Portugal Chiado District

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Sue Wolfe

About this spot
António Ribeiro was a 16th century poet. Known as O Chiado, he moved to Lisbon and lived in the area that now bears his nickname. The statue honoring him stands in the Largo do Chiado—one of the busiest squares in Lisbon.

The Chiado District may be Lisbon’s most elegant neighborhood. Many of the buildings are from the late 1700s—though many had to be restored after a major fire raged through a 10-block area in 1988. The fire started in the Armazéns do Grandela department store and raged for most of a day.

The two main streets are the Rua Garrett and Rua Carmo—the two main shopping streets where you can find almost anything. Lisbon is the second oldest capital in Europe, so it is no surprise that the storefronts here are “old.” One good example is Bertrand Bookshop—established in 1732, it is the world’s oldest operating bookshop according to the Guinness World Records.

Rua Garrett is a great location to catch street performers. And if you are still looking for traditional Portuguese sweets check out Pastelaria Alcoa. Many of the pastries are referred to as “convent sweets” because the recipes originated in the convents and monasteries. Egg whites were used to starch the nun’s habits leaving a surplus of egg yolks that were turned into custard pastries. They were sold to the locals, creating revenue for the convents.

At one end of the Rua Garret is Armazéns do Chiado—a modern shopping center. At the other end is Praça Luis de Camões. In the center of the park is a statue of the poet Luís Vaz de Camões.

Off the main street is Largo do Carmo. Largo do Carmo plays an important role in the Carnation Revolution of April 25, 1974. It is here the military forced Marcelo Caetano to cede power to General Spínola.

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