Also known as Praça do Comércio, is one of the largest squares in Europe with around 36000 square meters.
The name of “Terreiro do Paço” (Royal Palace Square), had its origin in the 16th century when the king changed the Palace from Castelo de São Jorge to this square.
The buildings were all destroyed by the 1755 earthquake, and the square was totally rebuilt by Marquês de Pombal, Minister of King D. José I. Having contributed for the reconstruction plans the bourgeous, financial and business class, explains the later name of “Commerce Square”.
During centuries this square was the great reception hall for visitors arriving by sea, since it was the dock where the Kings and Heads of State would disembark when visiting Lisbon.
Today it is headquarter of governmental departments.
In the center of the square you can observe the statue of King José the 1st, work of the famous sculptor Machado de Castro.
On the north side of the square, there is the Triumphal Arch, which marks the entrance in Rua Augusta and Baixa quarter.