Casa dos Bicos

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Casa dos Bicos

This Italianate dwelling is one of Alfama's most distinctive buildings. It was built in 1523 for Bras de Albuquerque, the son of Afonso, who became the viceroy of India and who conquered Goa and Malacca. The name translates as "house of points," and it's not hard to see why—it has a striking facade studded with pointed white stones in diamond shapes. The top two floors were destroyed in the 1755 earthquake, and restoration did not begin until the early 1980s. Since 2012 the building has housed the José Saramago Foundation, a cultural institute set up in memory of the only Portuguese-language winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, with two floors dedicated to his life and works.

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