Praça da Ribeira


The current Campo das Cebolas (Field of Onions) square was before the earthquake of 1755, the Praça da Ribeira Velha.

The medieval defensive wall (Cerca Moura)


The Solar dos Bicos Restaurant is located in an area where there was an historic defensive wall of the city of Lisbon - the so-called Cerca Velha (Old Wall) or Moorish. According to Augusto Vieira da Silva, a prominent Lisbon historian, this would be about 1250 meters long in its total length, 2 to 2.5 meters thick and contained inside an area of approximately 15.6 hectares. The total area of Al-Usbuna, the Lisbon Arabic, would be approximately 30 hectares - the walled area and suburbs.

Em Português, por favor.In English, please.

Casa dos Bicos (House of Nozzles)

Built in 1523 by Brás de Albuquerque, son of Afonso de Albuquerque (Vice-King of Portuguese Índias), president of the Senate in Lisbon, and a protégé of King D. Manuel.

Located in Ribeira Velha (presently Rua dos Bacalhoeiros), it was used as a household. Its decoration, the peaks sows a clear Italian influence, probably inspired on the Diamante Palace in Ferrara, or the Bevilacqua Palace in Bologna.

At the time it was built, the distance from the main door of Casa dos Bicos until the river shore was of about 100 meters. Most of the land in front of the house was occupied by an ancient fish market that stayed there until the earthquake of 1755.


Fig. 1 - Picture from the XVIII century

The earthquake of 1755 destroyed almost completely the Ribeira Palace and from the Casa dos Bicos little was left other then two floors on the southern side. The “Pombalina” rebuild respected the alignment of the river shore, that still evokes the ancient Lisbon siege, but the Casa dos Bicos remained a case to solve.

It was classified as a National Monument by decree 16-06-1910, DG 136, of 23-06-1910. Only in 1981 (200 years later) was restored.


Fig. 2 - Before restoration

The archeological research done here brought to light a considerable number of original parts of the House, but nevertheless insufficient for a complete and rigorous rebuild from a historical point of view. Thus, it was decided to keep the most distinct feature, the peaks, and recreate an acceptable structure for the rest of the house. In the interior, and because the future use of the house changed completely (from a household to a public and modern space), and also because there is little information available, the idea of rebuilding the interior according to its initial design was abandoned, and only the two main features where preserved: the stairway and the structure of three sideways corridors.

After the restoration was completed, this house was used for sheltering one of the main cores of the XVII European Exposition of Art, Science and Culture. Also hosted the National Commission for the celebration of the Portuguese discoveries, up to its extinction. Nowadays it’s occupied by the José Saramago Foundation (remarkable Portuguese writer, winner of the 1998 Literature Nobel Prize).


Fig. 3 - Actualmente

"Solar dos Bicos" Restaurant

The “Solar dos Bicos” Restaurant is located on the ground floor and upper floor of the famous building “Casa das Varandas”, on the Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 8 A and 8 B.

The Rua dos Bacalhoeiros was known until 1859 as Rua dos Confeiteiros (“Confeiteiro” – person who does or sells sweets and candies) because of the several sweet shops that existed. Later on, the street was renamed as Rua dos Bacalhoeiros, due to the extensive Cod trading.

The “Casa das Varandas” (Balconies House) was build in the XVI century, after a recommendation from the King D. Manuel I, in a letter dated from 1508.

This building was restored several times throughout the centuries, and some augmentations were made on the 40s of the XVIII century by D. Rodrigo de Menezes.

After the big earthquake of 1755, most of the building was destroyed, remaining only the ground and upper floor, as well as the facade of the three floors with the iron balconies. Francisco Crespo, was responsible for the reconstruction of this building in the year 1761.

20 years later, a fire destroyed part of the building. Between 1803 and 1805, Domingos José de Sousa reconstructed the damaged part, and added two more floors, linking both buildings (nº 6 and nº8) with long balconies. 


Fig. 4 - The "Casa das Varandas" building (in the 50's)

In 1984, the ground and upper floor of the “Casa das Varandas”, that was being used as a Cod warehouse, was bought by the current owner of the restaurant “Solar dos Bicos” who decided to keep the “Pombalino” architecture style, with it’s stone arches and “Gaiola Pombalina” (construction system developed at the time of Marquês de Pombal and consisting of an wood structure merged with the building walls, thus allowing the building to be flexible in case of earthquake). These are some of the elements that make this restaurant unique as well as the Portuguese tile panels representing Ancient Lisbon, ordered to a local artist.


Design downloaded from Free Templates - your source for free web templates