Architecture

The styles of architecture in Lisbon can be gleaned back from the Roman since it had been through this period that it started to be developed, and one of the proofs is the remains of a theatre of the Roman period in the neighborhood of Alfama. It has undergone modification through the centuries from the Pre-Romanesque to the Romanesque periods. The kinds of which are mostly revealed today in the presence of existing structures like the Saint Frituoso Chapel showing a Greek cross floorplan with rectangular arms and a central cupola decorated with arch reliefs, and indicating a clear influence of Byzantine buildings.

When you have to explore more closely Portugal’s early architecture, it seems to be rich in megalithic monuments isolated in the form of stone circles like that of Vila Nova de Sao Pedro found along the Tagus River near Cartaxo. You are to observe that in this period buildings were developed to remind us of late Gothic architecture in Manueline style like the Monastery of Jesus of Setubal, with aisles of equal height, or with spiraling motifs that of ropes used in ships, rich array of animal, and vegetal. This continued to develop through the Rennaisance and Mannerist period (1520-1650) during which the best known Portuguese architect was Alfonso Alvares’ with his Mannerist style whose works include the Church of Sao Roque in Lisbon. It was also during this period that the Jesuit architects contributed toward the development, one among whom is the famous Italian Flippo Terzi who built Monastery of SaonVicente de Fora in Lisbon. It is to be seen that the Mannerist style paved the way of the break from the Manueline style to the Plain Style (1580-1640) through its lack of excessive decorations, clear structure, sturdy appearance with smooth, flat surfaces, and moderate arrangement of space. This was the time less impresses hall churches evolved due to limited financial resources. The period came in line with restoration architecture (1640-1717) typical example if which is the Palace of Marquesses da Fronteira in Benfica remarkably with large tile panels with equestrian portraits and battle scenes or trumpet blowing monkeys.

Before Modern Architecture first came the Baroque style (1717-1755) where Lisbon was said to have been provided with water or fountains, as in the work of Manuel da Mais, Antonio Canevan and Custodio Vieira’s Aquas Livres aqueduct that has been described in the present time as the “greatest work since the Romans”, then the Pombaline Style (1755-1860) that is more vividly utilitarian, secular and plain in style, and with a Neo-classical approach to structure. The Baixa district of Lisbon is a concrete example of this architecture.

Modern architecture in Lisbon has clearly come up to be a balanced process of absorbing universal influences that lead its way into positive trends in current architecture well associated with the internationally accredited Alvaro Siza’s legacy to his generation and sons. The most popular work of Modern Architecture is the 25th of April Bridge (25 Ponte de Abril Bridge), a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon to Almada on the left south bank of the Tejo River. This has been based on the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA.