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The Evolution of an Urban Space – Campo das Cebolas exhibition

Fotografia da inauguração © Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

The Evolution of an Urban Space – Campo das Cebolas exhibition was inaugurated on Saturday 14th April 2018 to celebrate the regeneration works on the site. As part of this celebration, free concerts by Ricardo Ribeiro, Filipa Cardoso and HMB were also held on the same day.

The renovation works at Campo das Cebolas, an initiative of the Lisbon City Council, were recently completed, and are depicted on the existing exhibition panels in loco. The intervention, which began in October 2015, forms part of an ambitious plan to regenerate Lisbon’s entire waterfront area, from Belém to Parque das Nações.

Since the Roman period, this riverside area has been characterised by the fundamental role of functions linked to the river. In the 16th century, it was an area of bustling port activity, known as Ribeira Velha or Ribeira das Portas do Mar. In the 18th century, before the 1755 earthquake, the largest wholesale market in the city was located in Ribeira Velha, with products (primarily foodstuffs) which were unloaded from the ships onto the various quays next to the river. It was at this time that the name ‘Campo das Cebolas’ emerged to refer to this area of thriving commercial exchanges. After 1755, the Campo das Cebolas area was profoundly changed, and incorporated into the new Pombaline design for the city.

Today, thanks to the design by architect Carrilho da Graça, the Campo das Cebolas is a huge, pleasant green space centred on the interaction with the river and the clear view of the hills of the cathedral and castle. A children’s park supplements the rest and leisure area of the large wooded garden, which leaves little trace of the disorderly car park which was formerly located on the site. To replace it, an underground car park was created, including an exhibition area to display some of the archaeological findings which emerged during its construction.

The exhibition will be on display from 14 April to 3 May 2018.