Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Lisbon Chronicles | Largo do Carmo

Largo do Carmo is a lovely square in Chiado neighborhood, covered with café terraces and frequently animated with live music and street performers. If you are lucky to visit it during Spring, you may have the chance to find the jacaranda trees all covered with purple flowers, but the square is great all over the year and a must go on this part of Lisbon.

Surrounded by some historical buildings, one of the most impressive is Carmo Convent, built in the 14th century. The church ruins and Carmo Archaeological Museum are one of the main interest points on the square and one that I really recommend you to visit (you can know more about it here).

In front of the convent, there is the Chafariz do Carmo, built in the 18th century and supplied by the Águas Livres Aqueduct. On the right side of the convent you can find Quartel do Carmo. This barracks which belong to the Guarda nacional Republicana (the Republican National Guard), played a very important role in 1974's April Revolution. Largo do Carmo was, therefore, one of the main sceneries of the revolution, as the place where the existing government surrendered to the revolutionary military movement. To perpetuate this moment, there is an inscription on the floor of the square dedicated to Salgueiro Maia (one of the Captains that lead the revolution).

On the left side of the convent, you can find the old Valadares palace. This palace stands on the site where the first Portuguese university was founded, in the time of King D. Dinis, before being transferred to Coimbra.  Between the Carmo Convent and the Valadares Palace you can find the access to Santa Justa Elevator, which connects Largo do Carmo to Baixa Pombalina (Downtown), in particular to Rua do Ouro (you can know more about it here). You can also access Terraços do Carmo from there, and enjoy a great view of Lisbon while sipping a drink on one of the bars.

To get there you can take a taxi, go up, from downtown, in Santa Justa Elevator or take the subway, exiting at Baixa - Chiado Station.

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