Downtown is one of the most popular tourist places of the
Also called Baixa
Pombalina or Pombaline Downtown, it was named after the
first Marquis of Pombal, the man responsible for rebuilding this area
after the great 1755 Lisbon Earthquake.
Right in the heart of Lisbon, the Pombaline downtown faces the Tagus
River and comprises a grid of streets that go from the Avenida da
Liberdade until the Praça do Comércio and from Cais do Sodré until
The main street, Augusta
Augusta) is perhaps the most tourist populated street of
It's full of life, shops, restaurants and coffee shops
where you can refresh yourself.
The Lisbon Downtown covers about
metres and is
composed of three main squares:
Pedro IV Square (in the picture) and
Figueira Square at the top of Augusta Street and
do Comércio Square
at the end of
From the Downtown you can see the Tagus
Tejo) and the Saint
George Castle (Castelo
Being designed after the 1755 earthquake, the Pombaline Downtown is one
of the world's first examples of earthquake-resistant construction.
The Pombaline structures include the 'Pombaline cage' wich is
a symmetrical wood-lattice framework
aimed at distibuting earthquake force.
Also inter-terrace walls that
built higher than roof timbers to reduce fire contagion
know how these architectural models were tested?
They had troops march around them to
simulate an earthquake! That would be funny to
The Pombaline Downtown is in the Tentative List of UNESCO to become World's Heritage
since 2004. This is what is written about this area in the
"The maintenance of
monumental spaces, subtly integrated within
the urban grid- Pram do Comercio and Rossio - the punctuation and
interruption of the dominant architectural features by means of the
reconstruction of stereotyped but confidently designed religious
buildings, the exploitation of the river backdrop and the morphology of
the terrain, all contribute towards the creation of an urban landscape
of rare beauty and consistently unified design, the most monumental
testament ever built in the name of the political and philosophical
principles of the Aufklarung.
Whilst similar to certain other examples
(Edinburgh, Turin and London, amongst others,) it is clearly superior
in its radical modernity, its functionality, and the architectural
quality of its programme."