Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is a traditional neighborhood of Lisbon, situated on top of a hill, located near the cosmopolitan neighborhood of Chiado, the transport station from the Cais do Sodré, the charming Principe Real and the historic Largo do Carmo. The main arteries of Bairro Alto are Praça Luís de Camões, Largo Trindade Coelho, Rua do Norte, Rua da Rosa, Rua do Século and Rua do Diário de Notícias. Bairro Alto has two main meeting points: Praça Luís de Camões and Largo Trindade Coelho. Praça Luís de Camões, located at the southern entrance of Bairro Alto, establishes the border between Bairro Alto and Chiado, considered the capital of Lisbon by Lisboners. From here, you can go to Rua da Rosa, Rua do Norte or Rua da Atalaia. The Largo Trindade Coelho, located in the northern part of Bairro Alto, also known as Largo do Cauteleiro due to the presence of a statue in honor of the guardian or Largo de São Roque due to the Church of São Roque. From the Largo Trindade Coelho it is possible to access the São Pedro de Alcântara Viewpoint, the Elevador da Glória, Rua da Misericórdia, Rua do Grémio Lusitano and Largo do Carmo.

The mixed environment of Bairro Alto

The Bairro Alto has two lifestyles, one during the day and the other at night.
In the Bairro Alto during the day we can see a quiet and peaceful neighborhood, a neighborhood with small shops, company offices and small restaurants with typical Portuguese cuisine with the typical bustle of a neighborhood in a big city with people milling about on their way to offices, neighbors chatting at the window, clothes laid out on the clothesline, and balconies decorated with vases of flowers and restaurants filled with locals and tourists during lunchtimes.
At night, Bairro Alto becomes a bohemian and nightlife center in Lisbon. It is Bairro Alto that defines practically all the trends and fashions of Lisbon’s nightlife, a neighborhood dedicated to nightlife. In Bairro Alto there are bars of all kinds, discos, clubs, restaurants, tea houses, taverns or fado houses. In Bairro Alto it is possible to live the night in the middle of the street during the night, although the night entertainment establishments close at two o’clock in the morning.

The Bairro Alto and Rua de Santa Catarina are part of the Parish Council of Misericórdia.

Attractions to visit in Chiado (Top 10)

1. Viewpoint of São Pedro de Alcântara: The Viewpoint of São Pedro de Alcântara is a park with garden and viewpoint with one of the most beautiful views in Lisbon due to the panoramic view over the entire old town, including the Castle of São Jorge situated on the opposite hill. São Pedro de Alcântara Viewpoint is located on Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara, between Princípe Real and Bairro Alto. The main São Pedro de Alcântara Viewpoint highlights are:

  • View over the Castle of São Jorge, the slope of the Graça district, the Baixa, the Martim Moniz, Alfama, the Tagus River and the Serra da Arrábida;
  • The Statue of Eduardo Coelho, founder of Diário de Notícias, one of the most important newspapers in the country;
  • The tile panel depicting the city of Lisbon, by Fred Kradolfer built in 1952;
  • The Eight busts representing historical figures, namely: Venus, Ulysses, Vasco da Gama and Camões

2. Igreja de São Roque (38° 42′ 49.07′, 9° 8′ 36.54” ): it stands out for the discrepancy between the exterior façade and the interior wealth, it is located in Largo Trindade Coelho between Misericórdia and Rua da Misericórdia and Dom Pedro de Alcântara street. The Igreja de São Roque was created in 1553 as the headquarters of the Jesuits in Portugal. The Jesuits (Companhia de Jesus) arrived in Portugal in 1540 and built the first Church and headquarters in the old hermitage of São Roque. The architect responsible for the Church of São Roque was Afonso Álvares (1501-1580). The main highlights of the Igreja de São Roque are:

  • Chapel of Saint John the Baptist: the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist was commissioned by King Dom João V (1689-1750) to two Italian architects, Luigi Vanvitelli (1700-1773) and Nicola Salvi ( 1697-1751) in 1740 and built during the years 1742 and 1747. On December 15, 1744, it was blessed by Pope Benedict XIV (1675-1758) and transported to Lisbon directly from Rome in three ships. The Chapel of St. John the Baptist points of interest are the Carrara Marble; The picture representing the Baptism of Christ by Agostino Massucci (1691-1758); “The Pentecost” depicted on the left-hand canvases, and “The Annunciation” depicted on the right-hand canvasses, authored by Agostino Massucci (1691-1758); and the Exterior Arch with the Portuguese Royal Weapons and the Monogram by Dom João V.
  • Chapel of Our Lady of Doctrine: inaugurated in 1612, with the image of St. Anne and the Virgin dating from the end of the 17th century, the images of St. Joaquim and St. Anne from the 17th century and the emblem of the Brotherhood of the Doctrine
  • Saint Francis Xavier Chapel: inaugurated in 1634 and designed by António Gomes de Elvas. Here we can visit the 17th century sculpture representing São Francisco Xavier, the paintings representing two moments in the life of São Francisco Xavier with Dom João III in audience with São Francisco Xavier and O Pope Paul III when they sent the first Fathers of the Society of Jesus to Portugal. The two paintings are by José de Avelar Rebelo (1600-1657).
  • Capela de São Roque: on the site of the former Hermitage of São Roque and stands out for the presence of the image of São Roque, images of São Tiago and São Sebastião, the six sculptures in silver wood representing the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul and the four Holy Evangelists, St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John; the painting representing The Apparition of the Angel to São Roque, dating from the second half of the 16th century, by Gaspar Dias; the sixteenth century tile panels with scenes from the daily life of São Roque by Francisco de Matos; and the Brasão da Confraria de São Roque.
  • Capela do Santíssimo: the Chapel of the Santíssimo was designed by Luiza Fróis and inaugurated in 1636. The highlights are the image of Nossa Senhora da Assunção; the two side paintings dating from the 17th century representing The death of the Virgin and the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin, by Bento Coelho da Silveira (1617-1708); the 1877 silver lamp built in the city of Porto.
  • Chapel-Mor: the Chapel-Mor was built between 1625 and 1628. The main points of interest are the four frontal niches representing the main saints of the Society of Jesus, namely Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), San Francisco Xavier (1506-15525), São Luís de Gonzaga (1568- 1591) and San Francisco de Borja (1510-1572); the sculpture representing Our Lady with the Child, dating from the 17th century; the sculptures of Senhor da Cana Verde, Saint Brígida, Saint Gregory Thaumaturgo and Immaculate Conception; the four side paintings representing Saint Stanislaus Kostka (1550-1568) and the three martyrs of Japan, São Diogo, São João Mário and São Paulo Miki; and the Tombs by Dom Fernando Martins de Mascarenhas (1548-1628) and Dom Tomás de Almeida (1670-1754).
  • Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Piedade: designed by Martim Gonçalves da Câmara and inaugurated in 1613. The main points of interest are Painting representing Nossa Senhora da Soledade; the Pietá in polychrome wood dating from the 17th century; the image of Our Lady of Good Death; and the two sculptures representing São Longuinho and Santa Verónica.
  • Santo António Chapel: rebuilt after the earthquake of 1 November 1755. Highlights are the ceilings with neoclassical frescoes from the 19th century; the 17th-century image of Saint Anthony; the two paintings depicting scenes from the religious journey of Saint Anthony, namely The Saint preaching to the fish and The Temptation of Saint Anthony. The paintings are by Vieira Lusitano (1699-1783).
  • Chapel of the Holy Family (Chapel of the Lost Child), inaugurated in the 17th century. The points of interest are the central painting representing Jesus among the Doctors by José de Avelar Rebelo (1600-1657); the two paintings representing Adoração dos Reis, and Adoração dos Pastors by André Reinoso; and the three 17th century sculptures representing the Sacred Family.
  • Ceiling: the painting by Francisco Venegas (1525-1594) between 1587 and 1589, the only ceiling that remains in Lisbon of the large Mannerist-style ceilings.
  • Pipe Organ: built in 1784 by Xavier Machado and Cerveira (1756-1828).
  • The São Roque Museum: inaugurated on January 11, 1905. The main highlights of the Museum are the five permanent exhibitions: Exhibition dedicated to the São Roque Chapel , Exhibition dedicated to Companhia de Jesus, Exhibition of Oriental Art, Exhibition of the Treasure of the Chapel of St. John the Baptist and Exhibition dedicated to Mercy of Lisbon.

3. Elevador da Glória![(38.714961, -9.144479)]: The Elevador da Glória is an elevator that connects Praça dos Restauradores and Bairro Alto in an approximate path of 255 meters and a drop of 48 meters, being the busiest lift in the city with around three million passengers a year. The Glória Elevator Glória was inaugurated on the 24th of October 1885 with a design by Mesnier du Ponsard (1848-1914), it operated until 1915 using a water counterweight system for ascending and descending. From 1915 onwards a second electrified elevator was added. The Glória Elevator was classified as a national monument in 2002.

4. Portuguese Freemasonry Museum: The Portuguese Freemasonry Museum is a space where we can learn about the historical evolution of Freemasonry in Portugal, and visit the oldest Masonic lodge in the country. The Museo Masônico is part of the headquarters building of the Grande Oriente Lusitano, located at Rua do Grémio Lusitano. The museum nucleus is organized into two main spaces, with a Permanent exhibition center where it is possible to observe objects used in Masonic rites and a Temporary exhibition center with the exhibition permanent display of individual pieces by 18th and 19th century Freemasons used during rituals; the number of aprons and embroidery; and the ceramics collection.

5. Igreja de Santa Catarina: it is one of the most important churches in Lisbon due to the works in gilded woodwork, namely on the main altar built during the reign of Dom João V. The Church of Santa Catarina it has been located on Calçada do Combro since its inauguration in 1647. The church’s attractions are the Capela-Mor, considered the most imposing monument of gilded woodwork in Portugal; the painting on the ceiling representing the Holy Trinity by António Pimenta Rolin; the image of Santa Catarina; and the six paintings that represent “Christ in the Desert” and the “Multiplication of Breads” by Vieira Lusitano (1699-1763); the Santíssima Trindade represented in the central medallions of the ceiling, by João Grossi and Toscanelli; the Golden Organ dating from the 18th century; and the Santos of the Order of São Paulo da Serra da Ossa painted by Bento Coelho da Silveira and André Gonçalves.

6. Museu da Cinemateca: is a museum that aims to publicize the evolution of cinema up to our times, located on Rua Barata Salgueiro. The museum is organized in spaces Pre-cinema where we can visit some important objects for the emergence of cinema; Small Format, where we can view cameras, publishers and accessories in the formats used for cinema, ranging from 17.5 mm to 8 mm; Large Format, a space where we find equipment with formats ranging from 35 mm to 70 mm; and the Instruction Manuals space, where the evolution of instruction manuals for cameras, projectors and accessories is exposed

7. Palácio do Marquês de Pombal: is a 17th century building, located on Rua de O Século, built to serve as the residence of the family of Sebastião de Carvalho e Melo, grandfather of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, known as Marquês of Pombal. The highlights of the Marquês de Pombal Palace are the Chafariz, by Carlos Mardel; the Staircase ceiling representing “A Morte e o Amor”, by João Grossi (1715-1780); and the gardens inspired by the Palace of Versailles, designed by Carlos Mardel, with emphasis on the Cascata dos Poetas and Fonte das Quatro Estações;

8. Viewpoint of Santa Catarina: is one of the viewpoints in Lisbon where you can observe the riverside area of the city, namely the movement of departure and arrival of ships in Lisbon, giving rise to the popular Lisbon saying “see ships from Alto de Santa Catarina”. The Santa Catarina Viewpoint is located on Rua de Santa Catarina, with an emphasis on the View of the Port of Lisbon and the houses with the clothes rack and the flower pots; the marble statue of the Adamastor, a figure from Greco-Roman mythology that is represented in Lusíadas by Luís Vaz de Camões (1524-1580) as “the being who sank the ships that tried to pass Cabo das Tormentas”, current Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Statue by Júlio Vaz Júnior (1877-1963).

9. Elevador da Bica![(38.708981, -9.146705)]: is an elevator that connects Rua de São Paulo and Largo do Calhariz, designed by Mesnier du Ponsard and inaugurated in 1892, located on Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo, classified as “the ninth most beautiful street in the world” according to the classification of St Christopher’s Inn hotels.

10. Pharmacy Museum![(38.710249, -9.147139)]: is a museum that aims to disseminate the history of pharmacy and medicine in Portugal, inaugurated in 1996, located at Rua Marechal Saldanha. The highlights of the Pharmacy Museum are the Reconstitutions of Portuguese pharmacies between the 18th and 20th centuries; the Reconstitution of a Traditional Chinese Pharmacy; and the Reconstitution of a military pharmacy.

Other attractions worth visiting in Bairro-Alto

Praça Luís de Camões ![(38.710641, -9.143263)]: located between Chiado and Bairro Alto, it is one of the largest squares in Lisbon. The square owes its name to the monument in honor of Luís Vaz de Camões. The statue was inaugurated on October 9th, 1867 as a way to celebrate the independence of December 1st, 1640. Praça Luís de Camões is one of the main meeting and rest points of Bairro Alto and Chiado, it is a place where they perform regular concerts and a crossing point between Rua da Misericórdia, Rua do Alecrim, Rua do Loreto, Largo do Chiado and Cais do Sodré. The main attractions are the Monument in homage to Luís Vaz de Camões by Vitor Bastos (1829-1867) with eight statues of important figures in the history of Portugal, namely Fernão Lopes, Jerónimo Corte-Real, Fernão Lopes de Castanheda, Francisco Sá Menezes, Gomes Eanes de Zurara, Vasco Mouzinho de Quevedo and João de Barros; the Statue of Luís Vaz de ; and omons four meters high; and the Conceição dos Cardais Convent, an asylum for the blind since the extinction of the religious orders in 1834, is one of the main buildings built in the National Style, a name given to the early years of the Baroque style in Portugal. Mrs. Luísa de Távora (1609-1692) had the Conceição dos Cardais Convent built on the current street, Rua Eduardo Coelho in 1681, with the following points of interest: the Facade with emphasis on the sculptures representing Nossa Senhora da Conceição and São José by João Antunes (1643-1712); the “Roda dos Expostos” a wheel of formerly common existence in convents, created as a means of communication with the outside world, however it came to be used as a “mail box” to anonymously abandon newborns to the care of nuns, caused by difficulties of subsistence of Portuguese families; the Santa Teresa d’Ávila represented in tile panels by Jan van Oort; the Capela-Mor built in the National style by the wood carver José Rodrigues Ramalho (1660-1721).

Zé dos Bois Gallery![(38.711978, -9.144617)]: is a non-profit cultural association located in Palácio Baronesa de Almeida, where Almeida Garrett worked, on Rua da Baroque. The association Galeria Zé dos Bois was created with the aim of promoting and investigating the visual and performing arts.

Eça de Queiroz Monument: is a stone statue by Teixeira Lopes, inaugurated in 1903 at Largo Barão de Quintela

Palácio do Barão de Quintela: is a restaurant known as the Palácio Chiado, located on Rua do Alecrim. The Baron de Quintela Palace was built at the end of the 18th century in a Neoclassical style and was used as headquarters by General Junot during the First Army Invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1807.

Edificio da Imprensa Nacional: this is the oldest industrial establishment in Portugal, in continuous operation since the 13th century. The Imprensa Nacional was created in 1769, having been initially called Impression Régia, Régia Oficina Typográfica and later Imprensa Nacional from 1933 onwards, performing the functions of Editor of the Diário da República; Production of identification documents, namely passport and citizen’s card; and Currency Coin.

Igreja das Chagas is a church located on Rua do Ataíde, whose worship is dedicated to professions related to the sea, namely to sailors and fishermen. Frei Diogo from Lisbon ordered the construction of the church, which was inaugurated in 1542 so that the sailors of Carreira da Índia could have a space to pray before the voyage took place. The church was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake, with the following points of interest: Painting on the ceiling representing Our Lady of Piety of Chagas de Cristo by Francisco Figueiredo; and the Seventeenth Century Organ.

São Pedro de Alcântara Convent and Church is a 17th century building that stands out for being part of the most complete set of tiles relating to the life of São Pedro de Alcântara in Portugal, located on the street of São Pedro de Alcântara. The São Pedro de Alcântara Convent and Church was inaugurated in 1672 with a project by João Antunes, built to celebrate the independence of Portugal from Spain and victory at the Battle of Montes Claros which took place in 1665, the last battle of the War of Restoration (1640-1668). The main points of interest are the Capela dos Lencastres built in 1690, in memory of the Cardinal of Lisbon Dom Veríssimo de Lencastre. The chapel has representations of “frescos” by Francisco Pais, the altar with marble columns and the coat of arms of Dom Veríssimo. The chapel withstood the 1755 earthquake; the Golden carved altars representing the “The Coronation of the Virgin” by Pierre Antoine Quillard and “The Preaching of Saint John the Baptist” by Pedro Alexandrino de Carvalho ; the ceiling painted by Pierre Bordes; the Altar-Mor in Rococo style, gilded woodcarving and the “Ecstasy of São Pedro de Alcântara”, a painting by Bento Coelho da Silveira; the most complete Tile Panels in Portugal with representation of scenes from the life of São Pedro de Alcântara.

Palácio Ludovice: considered one of the most important palaces in Lisbon in the palatial urban architecture of the reign of Dom João V (1689-1750). The Palácio Ludovice, located on Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara, was the residence of the Chief Architect of the Kingdom João Frederico Ludovice (1673-1752) and of Solar do Vinho do Porto. Solar do Vinho do Porto is a restaurant where you can taste more than 300 varieties of Port Wine.

Chafariz do Século: a fountain in street of O Século inaugurated in 1762 with the objective of supplying the Pombal Palace with water, a project by Carlos Mardel (1695-1763) ,

The main streets and squares of Bairro-Alto

Rua de O Século: is a street in Bairro Alto that connects Praça do Príncipe Real and Calçada do Combro, being one of the most important streets in this historic district. The Rua de O Século is a typical street in the historic area of ​​Lisbon, with several attractions, namely the noble palaces of the 18th and 19th centuries, the popular houses, the Portuguese sidewalk, the restaurants, the bars, the local accommodations, the Igreja do Convento dos Cardaes, the Constitutional Court, the Palácio Pombal or the School of Dance of the National Conservatory. Rua de O Século, formerly Rua Formosa, acquired this name because it was the location of the headquarters of the newspaper O Século, the Lisbon newspaper that was in operation between 1880 and 1977.

Rua da Misericórdia: connects Praça Luís de Camões and Largo Trindade Coelho, it is an important road that allows entering and leaving the historic city center. Rua da Misericórdia is very frequented by tourists and Portuguese due to attractions such as the Igreja de São Roque, the Bairro Alto, restaurants, the Church of Nossa Senhora do Loreto and by integrate the route of the famous Tram 28. The Rua da Misericórdia is named after the Misericórdia de Lisboa’s presence in Largo Trindade Coelho.

Calçada do Combro: connects Rua de São Bento and Largo do Calhariz. Calçada do Combro is the street that divides Bairro Alto and Bica, being one of the busiest streets in the Bairro Alto area due to the presence of points of interest such as the Rooftop Park, the Elevador da Bica, the Church of Santa Catarina and for being one of the places of passage of the Tram 28. The Calçada do Combro got its name because it is located on a higher and more isolated point of land in the city, having been built with the growth of Bairro Alto.

Rua da Rosa: is the street that connects Rua Dom Pedro V and Largo do Calhariz, known for its nightlife, its many taverns and restaurants and the Convento dos Inglesinhos. Rua da Rosa is also known as Rua da Rosa das Partilhas, having this name since 1597.

Rua da Atalaia: is the street that connects Rua da Rosa and Rua do Loreto. Rua da Atalaia has several points of interest, namely the Portuguese Masonic Museum, restaurants and bars. Rua da Atalaia and Rua da Rosa are the streets with the most nightlife in Bairro Alto, always full of tourists and locals on weekends. The Rua da Atalaia originates from the Arabic toponym of Atalaia, which means high place or sentinel.

Rua do Diário de Notícias: it is the street that connects Travessa da Cara and Rua das Salgadeiras, being much sought after by tourists and locals who want to experience the gastronomy of the restaurants, the fado houses and the local bars. The Rua do Diário de Notícias, formerly Rua dos Calafates, acquired this name in 1885 as a celebration of the twenty-first anniversary of the newspaper Diário de Notícias.

Luís de Camões Square, Bairro Alto

Praça Luís de Camões, Bairro Alto

Other interesting places to visit in Bairro Alto

Largo Trindade Coelho ![(38.713065, -9.143215)]: located between the Viewpoint of São Pedro de Alcântara and Praça Luís de Camões, it is known as Largo do Cauteleiro or Largo de São Roque. The square owes its name to the writer José Francisco Trindade Coelho (1861-1908) and its main highlights are the Church of São Roque, the statue of the guard, the statue of São Francisco Xavier and the headquarters of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia. Largo Trindade Coelho is one of the meeting points of Bairro Alto

Parish Church of Mercy ![(38.713269, -9.150566)]: located in Largo de Jesus. The Parish Church of Mercês was part of the former Convento de Jesus and since 1838 the Academy of Sciences. The project was designed by Frei Manuel do Cenáculo. The main highlights are:

  • Main facade and steps
  • Side chapels

Parish Church of Santa Catarina ![(38.711196, -9.148167)]: located on Calçada do Combro it is known as Igreja dos Paulistas because it was inaugurated in the 17th century for the faithful of São Paulo da Serra de Ossa. From 1835 onwards, he joined Santa Catarina. The main points of interest are:

  • Custody of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Two bell towers
  • Johanne carving on the high altar
  • Organ decorated in gilded woodcarving

Loreto Underground Gallery ![(38° 42′ 39.05′, 9° 8′ 33.95”)]: one of the five galleries of the Águas Livres Aqueduct, presents the following path with an approximate distance of 410 meters:

  • Home of the Registry
  • Descent from Rua das Amoreiras to Largo do Rato
  • Passage on the street of the Polytechnic School
  • Passage through Dom Pedro V Street
  • Passage through Paiva de Andrade Street
  • Final at Largo de São Carlos

São Pedro de Alcântara Convent ![(38° 42′ 54.17”, 9° 8′ 43.50”)]: inaugurated in 1681 on São Pedro de Alcântara street. The São Pedro de Alcântara Convent was built in honor of the Spanish saint São Pedro de Alcântara as a result of Portugal’s independence in 1640. The São Pedro de Alcântara Convent was rehabilitated by the architect Manuel da Maia after the earthquake of 1 November 1755. The main highlights are the Capela dos Lencastre inaugurated in 1690 and built in memory of the Cardinal of Lisbon Dom Veríssimo de Alcântara. The ceiling, designed by Francisco Pais, represents the martyrs of Santos Veríssimo, Máxima and Júlia; the Golden Altars; the Painting of the Coronation of the Virgin, by Pierre Antoine Quillard; the Painting of the Preaching of São João Batista by Pedro Alexandrino Carvalho; the ceiling by Pierre Bordes, opened in 1878; the Extâse of São Pedro de Alcântara, a painting by Bento Coelho da Silveira; and the Tile Panels from the 18th century with scenes from the daily life of São Pedro de Alcantâra.

Convento dos Cardaes ![(38.714653, -9.147601)]: located on Rua do Século, it is one of the best preserved Baroque monuments in Lisbon. The Convento dos Cardaes was inaugurated in 1681 by Dona Luísa de Távora (1609-1692) to integrate the Order of Descaled Carmelites. The main points of interest are:

  • Church with paintings by António Pereira Ravasco and André Gonçalves representing the rules of the Order, the tile panels representing scenes from the daily life of Santa Teresa d’Ávila
  • Exterior marble sculpture representing Nossa Senhora da Conceição by João Antunes
  • Exterior marble sculpture representing São José by João Antunes
  • The wheel that allowed the entry and exit of objects, but which, over time, was used so that mothers could deliver the children without being identified. It became known as the wheel of the exposed

Palácio Pombal ![(38.713120, -9.147704)]: it is a 16th century floor-style building located on the street of “O Século”. Palácio Pombal was the Melo’s place of residence until the earthquake of 1 November 1755. The palace was built by Sebastião de Carvalho e Melo, grandfather of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, Marquis de Pombal and Prime Minister of Dom José I (1714-1777). The main highlights of the Palácio Pombal are the two-story Noble Staircase; the Four marble sculptures representing Hercules and Venus; the Ceiling with representation Death and Love by João Grossi; the garden with benches, tile panels with scenes of everyday life, a lake and two celtis australis trees.

Municipal Hemeroteca ![(38° 42′ 29.96′, 9° 8′ 25.96′)]: located on Rua Lúcio de Azevedo, it aims to build a digital library of newspapers and magazines that have fallen into the domain public. The Hemeroteca Municipal was inaugurated in 1931. The main points of interest are newspapers from the 18th and 19th centuries. The oldest copy is a Gazeta de Lisboa dated 10 August 1715.

Port Wine Solar ![(38° 42′ 50.86” , 9° 8′ 39.59”)]: located in Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara stands out for the possibility of tasting more than three hundred port wines. The Solar do Vinho do Porto is located in the Ludovic Palace between the São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint and the Princípe Real. The bar was opened on February 19, 1946 and designed by designer Paulo Lobo

Centro Antiquário do Alecrim Ldª – Antiquário Bookseller (38.709081, -9.143119): located on Rua do Alecrim, it is integrated in the building of the former Fábrica Anchor. The Alecrim Antiquary Center sells old books, prints, photographs, maps and other documents

Restaurants of Bairro Alto

100 Maneiras ![(38.714733, -9.144854)]: located on Rua do Teixeira stands out for offering tasting menus at affordable prices. The restaurant, owned by chef Ljubomir Stanisic, opened in 2009 in a space with only thirty seats available. The main highlight of the restaurant is the Estendal do Bairro dish.

Casanostra ![(38.712370, -9.145186)]: located in Travessa do Poço da Cidade, this is a very popular Italian restaurant due to its varied cuisine. The restaurant was inaugurated in 1986 by the Italian Maria Paola with the aim of making the Portuguese aware of Italian cuisine beyond pasta and pizza.

Fumeiro de Santa Catarina ![(38.710040, -9.149256)]: located in Travessa Alcaide Lisboa, is a restaurant specializing in sausages and appetizers

Tantura ![(38.711630, -9.145080)]: located on Trumpet Street and so designated as a locality in Israel. Owners Elad Bodenstein and Itamar Eliiyahuo lived in Tantura, Israel, and opened the restaurant in Bairro Alto with the aim of promoting Israeli food in Portugal.

Adega das Mercês ![(38.711305, -9.144987)]: located on Rua das Mercês, it stands out for its fresh fish and typical Portuguese cuisine.

Snacks of the Neighborhood ![(38.713141, -9.145152)]: located on Rua da Atalaia, it stands out for its appetizers, namely fried potatoes, woodpeckers and fish from the garden.

O Trevo ![(38.710857, -9.143094)]: located in Praça Luís de Camões, it is known for its bifana, pork steak on bread, and for having been one of the places chosen for the northern cooking program -American No Reservations by Anthony Bourdain on gastronomy in Lisbon. Trevo stands out for offering the best bifanas in Lisbon.

Cantinho do Bem Estar ![(38.711447, -9.143742)]: located on Rua do Norte, Cantinho do Bem Estar is a typical Lisbon tavern serving Alentejo cuisine.

Bairro Alto Fado Houses

O Faia ![(38.711823, -9.144502)]: located on Rua da Barroca, it is a reference of fado in Lisbon. Faia was inaugurated in 1947 and has already received renowned artists, namely Lucília do Carmo, Carlos do Carmo, Alfredo Marceneiro, Fernando Maurício or Camané.

A Severa ![(38.711757, -9.143486)]: located on Rua das Gáveas, it is the fado house that has remained in the same family for the longest time. Severa was inaugurated in 1955 and was thus designated to honor the fado singer Severa, the founder of fado.

Adega Machado ![(38.712293, -9.143812)]: located on Rua do Norte, it stands out due to the Sala da Fadistagem, created exclusively for groups. The Adega Machado was inaugurated in 1937 and was the place of performance of several fado singers, namely Amália Rodrigues, Fernando Maurício, Maria da Fé or Mariza.

Café Luso ![(38.713078, -9.143800)]: located in Travessa da Queimada, it is part of the old cellars and stables of the Palácio Brito Freire. Café Luso was opened in 1927 on Avenida da Liberdade and in 1939 in Bairro Alto. Amália Rodrigues starred in the most mediatic moment in the restaurant’s history with a concert in 1955.

Atalaia Mascot ![(38.711446, -9.144891)]: located on Rua da Atalaia, its main attraction is the vadio fado. Mascote da Atalaia was inaugurated more than fifty years ago and countless fadistas have passed through here, including Artur Batalha, Fernando Maurício and Chico do Carmo.

A Tasca do Chico ![(38.711645, -9.144157)]: located on the Rua do Diário de Notícias, its main points of interest are fado and appetizers, especially cheeses and baked sausages. Tasca do Chico was inaugurated in 1993 by Francisco Gonçalves. Tasca do Chico currently offers two spaces, one located in Bairro Alto and the other in Alfama.

Illustrious Figures of Bairro Alto

Guedelha Palaçano: he was one of the richest men in Portugal in the 15th century. Guedelha Palaçano was the owner of two farms near Portas de Santa Catarina, now Praça Luís de Camões: Herdade de Santa Catarina and Herdade da Boavista. Guedelha Palaçano played various roles, including physician, astrologer (designed the horoscopes for the coronations of the Portuguese kings Dom Duarte and Dom Afonso V), was the first surgeon appointed to the Hospital de Todos-os-Santos and the chief rabbi during the reign of Dom Afonso V. He was the author of several works, including a treaty on Divine Providence. He eventually fled to Spain and later Italy after being accused of attempting a coup d’etat to depose King Dom João II in 1483.

Ana Queimado: a rich noblewoman who owns some land in Bairro Alto who ceded charter to the Jesuits to build the Church of São Roque.

Camilo Castelo Branco (1825-1890): one of the most important writers in Portugal and the first Visconde de Correia Botelho. Camilo Castelo Branco was born in Lisbon in Bairro Alto on Rua da Rosa in 1825 and committed suicide in 1890. The writer participated in several events throughout his life, namely in the Revolta da Maria da Fonte in 1846. Camilo Castelo Branco wrote several works with emphasis on A Daughter of Arcediago from 1855, Where is Happiness from 1856 , The Morgado de Fafe from 1861, Love of Perdition from 1862, The Fall of an Angel from 1865, The Kingslayer from 1874 and Novelas do Minho between 1875 and 1877.

Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage (1765-1805): known as “Bocage” was one of the greatest poets in Portugal. He was born in Setúbal and died in Lisbon. The poet joined the Nova Arcadia academy of oratory and poetry in 1790, was imprisoned in 1797 in the Inquisition prison and in the Hospicio das Necessidades in 1798. Bocage published several works throughout his life, namely The Rhymes written between 1799 and 1804.

Tomás Quintino (1820-1898): Portuguese journalist and businessman was co-founder of Diário de Notícias in 1864 in Bairro Alto together with Eduardo Coelho.

Eduardo Coelho (1835-1889): Portuguese writer and journalist was co-founder of Diário de Notícias in 1864 in Bairro Alto together with Tomás Quintino. Eduardo Coelho was one of the founders of the Lisbon Geography Society on November 10, 1875.

Fernando Tavares Farinha (1928-1988): fado singer who started singing fado at the age of nine in a contest representing the neighborhood of Bica in 1937. Participating in this contest made Fernando Tavares Flour was known as Miúdo da Bica throughout his career. Fernando Tavares Farinha became a professional fado singer at the age of eleven and began to sing in several neighborhoods in Lisbon, namely in Alto do Pina, Ajuda and Santo Amaro. This fado singer recorded his first album in 1940, made his first tour of Brazil at the age of twenty-three, in 1960 he won the Voz Mais Portuguesa de Portugal competition and from 1965 he toured the United States of America, France, Belgium and Germany. Some of the most famous themes are A Fado à Marceneiro, Estações de Amor or Lugar Vazio.

Bairro Alto Curiosities

  • The Bairro Alto was the first neighborhood to be built in Lisbon with wider streets so that coaches could pass
  • The Bairro Alto was a reference for the reconstruction of the Baixa Pombalina after the earthquake of 1 November 1755 because it resisted this catastrophe practically intact
  • The poet Bocage died at number 25 of Travessa André Valente
  • Writer Camilo Castelo Branco was born at number 13 Rua da Rosa
  • The writer Almeida Garrett lived at 46 Rua da Barroca
  • In the 19th century, prostitution was legal in Bairro Alto
  • In Bairro Alto the modern Portuguese press emerged with the creation of two of the first great Portuguese newspapers in the 19th century: O Século and Diário de Notícias
  • The sports newspaper A Bola is the only newspaper that maintains its headquarters in Bairro Alto
  • The Frágil discotheque opened in 1982 and revolutionized nightlife in Bairro Alto and Lisbon
  • On the 17th of May 1986, Manobras de Maio appeared, innovative fashion shows at the time
  • Figures like Bocage, Almeida Garrett, Camilo Castelo Branco or Júlio Verne lived in Bairro Alto
  • The last gas lamps in Lisbon were replaced by electric lamps in 1965 in Bairro de Santa Catarina

Education Facilities

  • Passos Manuel Elementary and Secondary School

Health Institutions

  • St Louis Hospital
  • Jesus Hospital

Four and Five Star Tourist Resorts

  • Bairro Alto Hotel
  • Dear Lisbon Charming House
  • Orange 3 House – Chiado Bed & Breakfast & Suites

Shops and shopping

  • Alêtheia Bookstore
  • Pink Pepper Wharf
  • Vellas Loreto House
  • Cork & Co
  • Hats Factory
  • Fátima Lopes
  • Zé dos Bois Gallery
  • Garrafeira Alfaia
  • National Wine Cellar
  • Luis Burnay Bookstore
  • Maison Nuno Gama
  • Mothball Vintage Shop
  • Ratton
  • Sat’Anna
  • Port Wine Solar

Transport and Access

Bairro Alto has the following transport and access:

  • Lisbon Metropolitan:
  • Baixa-Chiado Metro Station (Blue and Green Line)
  • Electric 28
  • Glória Lift

Car parks:

  • Park of Calçada do Combro
  • Largo Camões Park

History of Bairro Alto

The Bairro Alto began to be built in 1506 in the northern part of the city due to the need to find a place where it would be possible to bury the victims of the Black Death. The Chapel of São Roque, the patron saint who protects from the Black Death, was the place found to bury the victims of this deadly disease. The first urbanizations were built in 1513 in the old Vila Nova de Andrade and in 1527 it already had approximately 1600 inhabitants. Later, in 1553, the Society of Jesus established its headquarters and inaugurated the Church of São Roque and a hospital. Most of the buildings in Bairro Alto date back to the 18th century when the Lisbon nobility moved to this neighborhood during the reign of Dom João V (1689-1750). From the 19th century onwards, Bairro Alto became associated with nightlife and the written press. Night life in this area of ​​Lisbon started in the 19th century with fado and the appearance of numerous restaurants, fado houses, bars and Portuguese taverns. The press written in Portugal had its heyday during the 1960s and 1970s with the establishment of thirteen of the twenty national newspapers.

The History of Bairro Alto can be divided into four periods:

1. The creation of Vila Nova de Andrade:
In the 16th century, most of Bairro Alto was owned by the counts of Andrade and Atouguia, who joined together to create Vila Nova de Andrade. Vila Nova de Andrade began in 1513 between the river and Rua de Santos, with approximately 500 inhabitants in 1528 and almost a thousand at the end of the 16th century. The first inhabitants of Bairro Alto were people related to maritime professions, mostly workers in Ribeira das Naus.

2. The establishment of the Jesuits on the Colina de São Roque:
in 1553, the Society of Jesus installed itself on the Hill of São Roque with the construction of the Church of São Roque and a Hospital. Bairro Alto is now known as Bairro Alto de São Roque, having been the place chosen by the Nobles to live with their families. Two neighborhoods now exist: Bairro Alto de São Roque and the Bairro Baixo de Vila Nova de Andrade. Bairro Alto grew around the Church of São Roque, having been considered the first rationalist layout of the city of Lisbon. In the 16th century, the streets of Bairro Alto were considered wide and suitable for coaches at the time.

3. The earthquake of November 1, 1755 and the reconstruction of Bairro Alto:
The 1755 earthquake destroyed a large part of the Bairro Baixo in Vila Nova de Andrade. However, Bairro Alto de São Roque was barely reached. It was from this time on that Bairro Alto began to be inhabited by the Bourgeoisie and Aristocracy, a time when the attic waters of buildings began to be used as housing.

4. The transformation of Bairro Alto from the 19th century onwards:
from the 19th century onwards, the nobles sold most of the palaces and left Bairro Alto for other parts of the city. It was from this date that Bairro Alto de Lisboa became the headquarters of the country’s written press: practically all press newspapers settled there. With journalistic press, Bairro Alto was transformed and became known for its cultural, bohemian and artistic environment that lasts until today. Bairro Alto was the headquarters of the national press from the 19th century until 1970. Currently, there is only one newspaper in Bairro Alto, the sports newspaper “A Bola”. From the 1980s onwards, the first nightlife venues appeared, namely the discotheque “Frágil” and the restaurant “Pap’Açorda” (currently with an establishment in the Mercado da Ribeira).

Architecture and origin of Bairro Alto

The architecture in Bairro Alto can be seen through the perpendicular streets perfectly designed with ruler and square, being equally labyrinthine due to the fact that they all look the same for those visiting Bairro Alto for the first time. Bairro Alto was the first neighborhood with urban planning to be built outside the old fence that surrounded the city of Lisbon. The current Bairro Alto has its origins in the 18th century, from the reign of Dom João V (1689-1750) with the displacement of the Nobility who fled the riverside area to Bairro Alto, located north of the center of Lisbon. Bairro Alto is the greatest example of urban planning in Lisbon. In Bairro Alto you can find imposing churches, such as the Igreja de São Roque or the Igreja de Santa Catarina, palaces such as the Palácio do Marquês de Pombal and the Palácio de Santa Catarina, squares and squares such as Largo do Carmo or Praça Luís Camões and gardens, especially that of São Pedro de Alcântara, integrated in the São Pedro de Alcântara Viewpoint.

Santa Catarina and Bica, around Bairro Alto

The neighborhood of Santa Catarina, built on the hill of Santa Catarina, was thus designated to pay homage to Santa Catarina of Mount Sinai. The main highlights of the neighborhood of Santa Catarina are the Miradouro de Santa Catarina, Alto de Santa Catarina, Praça Luís de Camões and Largo do Calhariz. neighborhood of Santa Catarina was the place where the Portas de Santa Catarina da Cerca Fernandina were located. The geographical limits of the Santa Catarina hill are defined between Praça Luís de Camões and Calçada do Combro. The district of Santa Catarina presents a unique landscape in the entire city of Lisbon due to the sloping terrain and the magnificent view of the Tagus river that can be seen from almost all buildings. Most of the buildings are old, the streets are narrow and winding. In this neighbourhood, like all over Lisbon’s historic area, we can experience people talking from one window to the other, the clothes laid out on the clotheslines and a unique excitement throughout the day and most of the night. It is a very popular place for Portuguese and foreigners to rest, visit and live.

The Bica district located between Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré and presents a unique landscape in the city with the existence of several sidewalks, narrow streets and steps. The main arteries are Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo, Calçada da Bica and Calçada da Bica Pequena. The Bica district arose due to a landslide in 1597 that occurred between Alto de Santa Catarina and Alto das Chagas. The Bica neighborhood owes its name to the source Bica dos Olhos built in 1675, known for its miraculous capacity to treat blindness by washing the eyes with water. Duarte Belo’s Bica street is the most important in the neighborhood, this is where we find the Elevador da Bica. The Elevador da Bica was inaugurated on June 28, 1892 with the aim of helping the inhabitants of the neighborhood to transport water and goods. It is currently one of the main means of transport in the neighborhood, one of the most important tourist attractions in the city of Lisbon and it connects Rua de São Paulo to Largo do Calhariz.

The Cerca Fernandina was built in 1375 in this very popular area for entering and leaving Lisbon during the 15th and 16th centuries. The Portas de Santa Catarina were destroyed between 1702 and 1707 so that the procession of Dona Maria Ana de Austria could pass, future wife of Dom João V. As Portas de Santa Catarina was later replaced by Largo do Chiado and two churches: the Church of Nossa Senhora do Loreto and the Church of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação.

Location of the Parish of Misericordia (Bairro Alto) on the map of Lisbon

Location of the parish of Misericórdia on the map of Lisbon

Location of the parish of Misericórdia on the map of Lisbon