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Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa
© Fundação José Saramago

Casa dos Bicos

  • Original Authors:
  • Francisco de Arruda
  • (1523)

  • Interventions:
  • Manuel Vicente ,
  • José Daniel Santa-Rita
  • (1981)
  • João Santa-Rita
  • (2011)

Located along the riverfront close to the recently regenerated Campo das Cebolas, but completely integrated between the old, irregular settlement patterns of Alfama and the regular plan for the Pombaline Baixa, the Casa dos Bicos was commissioned by Brás de Albuquerque, son of the first Viceroy of India, and built between 1521 and 1523. The building is known for its unique façade covered in “diamond-shaped points”, commonly known as bicos [beaks or spikes] in Portuguese, that took its inspiration from Italian Renaissance designs. The earthquake of 1755 left the building quite damaged. Later, after partial reconstruction, it became home to a salt cod trader, whose business remained there until well into the 20th century. In 1983, on the occasion of the 17th European Exhibition of Arts, Science and Culture, a design by Manuel Vicente and Daniel Santa-Rita restored the building’s overall exterior compositional presence and proposed, on the basis of historical documentation, contemplation on the memory of what was no longer there. Having undergone more renovation work from 2008 to 2012, the Casa dos Bicos is today home to the José Saramago Foundation and the Casa dos Bicos archaeological collection.

Rua dos Bacalhoeiros, 10
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Public Transportation
Bus: 28E, 206, 735, 737, 759
Subway: Terreiro do Paço

Civic Facilities


Photography allowed

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