Lisbon 2010 Preview

Lisbon in 2010

A New Praça do Comércio
As you can see in the photo above and can read in a previous post, Lisbon’s biggest square is being renovated. It will have a new pavement, will remove traffic from two of its sides, and plans to attract new businesses to the buildings under its arches. Originally the deadline for completion of the works was October of 2010 but City Hall has anticipated that for April or May, in time for one of the city’s biggest events of the year:

The Pope Visit
The Pope will be in Portugal from May 11th to 14th. He’ll of course be in Fatima, but will also celebrate mass in Porto and Lisbon. In Lisbon it will take place in Comércio Square.

Rock in Rio-Lisboa Returns
The self-titled biggest music event in the world that first started in Rio but that has moved to Lisbon will return to the Portuguese capital in 2010. It takes place every two years in Lisbon, and this year you can expect another series of concerts by many other the world’s chart-topping artists, bands, and world-famous DJs. So far only Muse has been confirmed, but expect the lineup to be revealed throughout the first months of the year. Rock in Rio-Lisboa in 2010 happens on May 21st, 22nd, 27, 28, and 29.

100 Years of the Portuguese Republic
When the last Portuguese king was assassinated in 1908, it was the beginning of the end of the Portuguese monarchy, giving rise to a new Portuguese republic in 1910. One hundred years later Lisbon will be celebrating the event throughout the city in October, with special events taking place downtown by Municipal Square, Comercio Square, and Belém.

The New Popular Art Museum
It closed a few years ago for its building to be transformed into a museum devoted to the Portuguese language and culture similar to the one in São Paulo (Brazil), but after a petition to bring the old museum back, the minister of culture has recently announced that the Museu de Arte Popular will be back in 2010. This is a museum dedicated to the traditional arts and crafts of Portugal, originally displayed by region. Its old home in a building between the Discoveries Monument and Belem Tower will be renovated to once again welcome the collection.

Parque Mayer Gains New Life
Parque Mayer is a sort of small Lisbon-style Broadway from the 20th century. It’s a group of old theaters around the corner from Avenida da Liberdade that have had a slow death over the years but that have also had rehabilitation plans for quite some time. Some of those plans were quite ambitious, including one by architect Frank Gehry for which he was paid 2.2 million euros. But the project has been rethought and it will now be less monumental, although perhaps a little more tasteful. It will include a connection to the Botanical Garden nearby and with works throughout 2010, it is hoped to be complete by 2011 and bring new life and theater magic to the center of the city.

Casa dos Bicos Reopens as the José Saramago Foundation
One of Lisbon’s most curious buildings due to its spiked façade will now have a new function. Casa dos Bicos in Alfama has recently been cleaned up and will soon reopen to serve as the José Saramago Foundation, which will reportedly include a library of the Nobel Prize-winning author.