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Eduardo VII Park

Eduardo VII Park (19)

This grass covered hill is a fine viewing point over the lower point of Lisbon, taking in the square known as the “Praça de Marqués de Pombal”, and the sparkling waters of the Tajo, almost on the horizon. This is the view from the Eduardo VII Park, the largest green space in the centre of Lisbon.

The park got its name in 1902 when the English monarch visited the city to discuss and endorse the Anglo Portuguese alliance. 

The park began life at the end of the 19th century as a continuation of the elegant and bourgeois “Avenida da Liberdade” (Freedom Avenue), which ran from under the “Praça Marqués de Pombal” square. In fact, from this lovely square several paths, paved in mosaics and flanked by boxwood fences, rise up all the way to the park’s highest point. 

Consisting of twenty five hectares, this park has areas for all tastes, whether you are a garden-lover, enjoy feeding carp in the midst of the exuberant vegetation or prefer the silence found among its lines of cactus.

The landscape of the park is rather conventional. But among its classically symmetrical lines of fences and lawns you can find truly charming spots. One such place is the garden dedicated to Amália Rodrigues, the great Portuguese fado singer. This is a flower garden from where you can see the hills of the Arábida sierra on a clear day. 

In this fascinating place you should not be surprised to find, in the middle of August, beautiful models dressed up in leather and scarves. Make no mistake, they have nothing to do with the boutiques on the well known “Avenida da Liberdade” but are posing for the new fashion season’s catalogues. It is quite usual for fashion photographers to use this area as the backdrop for their work, due to its colour and light.

But if the “Eduardo VII” park is known for anything, it is for zones of winter pasture, called “Estufas” in Portuguese.

In the north-western part of the park, in front of an area full of bushes, sculptures and peacocks and beside the shores of a stream, you will find the cold pasture or “Estufa Fria”.

This is a tropical winter pasture created in the year 1929, which is home to exuberant, almost jungle-like vegetation. You will marvel at the tropical and subtropical plants and palm trees that grow through a bamboo cover that protects them from rain showers and the intense sun. 

If you still have not seen enough, just wait until you see the “Estufa Quente”, or warm pasture, a zone of tepid humidity which provides ideal living conditions for its tropical bird aviaries and ponds of water-lilies.  

This is, without doubt, a sensuous place in the middle of the city. And it is no surprise that the elderly, young, lovers and families all come to this very special park.

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