Immerse yourself in the stories woven into the walls of our building and let the echoes of the past enhance your present-day exploration of Lisbon's rich heritage.
AlmaLusa Alfama occupies an enchanting space, residing within the walls of a post-earthquake marvel that can trace its roots all the way back to the 12th century. The architectural design is firmly rooted in the Pombaline style. What makes this place even more captivating is that it cradles the historic Arco das Portas do Mar and serves as the very ground where relics harkening back to the Roman era have been unveiled.
A defensive wall was erected in 4th-century, during the Roman period, to protect the city against the arrival of the Germanic tribes. This wall was built by the Romans, used by the Visigoths, and later on by the Muslims.
In the 14th century, King Fernando constructed a new wall, known as the Fernandina wall, along the waterfront, incorporating segments of the pre-existing wall. This fortification was a response to the imperative of safeguarding the city during a phase of persistent and rapid expansion. Historic gateways, including the Arco das Portas do Mar, were preserved.
This gateway stands as a testament to time, and today, it still proudly graces our premises, inviting guests to step through it and traverse into the enchanting Alfama neighbourhood.
Casa dos Bicos
Only a few steps away from AlmaLusa Alfama, the Casa dos Bicos' archaeological centre is a stunning example of 16th-century civil architecture. It also houses an impressive collection of archaeological exhibits, some dating back over 2000 years.
Probably built from 1522 onwards by order of Brás de Albuquerque (1500-1580), son of the governor of India, Casa dos Bicos is the most representative example of a residential property in Lisbon from the Renaissance period. It boasts a unique diamond-patterned façade and Mudejar tiles, although the upper floors sustained serious damage during the 1755 earthquake.
The ground floor hosts a captivating archaeological centre displaying remnants from a 2010 excavation, including parts of late Roman walls and a preserved Roman fish production unit, open to visitors and free to explore.
Campo das Cebolas
The name of our square - Campo das Cebolas -, which translates to "Onion Field", originates from the historical Mercado da Ribeira Velha, which operated between the 16th and 18th centuries. This bustling marketplace was not just for fish but also featured various vegetable vendors.
The present-day Campo das Cebolas was once a beach. Following the era of D. Afonso Henriques, this coastal area underwent extensive land reclamation, evolving into the vibrant square that eventually housed the market.
A Baroque panel at Casa dos Bicos portrays a scene of Lisbon's Ribeira Velha before the catastrophic 1755 earthquake. In the forefront, a vibrant marketplace teems with activity, showcasing an array of fish, fruits, and vegetables.
Throughout the centuries, Campo das Cebolas witnessed various transformations and events. In the aftermath of the devastating 1755 earthquake and tsunami, which heavily impacted Lisbon, Campo das Cebolas was among the areas that required reconstruction.
In 2016, Campos das Cebolas underwent a profound revitalization, evolving into the vibrant square guests may enjoy today. During this process, significant archaeological finds emerged, including seven boats and wall sections representing the city's former limits, cleverly integrated into a car park. An old beach access staircase also found new purpose as an entrance to the parking area, seamlessly marrying history with modern functionality.
Remnants of the past
Underneath the AlmaLusa Alfama building, remnants of a Roman house (domus) have been found. The presence of an interior courtyard suggests that a prosperous Roman family once resided here.
The building that now houses AlmaLusa Alfama served as a tavern (tasca). It was a place where locals and visitors gathered to enjoy food, drinks, and socialize. The place provided a lively and vibrant atmosphere, acting as a hub of social activity in the neighbourhood.
The Roman Lisbon project provides an opportunity for people to discover the city's Roman roots, explore archaeological sites, and gain insights into the daily lives, architecture, and culture of the Roman inhabitants.
Visitors and residents can walk through the streets of Lisbon, stopping at designated points of interest that showcase Roman history.
Embark on a captivating virtual tour and witness the remarkable discoveries unearthed during the restoration of the AlmaLusa Alfama building. With just a click, you can explore the captivating artifacts and remnants that tell the stories of the past, gaining a unique insight into the rich heritage preserved within the walls of AlmaLusa Alfama.