Read all about this vibrant neighbourhood of Lisbon!
Chiado, for most of Lisbon’s inhabitants is pretty much the city centre as it here where you will find the main in-town shopping area. Chiado was devastated by a fire in 1988 that destroyed many of the cities oldest shops. The famous Portuguese architect Siza Viera took charge of the reconstruction project. Viera and his workers successfully managed to salvage many of the historical buildings reconstructing the edifices and totally revamping the insides. As a result Chiado is still the most famous shopping zone in Lisbon. Chiado is one of Lisbon’s beloved areas steeped in history and tradition for those reminiscent of the city’s literary past Chiado holds a special place. It was here in Chaido where some of Portugal’s most famous writers and intellectuals would gather.
There are several statues and even squares dedicated to the memory of Portugal’s great literary figures such as the statue of António Ribeiro the 16th century poet thought to have been the name sake of the area as he was known to be nicknamed ‘Chiado’. The popular Fernando Pessoa who was one of Portugal most important poets at the turn of the 20thcentury. Today the bronze statue of Pessoa that sits outside his favorite cafe the ‘Brasiliera’ is visited by thousands of tourists every year, many of which will have taken a photo of themselves sitting having a coffee with the famous poet as has become a popular right of passage for Lisbon’s visitors.
Largo de Camões
At the top of Chiado where the Bairro Alto begins is the Largo de Camões dedicated to another of portugal’s literary figures Luis Vaz de Camões considered to be one of Portugal’s greatest poets. In the middle of the square is a statue of Camões on top of a large pedestal on which there are several small statues dedicated to famous literary and cultural figures of Portugal. Here in Camões square you are in the transition zone between Chaido and the Bairro Alto. It is well known meeting point for many of Lisbon’s locals whether it be to head in to the Bairro Alto for dinner and drinks or into Chiado for a spot of shopping. The Largo Camões leads onto another famous square the largo de Chiado which houses two of Lisbon’s Baroque style churches.
Churches of Chiado
In the Largo do Chiado two Baroque style churches stand opposing one another. The Igreja de loreto is an 18th century church built on the site of several other chirches before going back perhaps as far as the 13th century. Devotion to our lady of Loreto was brought to Portugal by Italian traders, for this reason the church is often referred to as the Italian church. The current building dates back to 1676 but was almost completely destroyed in the great earthquake and rebuilt at the end of the 18th century. The Igreja da incarnação built in 1708 was almost completly destroyed during the great earthquake. It was re built in 1784 in a neo-classical style. The interior is very impressive with a mostly Baroque style painted ceiling. The ruins of the Convento Carmo can be found in the Carmo Square at the by the Santa Justa elevator that conects Chiado to the Baixa. The remains of the Gothic church are one of the last visible reminder of the great earthquake. The church dates back to the turn of the 15th century, compared with other Gothic churches in the city it was said to be one of the most imposing in its architecture and decoration. The remains of the Convento Carmo are now the home of a small museum of Portuguese archaeology.
In Chiado you will find the sophisticated and elegant shops as well as the old fashioned cafe’s and restaurants. There is a real mix of modern and traditional with shops everything from art nouveau jewelry, designer fashion and traditional porcelain . The oldest bookshop in Lisbon and arguably the oldest operating bookshop in the world can be found on Rua Garett. Bertrand book shop was established in 1732 although the shop was destroyed in the great earthquake it was moved to its current location and has been operating in this store for 240 years. Chiado is also home to many great restaurants, café’s and bars. Chiado great place to make yourself at home while staying in Lisbon its is an elegant and sophisticated area of the city, central and well facilitated with everything right at hand.
Transport To & From Chiado
Chiado is very much at the heart of Lisbon and is therefore well served by public transport links. There is a Metro station called Baixa-Chiado which is served by two Metro lines connection to the line out to the airport is just one change over and relatively uncomplicated. There are many taxis in the area that will take you too and from the airport or in the out of hours for public transport. Chiado is on the famous nº28 electric tram route that lifts passengers up and down Lisbon’s seven hills in an enchanting and romantic journey. There are also train station s within walking distance at the Cais de Sodré (10 minutes) from here you can catch trains out along the Cascais coast to the beach or the famous village of Sintra. A little further a field at Santa Apolonia (around 20mins) you can catch train to the North of Portugal or to international destination such as Madrid and Paris