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The Praça dos Restauradores is central Lisbon’s most interesting plaza, which combines classical 17th century architecture with ornate art deco buildings. The square is often disregarded by many Portuguese but the Praça dos Restauradores offers tourists a section of varied and historically important sights and attractions.
The Praça Dos Restauradores in Lisbon
At the centre of the square is the imposing Restauradores obelisk, which commemorates the independence of Portugal from Spain. Overlooking the obelisk is the sumptuous Palacio Foz with its distinctive pink exterior and grand interior. Next to the place is the stunning art deco Eden Theatre that has been converted into an exclusive hotel. The fourth tourist attraction is the quaint Elevador da Gloria, a set of two carriages that climb the steep hill into the Bairro Alto district. The Praça dos Restauradores is varied, interesting and is rightly one of Lisbon’s finest plazas.
The Praça dos Restauradores is the most northern of the Baixa district's four grand squares and is the beginning of the Independence Avenue. The area is served by the Restauradores metro station which is part of the blue metro line. The Elevador da Gloria departs from the street to the right of the Palacio Foz, the Calçada da Glória.
The Eden Teatro Lisbon
There are four main tourist attractions in the Praça dos Restauradores; the Restauradores Obelisk, the art deco Eden Theatre, the pink Palacio Foz and the Elevador da Gloria. The 1886 Restauradores Obelisk is the central monument and was constructed to commemorate the independence of Portugal from Spain in 1640. On the base of the monument are inscribed all of the battles during the 60 year Restoration War and the bronze figures represent victory and freedom. Bizarrely the monument was constructed after the expulsion of France and Napoleon and does not commemorate the Peninsula Wars in any manner. The Restauradores Obelisk was funded by public donation and subscription in both Portugal and Brazil and allowed the designer, Antonio Tomás da Fonseca, to create his flamboyant vision.
The Pink Foz Palace and the Restauradores Obelisk
Praça dos Restauradores is surrounded buildings from the late 19th and early 20th century, the most intriguing is the old art deco Eden Theatre. The Eden Theatre is one of the most captivating buildings of Lisbon with a mid-level garden and a beautiful crafted art deco murals and facade. During Eden Theatre’s hay-day the cinema would be busy with crowds viewing the latest silent movie but now the theatre has been converted into an exclusive boutique hotel.
The Art Deco facade which dates from the 1930s was designed by the architect Cassiano Branco. The western side of the Praça dos Restauradores is dominated by the pink Palacio Foz, which was Portugal's equivalent to the Versailles Palace in Paris or the Palacio Real in Madrid. The Palacio Foz was constructed during the 18th and 19th centuries by the Marquis of Castelo Melhor.
The palace was purchased by the Marquis of Foz who transformed the interior into a sumptuous and exuberant display of extreme wealth. The exterior was re-designed to create a neo-classic design and the name of the palace changed to reflect his, Foz. Today the Palacio Foz is owned by the government and houses both the Instituto de Comunicação Social and the main tourist office of Portugal.
To the right of the Palacio Foz is the Elevador da Gloria one of Lisbon’s traditional Funiculars, which transports visitors up the steep hill from the Baixa district in to Bairro Alto district. The Elevador da Gloria is a quirky tram that ponderously climbs the steep hill.