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The Praça Dom Pedro IV is the main central square of Lisbon and the true heart of the city. The Portuguese take pride in their great square with its nauseating stone paving, grand fountains and statue of (supposedly) Dom Pedro IV. Lisbon revolves around Rossio, it is here that the students come to sing, workers to protest and tourists to drink overpriced coffee. Praça Dom Pedro is often referred simply to its much older name of Rossio.
Rossio square in central Lisbon
Praça Dom Pedro IV is centrally located in the Baixa district of Lisbon. To the north of the square is the Teatro Nacional and to the south is the pedestrian Rua Augusta. Rossio square is an important transport hub with bus train and metro stations. Beneath the square is the major Rossio metro station, which connects to the green metro line.
To the north east of the square is the Rossio train station that connects Lisbon to popular tourist destination Sintra. Many bus services pass through Rossio including the airport service called the Aerobus. To the north eastern side of the square is the charming and traditional Ginjinha Bar that sells the sweet alcoholic drink. The pedestrian Rua das Portas de Santo Antao contains numerous tourist focused restaurants and is a popular place for early evenings.
The Praça dom Pedro IV is the official name of the square after the inauguration of the statue of dom Pedro IV in 1874 but Lisbon’s residents have never taken to the name and still refer to the square as Rossio.
The grand Dona Maria II National Theatre, Lisbon
This name has its roots well before the 1755 earthquake when the area of Praça dom Pedro IV was the capital’s central open area accessible to all common people. The rough translation of Rossio means common land and it was here that the old city of Lisbon centered around.
The Praça Dom Pedro IV square in Lisbon
The statue in the centre of Rossio is of Dom Pedro IV but legend has it that the statue is that of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico. Maximilian was assassinated soon after completion of the statue and the unwanted statue was sold to Lisbon at a fraction of the cost as both Dom Pedro IV and Maximilian had a similar appearances.
Rossio was founded during the 13 century as the large central square of Lisbon. Here public shows, bull fights and royal proclamations occurred. During the era of the Inquisitions Rossio was the public executions ground, with Portugal’s first auto-da-fe 1540 conducted in the Palace of Estaus – now the site of the Teatro Nacional D Maria. Lisbon’s original hospital the “Hospital Real de Todos os Santos”, was on the eastern side of the square and covered much of what is now Praça da Figueira .
Looking into the Praça Dom Pedro IV
The wave pattern stone paving was added to Rossio during the 19th century and was designed to resemble the oceans but more often disorientates late night revelers. The two baroque fountains were installed at the same time as the statue of King Pedro IV (1870) and were imported from France.