Old Lisbon

Old Lisbon: Chiado

On the week that marks the 32nd anniversary of the great Lisbon fire, today we travel to Chiado.

Chiado is one of the most emblematic and traditional neighborhoods of the city of Lisbon. It is located between Bairro Alto and Baixa Pombalina.

In 1856, with the creation of the literary guild, a club of intellectuals of the time, Chiado became the center of romanticism Portuguese, a mandatory crossing point for those who wanted to be known in the city. The writer Eça de Queiroz in his work “Os Maias” made great reference to Chiado and the literary Guild.

Chiado was divided by the parishes of Sacramento and the Martyrs, two of the smallest in Lisbon, and is now fully integrated into the new parish of Santa Maria Maior.

In the 1980s, due to the change in the habits of the Lisboners and the inauguration of the Amoreiras shopping center, Chiado became decadent.

In 1988, in the early hours of August 25, between 3 and 4 a.m., a fire broke out in the Grandella building, which would take on large proportions spreading to seventeen more buildings. Chiado was destroyed and its reconstruction took all the 1990s, leaving the design in charge of architect Álvaro Siza Vieira.

Today Chiado has once again been an important trade center of Lisbon, being one of the most cosmopolitan and bustling areas of the Portuguese Capital, being the stage of emblematic events such as Vogue Fashion’s Night Out.

Even after 32 years the true causes of the fire that started at 5 a.m. in the Grandella Warehouses and ended up devastating 18 buildings and the equivalent of an area of eight football stadiums are still not known. The hypothesis of arson was raised, but it was never proven.

Photos from ambsacchetti.

Chiado today

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