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Lars Haagen Petersen

Lisbon - Praca do Comercio

Praca do Comércio shortly after sunset - Winter 2008

Praça do Comércio is located in the Baixa area, close to the Targus River.
After a very violent earthquake in 1755, in which everything was destroyed, this district was planned and built shortly after. During the earthquake - three shortly after each other - the whole area was first shaken violently by the quakes themselves and then an hour later, completely smashed and flooded by the tidal waves that erupted through the estuary from the epicenter out in the Atlantic Ocean. The waves are said to have been up to 20 meters high.
After this natural disaster, there was nothing to do but rebuild the district and now that you had to start from scratch, it was decided to plan the area instead of just letting chance rule as before. The task of construction was awarded to Marquês de Pombal, who took the opportunity to create a uniquely beautiful district with Praça do Comércio as a significant part of this.

...In connection with the earthquake in 1755, people fled from the collapsed and burning houses ..

... and many ran down to the open places by the river, where they thought they were safe, only to face death in the form of the giant tidal waves that came at a furious speed up the Tagus River and washed them away.

It is estimated that somewhere between 15,000 and 70,000 people died as a result of the earthquake and its aftermath large fires and a tsunami with wave height up to 20 meters.

Praca do Comércio shortly after sunset - Winter 2008

The equestrian statue in the middle depicts Dom José the 1st. The monument was built in 1774 to commemorate the city's reconstruction. The statue includes a medal portrait of Marquês de Pombal.

Den smukke triumfbue, Arco da Rua Augusta - Vinteren 2008

If you come from the lake side and go through the triumphal arch, you come to the pedestrian street Rua Augusta, one of the many parallel streets in Baxia. In the past, the streets were divided according to the tradesmen's professions, but this is no longer the case. Rua Augusta - the most fashionable street in Lisbon - contains everything from exclusive international clothing stores to small, simple pavement cafes.

Praca do Comércio is surrounded by buildings on three sides - winter 2008

Praça do Comércio is surrounded on 3 sides by neoclassical buildings, while the square next to the river is open. Praça do Comércio was also the place where prominent guests were received when they arrived in Lisbon from the sea side, and were to visit the Royal Palace.



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