Baixa district - phoenix reborn from the earthquake of 1755

In the area of Baixa are situated the most important areas of the city such as Rua Augusta, Praça do Comércio, Praça do Rossio


The Baixa, also called Baixa Pombalina, owes its name to Marquês de Pombal, who was responsible for the reconstruction of this area of the city after the earthquake 1755. This area is part of the parish of Santa Maria Maggiore and is located between the Praça do Comércio, near the River Tagus, Rossio and Praça da Figueira and then longitudinally between Cais do Sodre, Chiado and the Carmo, on one side, and the Cathedral and the Castle of São Jorge on the other.


Praça da Figueira


The earthquake in 1755 was the largest ever recorded in Europe and devastated the whole area of Lisbon downtown, which resulted in the first urban planning history, as the first anti-seismic buildings. Thus, Baixa been designed with a set of straight and perpendicular streets arranged around a central axis formed by Rua Augusta. To these streets the names of the various crafts and artisans of the time were given (shoemakers, Correeiros, gold).



The Baixa Pombalina is also characterized by the monumentality of its buildings, which represent a new social order that values the merchant and financial class. The architectural Baixa models were tested with troops on the march, to simulate an earthquake to test the possible resistance to a new earthquake. The new blocks also prevent fire and have the first network of domestic sewage.



Currently, many of the streets in this area are pedestrianized and are linked to a set of monumental squares, like Rossio, the Praça do Comércio and the Praça do Município. These are always full of people, whether local or tourists. There are several projects are in progress to rehabilitate this area and it is expected that the district will be recognized as a World Heritage Site.