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Rossio is one of the most beautiful squares in Lisbon. People pass here everyday, rushing for work, and hardly take the time to look around. It's not only the beautiful monuments and the fountains, or its fascinating history... Rossio is a living book.

Recently renovated, it hasn't lost any of its mysticism... Feel it around the D. Maria II National Theater, where many plays were, and are, performed and seen by Kings and Queens, around the fountains used at the beginning of October to baptize the freshmen as they were about to enter the University -, around the cafes frequented by famous Portuguese personalities - like Cafe Nicola founded in 1929 - and yes, oh yes, smell it on freshly roasted chestnuts that have been sold in the Rossio Square for many many years.

In the middle of the square there's a statue of Dom Pedro IV and at its foot the four female figures representing Justice, Wisdom, Strength and Moderation, qualities attributed to Dom Pedro himself.

The originally called 'Dom Pedro IV Square', got the name Rossio from the local people and it's still today a traditional meeting point both for Lisboetas and visitors.

One of the city's best-loved landmarks and also known as the "Elevator of Carmo," this extraordinary structure was built at the turn of the century by the French architect Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard (an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel, explaining the structure's similarities to Paris' Eiffel Tower), to connect downtown to Bairro Alto (the lowest and highest points of the city).

This photo has been taken from the top of the Santa Justa Elevator, which originally powered by steam, it is 45 meters high, and remains an interesting example of post-Eiffel iron architecture. The top of the Neo-Gothic tower, reached via a spiral staircase, has a cafe with splendid views of the city, including over Rossio Square, the castle and the river.

Two things that have impressed me from my recent trip to Portugal, are the amazing sky images and the roofs of the buildings of Lisbon.

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Additional Photos by Michael Pilitsis (Olympos) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 98 W: 24 N: 199] (1037)
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