Praça do Comércio

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Praça do Comércio

Known to locals as the Terreiro do Paço, after the royal palace (the Paço) that once stood here, the Praça do Comércio is lined with 18th-century buildings now fronted by expansive esplanades and doing a roaring trade in light meals and drinks. Down by the river, steps and slopes—once used by occupants of the royal barges that docked here—lead up from the water, and sunbathers strip down to catch rays here during the summer months. The equestrian statue in the center is of Dom José I, king at the time of the earthquake and subsequent rebuilding. In 1908, amid unrest that led to the declaration of a republic, King Carlos and his eldest son, Luís Filipe, were assassinated as they rode through the square in a carriage. On the north side, the Arco Triunfal (Triumphal Arch) was the last structure to be completed, in 1873.

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