Avenida da Liberdade (Lisbon)
Avenida da Liberdade (literally "Liberty Avenue" in Portuguese) is an important avenue in central Lisbon, Portugal. It is a 90 metre-wide boulevard, 1100 m long, with ten lanes divided by pedestrian pavements decorated with gardens. It links Restauradores Square with Marquis of Pombal Square. It used to be referred to by the inhabitants of Lisbon simply as the "Avenida" (the Avenue).
The Avenida da Liberdade, as well as the Restauradores Square, have their origins in a public park (Passeio Público) inaugurated in the area in 1764. Projected by Pombaline architect Reinaldo Manuel, the park was initially surrounded by a high wall. It was revamped in the 1830s and 1840s by architect Malaquias Ferreira Leal, who introduced a new arrangement of the flora as well as fountains, a waterfall and statues. The allegoric statues representing the Tagus and Douro rivers still existing in the boulevard of the Avenue date from this time.
After much discussion and polemics, the Avenue was built between 1879 and 1886, modelled after the boulevards of Paris. Its creation was a landmark in the Northwards expansion of the city, and it quickly became a preferred address for the upper class. The Avenue was planned to expand further north, through what is the present central lawn lane of the Eduardo VII Park. However, these plans were abandoned in the 1960s.
Many of the original buildings of the Avenue have been demolished in the last decades and replaced by modern office and hotel buildings. Nowadays, it boasts several interesting buildings that reflect Portuguese architecture from the late 19th through the early 21st centuries. Its pedestrian sidewalks and roundabouts, paved with the traditional Portuguese pavement, are decorated with many monuments and statues that pay hommage to important personalities like Almeida Garrett, Alexandre Herculano and others. The large monument to the fallen in World War I, inaugurated in 1931, is the work of Rebelo de Andrade and Maximiano Alves.
Its location in the central district of Lisbon, scenic qualities, hotels, shops, theatres and architecture turn it into an important tourist attraction of the city.
Famous nationally for hosting numerous luxury brands like Christian Dior, Chanel, Versace, Balmain, Gucci, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Michael Kors, Stella McCartney, Christian Louboutin, Donna Karan and others like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Todd's, Burberry. It is nowadays considered as the 35th most expensive avenue in the world.
There are three Lisbon Metro stations along the avenue:
- "Restauradores" at the southeast end, served by the blue line.
- "Avenida" at about the midpoint of the avenue, served by the blue line.
- "Marquês de Pombal" at the northwest end (close to a giant roundabout with 4 lanes), served by the blue and yellow lines.