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Baixa Chiado – Lisbon

Baixa Chiado - Lisbon

Start by taking the Santa Justa Elevator (1) up to the ruins of the Carmo Convent (2), destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. This is the only remaining example of early gothic architecture in Lisbon. Walk up Rua da Trindade, where you can see the impressive façade of the Trindade Theatre (3), then continue down the road to visit the two churches, Igreja do Loreto (4) and Igreja da Encarnação (5). Go down Rua Garrett to the church called Igreja dos Mártires (6) , then go by Lisbon’s opera house, the São Carlos Theatre (7), and visit the Chiado Museum (8), in Rua Serpa Pinto. Go down the winding Calçada do Ferragial that takes you to the 17th cent. Corpo Santo Church (9) then turn left onto Rua do Arsenal, leading to Praça do Município (10), and the Lisbon Town Hall, built in 1774 and subsequently undergoing major modifications.

Two blocks east lies one of Europe’s outstanding city squares, the 18th cent. Praça do Comércio (11). From the SE corner of the square, in front of the ferry terminal (12), where you can take a river tour, go east to the Campo das Cebolas, where the odd Casa dos Bicos (13) stands. Now go back along Rua da Alfândega, where you’ll find the ornate Manueline façade of the church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição (14). Stop off for lunch, or a ‘bica’, a little cup of aromatic black coffee, in the 200 year old Café Martinho d’Arcada, a favourite hang out of the poet Fernando Pessoa, then pass under the great neo-classical archway called Arco da Vitória (15), where the pedestrian mall, Rua Augusta (16) begins, and take in the cosmopolitan buzz of one of Lisbon’s main shopping hubs. At the top is Praça D. Pedro IV, the square known to Lisboners as Rossio. Turn right off the NE corner of the square to the church of S. Domingos (17), founded in 1241, and reconstructed after the 1755 earthquake. Turn back to where Portugal’s National Theatre, the neo-classical Teatro Nacional D. Maria II (18), built 1842, stands at the north end of Rossio.

From here, Rua das Portas de Santo Antão takes you to the Palácio da Independência (19) and Praça dos Restauradores (20). On the opposite side of this square are the Palácio Foz (21), the neo-Manueline Rossio railway station, and the Glória Funicular (22), which takes you up to the Bairro Alto, with its narrow streets and bohemian nightlife. As an alternative to the funicular, go back down through Rossio (23) and walk up Rua do Carmo and Rua Garrett, the streets that make up the earth of Chiado. An old quarter dear to Lisboners, the Chiado (24) suffered a serious fire in 1988 and has now been reconstructed following a master plan drawn up by leading Portuguese architect, Álvaro Siza Vieira.

Baixa Chiado - Lisbon, Portugal

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