Photographer's Note

After hesitating for more than a year about posting it, here it goes one of my rare night shots of Lisboa.

This monumental square, one of the major landmarks of Lisboa, officially named Praa do Comrcio (Commerce Square), but more popularly known as Terreiro do Pao (Palace Yard), has been a symbol of political power in Portugal since the early 16th century, at first because it was where the royal palace was located and then because where most of the government ministries had their seat. As far as I know, most of the ministries were already moved to somewhere else, but we can still hear the name associated with a certain centric vision of governments.

The royal palace that gave the name to the square was destroyed in the great earthquake of 1755, along with much of the town, a disaster that killed between 10,000 and 100,000 people in the city alone, shocked much of Europe and was the source of some discussions among the philosophers of The Enlightenment. Voltaire wrote a poem about it (Pome sur le Desastre de Lisbonne) and as far as I remember he puts his famous and hilarious character Candide in Lisboa at the day of the earthquake or some time afterwards.

The palace wasn't rebuilt, neither weren't any of the affected buildings on this part of the town. Instead of that, the progressive (and also dictator) primer minister of the time, Marquis of Pombal ordered the construction of a modern town, inspired on the most "advanced" ideas of the time, which turned Lisboa one of the first "modern" cities in Europe, with straight, wide streets and rectangular blocks of buildings.

The arch seen in the photo is the only triumph arch of Lisboa. It made part of the original plans, but it wasn't finished until 1875. The equestrian statue represents the king that ruled when the earthquake happened and the new square was built; it was designed by the most famous Portuguese sculptor of all times, Machado de Castro, who lived from 1731 to 1822.

The place is well represented in TE, although I saw only one night photo with a similar POV. I am not including a link to it because I couldn't find it today, but I found this post with much the same POV taken during the day.

#1 - Another POV, more symmetric.

#2 - A closer view of the statue.

Location (latitude, longitude): 38.7072,-9.1367. View in Live Search.

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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