of course, the Marquis of Pombal.
On 1 February 1908, the square was the scene of the assassination of Carlos I, the penultimate King of Portugal. On their way back from the palace of Vila Viçosa to the royal palace in Lisbon, the carriage with Carlos I and his family passed through the square. While crossing it, shots were fired from the crowd by at least two men. The king died immediately, his heir Luís Filipe was mortally wounded, and Prince Manuel was hit in the arm. The assassins were shot on the spot by members of the bodyguard and later recognised as members of the Republican Party – which two years later overthrew the Portuguese monarchy.
The Praça do Comércio square is the main square at the coast in the heart of Lisbon.
Major reconstruction was in progress during my 2009 visit, so I wonder what the new appearance of the square will be.
This open space was the location of the royal palace for 400 years. The first palace was destroyed by the earthquake of 1755, and in the new design, the palace extended around the square. In the center is the statue of King Jose I, erected in 1775. The square is a bee hive of activity. I was somewhat surprised by the number of people who openly offered to sell me drugs, and was glad to get through the arch to the Rua Augusta. In 1908, King Carlos and his son, Luis Felipe, were assassinated as they were passing through the square.
The beginning of Lisbon's central (and most flat) neighborhood, Praça do Comércio stands on the former place of the Paços da Ribeira (Royal Ribeira Palace) which was Lisbon's royal palace for 200 years until it was destroyed in the 1755 big Lisbon earthquake (estimated at 9 Richter scale, epicentred in the Atlantic Oceam, devastating Lisbon by tremor, tsunami and fires).