Queen Elizabeth II was one of the great figures to arrive at Cais das Colunas


Cais das Colunas is located at Praça do Comércio, in the historical center of Lisbon; its marble steps used to be the noble entrance into the city, through which heads of state and other prominent figures have arrived. It used to give access to ferry boats and other vessels connecting Praça do Comércio to the Tagus' south bank. 

The pier was named after the two columns (colunas) that can be seen on the side of the main steps. These simple yet elegant pillars were designed by architect Eugénio dos Santos and were part of the city reconstruction plan after the 1755 earthquake nearly destroyed it. The two columns are replicas of those thought to have been in Solomon's temple. They're representative of wisdom and devotion.

Cais das Colunas ©Guia da Cidade

Cais das Colunas is one of the most visited riverside monuments in Lisbon

There is no documentation stating exactly when the quay was built. It is only known that it was finished in the late 1700s. The columns were taken down in the late nineteenth century and were then replaced in 1929. Because of the necessary works to build the blue metro line, the columns were taken down again in 1997 and weren't put back until 2008.

They are not likely to go anywhere else in the future so that you can enjoy one of the most stunning views over the river Tagus in one of Europe's most beautiful squares.

Cais das Colunas in the 20th century

Cais das Colunas as photographed by Ferreira da Cunha in the 20th century

Cais das Colunas quay was also used to welcome some prestigious figures that have visited the country. That was the case of Queen Elizabeth II, who in 1957 arrived in Portugal and made her way into Lisbon through these two columns. Her Majesty's arrival was documented by the British Pathé and you can watch it below.

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