Lisbon’s squares: the stories of the statues

Wed, 06.06.2018

Every statue tells a story

Yesterday afternoon we totally immersed ourselves in Portuguese history. In every squares we passed our history teacher told us an interesting story about the statues.

In Largo de Camões, we admired the statue of the poet on horseback. This position has been criticized, because for many it is not appropriate to a man of letters but to a soldier. Around the four-meter statue of the writer, stand out the smaller statues of portraits of illustrious contemporary Portuguese figures of Camões.

The second statue was that of Fernando Pessoa, who presents a book in place of the head. This is a modern statue, inaugurated on the 13th of June, in 2008. Pessoa created more than a hundred characters, each with its own individuality and mentality. Initially a supporter of Salazar, then criticizes him hard.

In Praça do Comércio we saw the equestrian statue which represents Dom José I. This is the symbol of the reconstruction of Lisbon following the earthquake of 1755. On the sides of the king there are a horse and an elephant, which symbolize the European power on the Asian lands.

At the top of the Rua Augusta arch there are the Greek-Roman statues representing glory, pride and value. Further down there are the statues of 4 Lisbons heroes, created by Víctor Bastos, author of the statue of Camões.

In Praça da Figueria we learned the story of King João I, the illegitimate son of King Pedro I “o Cruel”.

In Praça do Rossio there is the statue of Dom Pedro IV. In contrast to the absolutist brother, he had a liberal spirit. Some unfounded rumors claimed that this was instead the statue of Maximiliano of México.

Finally we saw the obelisk dedicated to the Restauradores. These nobles, tired of paying taxes to the Crown of Castile, fought for the independence of Portugal.

Here are some photos taken during the walking tour:

The fascinating tales about the heroes who made the History of Portugal

Do you want to spend an afternoon discovering the heroes who defined the history of Portugal? Our school invites you for a walking tour around the main Lisbon’s squares on the 6th of June. We will learn more about the national historical events by observing the most known statues in the city.

The information will be given in Portuguese and English. Thus, you can practise your listening skills of Portuguese, while walking around Lisbon’s squares.

We will meet in Largo Camões, next to the statue of the poet Luís de Camões. He wrote an epic poem about the Portuguese discoveries titled “Os Lusíadas ” and he became immortal as Virgil and Homer.

Then, we will go to Largo São Carlos, where there’s the statue of the famous 20th century writer: Fernando Pessoa.

The next stop will be Praça do Comércio. In the centre, there is the massive statue of the King D. José I, also called the Reformer. He was the monarch during the disastrous earthquake, and we will discover the reforms he implemented.

From there, we will contemplate the magnificent Arco do Triunfo da Rua Augusta. We will listen to the stories of the personalities represented on it: Nuno Álvares Pereira, Marquês de Pombal, Vasco da Gama and Viriato.

In Praça da Figueira, our teacher will tell us about the bronze equestrian statue that represents King D. João I. He conquered his royal power through a popular Revolution in 1383-85.

In Praça do Rossio, we will listen the story of D. Pedro IV, the founder of the Empire of Brazil. And the last of the Lisbon’s squares that we will visit is Praça dos Restauradores. There, we will know more about the monument that memorializes the victory of the Portuguese Restoration War.

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