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Sights & Landmarks
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round
Chiado is that one trendy and bohemian neighbourhood of Lisbon where you feel artistic, even if you consider yourself far from such type of a person. Having gone through centuries of history and seen both glory and disaster, this district between Baixa and Bairro Alto is now occupied by tourists day and night. It is known to have been occupied since the Roman times and built and urbanised as a part of the Lisbon area in the 14th century under the command of King Ferdinand I.
In the 19th century, it was Chiado that became the centre of Portuguese Romanticism due to the creation of the literary club by the local intellectuals. Here, the artists would flock to sell their art or search for the good company. However, in 1755 great earthquake, Chiado was severely affected as most of Lisbon. After that, according to the plan by Marquis of Pombal, new buildings were to be constructed in Rococo-Baroque style, modern at the time.
However, two centuries later, Chiado was shaken by yet another disaster - the fire in 1988. Having started on the main street, it quickly spread further, resulting in a total of eighteen buildings burnt down. A year later, they were reconstructed by the architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, who restored their exterior but updated them as regards safety and technological requirements.
Nowadays, Chiado is a highly important commercial hub of Lisbon, as well as an iconic tourist attraction. Indeed, there is a lot to see in this neighbourhood. Let's start with the main shopping street, Rua do Carmo, that runs from the district of Baixa to another popular Chiado street, Rua Garrett. Here, you can treat yourself with anything you like, from a delicious meal to clothes, books, souvenirs and music. Also, don't forget about the shopping centre Armazéns do Chiado and Gelados Santini, probably the best and most popular ice-cream cafe in Lisbon! Then, go for a coffee to Rua Garrett, if more precisely - to Café A Brasileira! It was opened in 1905 and was in business ever since, holding the status of the original creator of Bica, a very strong espresso. Poets and writers used to come round to talk about political, artistic and other issues in the coffee and smoke-soaked premises. The statue of Fernando Pessoa was even established outside of the cafe, although he was not its fan and came there rather for absinthe.
If you're done with your Bica, then head for one of the ancient landmarks of Chiado - Convento da Ordem do Carmo. It was built in 1389 in gorgeous Gothic style and now you can only see the picturesque ruins, the mournful reminder of the 1755 earthquake and its consequences. After that, you might want to visit cultural events - since you're in the bohemian part of Lisbon. Well, you can opt for attending a theatre! In Chiado, you can watch world-recognized operas in São Carlos Theatre, while for more experimental and modern performances, choose São Luiz Theatre.
Don't waste your time - get your things and make your way for Chiado, where everything breathes with history, style and exceptional taste!
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