Architect: Eugénio dos Santos / VerÃssimo da Costa
The royal palace Paço da Ribeira, into which Manuel I moved in the 16th C. from the Castle of SÃ£o Jorge, stood on this site on the river bank until 1755. The Terreiro do Paço was consequently used as a place to receive kings and guests, who arrived by ship – although it was also used as a setting for burning heretics and for bullfights. After the Terreiro do Praça was completely destroyed by the earthquake and had been flooded, the present Praça do Comércio was built in conjunction with the rebuilding of the Baixa. Uniform arcaded facades line three sides of the square, approximately 180m/591ft by 190m/624ft. The buildings are mainly occupied by public authorities or ministries. The ornate central archway was completed later by architect VerÃssimo da Costa.