[By Pedro Alves in Lisbon] This post picks up where we finished in my last post back in March.
If we walk south towards the river, it doesn't take long to reach another important Lisbon hub: Praça da Figueira or 'Fig Tree Square' if we translate it into English. During Lisbon's golden age in the 16th century, this square didn't exist and most of its area was occupied by the main hospital, Hospital Real de Todos-os-Santos.
After the 1755 major earthquake, the Hospital was greatly destroyed so this large area was transformed into a major open air market at first, and then all its area was covered with a large structure that lasted until 1950.
Since then, it's one of Lisbon's major squares, overlooked by the Castle, that has everything an urban sketcher is looking for: a harmonious mix of history, architecture and, above all, people going by, doing stuff, living their daily lives (and cheap places to eat too. ;)
The business of the place, the decaying buildings opposing the renovated ones, makes this place feel alive. It may not be beautiful, but it sure is special.
Pedro Alves is an architect based in Torres Vedras, Portugal, but works as an architectural illustrator in Lisbon. He's a member of Urban Sketchers Portugal and is one of the coordinators of the regional group Oeste Sketchers (West Sketchers Portugal). You can check his blog here.