Portugal Praça da Figueira

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Sue Wolfe

About this spot
The All Saints Royal Hospital stook on this location until the 1755 Earthquake. After the hospital was demolished, the area was turned into a covered open market (1885-1949). It too was demolished and since then Praça da Figueira has been an open space. The name means “fig tree square” though the original trees are gone.

It is the third square of the Baixa district—following the Praça dos Restauradores and Praça de Dom Pedro IV.

Located in the corner of the square is the bronze equestrian statue of King João I. King from 1357 to 1433, he secured Portugal’s independence from Spain and allied with the French in the Hundred Years’ War against the English. After the war he made an alliance with the English by marrying Philippa of Lancaster.

Confeitaria Nacional, one of the city’s oldest and most famous cafés and pastry shops, is located on the south side. It is popular for its Bolo Rei cake during the Christmas holidays. On the north side of the square is Hospital das Bonecas (Doll Hospital), a small toy store and doll restoration workshop. A food market still takes place on the last weekend of the month.

The square is surrounded with four-story buildings dating from the rebuilding of the Baixa Pombalina after the 1755 Earthquake. On the square you will find the usual hotels, cafés and shops. It is also a major traffic hub with bus and metro stops as well as the starting point for the open air bus tours.

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