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Lisbon Downtown -
Pombaline "Baixa"

Lisbon Downtown is one of the most popular tourist places of the city.

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 Alfama.

The main street, Augusta Street (Rua Augusta) is perhaps the most tourist populated street of our country.

It's full of life, shops, restaurants and coffee shops where you can refresh yourself.

Lisbon Downtown - D. Pedro IV Square.The Lisbon Downtown covers about 235,620 square metres and is composed of three main squares:
  • The D. Pedro IV Square (in the picture) and
  • The Praça da Figueira Square at the top of Augusta Street and
  • The Praça do Comércio Square at the end of Augusta Street.
From the Downtown you can see the Tagus River (Rio Tejo) and the Saint George Castle (Castelo São Jorge).

Did you know?

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 are built higher than roof timbers to reduce fire contagion

Want to know how these architectural models were tested? They had troops march around them to simulate an earthquake! Smile That would be funny to watch!

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 UNESCO site:

"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

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