It is actually more commonly known as Terreiro do Paço, or Palace Square. This square was where the original Royal Palace was located, before the great Lisbon earthquake in 1755. The most striking feature of the square is its incredibly ornate giant archway. The impressive columns either side of the arch lead visitors through to the bustling streets of central Lisbon. The Rua Augusta is the main road through the arch, which is one of Lisbon’s busiest shopping areas.
The Praça do Comércio is very close to the river Tagus, which is an ever present part of the city’s culture and atmospherics. There is a broad marble staircase leading from the river up to the square where the Baroque style buildings lie in a uniform layout. The square used to be the principal maritime entrance to the city, and can be described as truly majestic. Although the square houses mainly government administration offices, it is also home to the oldest café in Lisbon, the “Martinho da Arcada”. The centrepiece of the square is the huge bronze statue of King José I, King of Portugal during the earthquake in 1755.
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