Praca do Imperio (Empire Square), Lisbon

Praca do Imperio (Empire Square), Lisbon

Praça do Império (Empire Square) is a city square and park situated to the south of the Monastery of Santa Maria de Belém and west of the Centro Cultural de Belém.

Between 23 June and 2 December 1940, Lisbon hosted the Exposição do Mundo Português (Portuguese World Exposition) which implied, among other efforts, an urbanization plan for Belém area and Praça do Império in particular, previously known as "Praia do Restelo".

The rectangular 175×175 meters (574×574 ft) square consists of successive quadrangles, that structure the space into passages and green spaces. These converge in the central illuminated fountain on a square platform, covering an area of 3,300 square meters (36,000 sq ft). On the extreme edges of the southern part of the square, along the Avenida da Índia, there are hippocamp statues (seahorses), over reflecting pools.

The seahorse sculptures were created by António Duarte. The Palácio do Ultramar (Overseas Palace), on the eastern edge of the park, designed by architects Cristino da Silva and Jacques Carlu, was begun in 1952. In 1973, a commemorative monument to the poet Augusto Gil (1873-1929), featuring a bronze medallion and inscription by the municipal council of Lisbon, was installed.

Outside the central fountain there are coats of arms belonging or attributed to navigators during the period of the Discoveries. The gardens feature 30 floral coats of arms representing 18 Portuguese districts, archipelagos and former colonies, complete with the crosses of Christ and Avis. There is also a national emblem, made with boxwood and flowers.

Plans to remove the floral coats of arms, in 2016, were heavily criticized by the local public and politicians, and therefore abandoned.

Tip:
On a hot summer day, hang out by the fountain and let the wind give you a refreshing shower.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lisbon. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Praca do Imperio (Empire Square) on Map

Sight Name: Praca do Imperio (Empire Square)
Sight Location: Lisbon, Portugal (See walking tours in Lisbon)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lisbon, Portugal

Create Your Own Walk in Lisbon

Create Your Own Walk in Lisbon

Creating your own self-guided walk in Lisbon is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Belem Walking Tour

Belem Walking Tour

Also known as Santa Maria de Belem, the district of Belém is one of the most visited in Lisbon. Situated not far from the city center, it lines the Tagus River and is the original location of Lisbon's port – the starting point of the many great voyages of discovery by Portuguese explorers, such as Vasco da Gama – departed from here for India in 1497, and Pedro Álvares Cabral – for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Sao Jorge Castle to Lisbon Cathedral Walking Tour

Sao Jorge Castle to Lisbon Cathedral Walking Tour

This self-guided walk takes you from the breathtaking Sao Jorge historic castle to the city's oldest church, the Lisbon Cathedral, while taking in the picturesque Alfama district – where it is said Fado originated – along the way. Included also are several unique museums, as well as two viewpoints from where you can look out over Alfama and the Tagus River. A classic Lisbon walk!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Alfama Walking Tour

Alfama Walking Tour

Alfama is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon, spreading downhill between the medieval former royal Castle of São Jorge and the Tagus river. Under the Islamic rule, Alfama constituted the largest part of the city, and was increasingly inhabited by fishermen and the poor. The reputation of being a poor area still lives on. The name Alfama derives from the Arabic al-ḥamma, which means "hot...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Lisbon Introduction Walking Tour

Lisbon Introduction Walking Tour

Legend goes that Lisbon's name has derived either from Allis Ubbo, meaning "safe harbor" in Phoenician, or from the pre-Roman name of the River Tagus, Lisso. Nestled at Europe's western edge and featuring numerous architectural styles, it ranks as the world's 10th oldest city and traces its roots back to the Phoenician Civilization, who settled it approximately three...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Top 10 Cafes and Restaurants in Lisbon

Top 10 Cafes and Restaurants in Lisbon

Experience Lisbon as a local by enjoying typical Portuguese dishes at the best restaurants throughout the city at a price you can afford. Take away the overwhelming pressure of deciding where to eat in a city as dynamic and riveting as Lisbon by allowing this guide to suggest local restaurants with...
17 Uniquely Portuguese Things to Buy in Lisbon

17 Uniquely Portuguese Things to Buy in Lisbon

Formerly a major colonial power, Portugal has accumulated great knowledge in craftsmanship. While in Lisbon, you can treat yourself to a vast variety of quality things: wines, ceramics, jewellery, leather goods, books and many more. Most shops in Lisbon open at 9 or 10am, and close in the evening at...