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Fig Tree Square

While you won’t find any fig trees in this square today, its evolution has witnessed many different identities over the centuries. In ancient times this was a Roman necropolis, (city of the dead) and by the 16th century the entire square was filled by the All Saints Royal Hospital, the first universal health care hospital that Europe had known. Shortly after the Great Earthquake of 1755 the hospital was condemned and the square became the city’s central vegetable market with covered stalls and a glass roof stretching over the entire square. Today it is a bustling square and transportation hub, with an equestrian statue of the 14th century, King John I in the center. The statue is from 1971 and was erected partially as propaganda under the authoritarian Salazar regime. On the north side of the square is the Doll Hospital with garlands decorating the balcony. This is one of the last 3 doll hospitals left in Europe.

Open in Google Maps: Praca da Figueira

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