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Built in 1523 by Brás de Albuquerque, son of Afonso de Albuquerque (Vice-King of Portuguese Índias), president of the Senate in Lisbon, and a protégé of King D. Manuel.

Located in Ribeira Velha (presently Rua dos Bacalhoeiros), it was used as a household. Its decoration, the peaks sows a clear Italian influence, probably inspired on the Diamante Palace in Ferrara, or the Bevilacqua Palace in Bologna.

At the time it was built, the distance from the main door of Casa dos Bicos until the river shore was of about 100 meters. Most of the land in front of the house was occupied by an ancient fish market that stayed there until the earthquake of 1755.


The current Campo das Cebolas (Field of Onions) square was before the earthquake of 1755, the Praça da Ribeira Velha.

The earthquake of 1755 destroyed almost completely the Ribeira Palace and from the Casa dos Bicos little was left other then two floors on the southern side. The “Pombalina” rebuild respected the alignment of the river shore, that still evokes the ancient Lisbon siege, but the Casa dos Bicos remained a case to solve.

It was classified as a National Monument by decree 16-06-1910, DG 136, of 23-06-1910. Only in 1981 (200 years later) was restored.

The archeological research done here brought to light a considerable number of original parts of the House, but nevertheless insufficient for a complete and rigorous rebuild from a historical point of view. Thus, it was decided to keep the most distinct feature, the peaks, and recreate an acceptable structure for the rest of the house.


The medieval defensive wall (Cerca Moura)

The Solar dos Bicos Restaurant is located in an area where there was an historic defensive wall of the city of Lisbon - the so-called Cerca Velha (Old Wall) or Moorish.


According to Augusto Vieira da Silva, a prominent Lisbon historian, this would be about 1250 meters long in its total length, 2 to 2.5 meters thick and contained inside an area of approximately 15.6 hectares. The total area of Al-Usbuna, the Lisbon


Arabic, would be approximately 30 hectares - the walled area and suburbs.


The Solar dos Bicos Restaurant is located in the store and mezzanine of the famous “Casa das Varandas” building, at Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 8 A and 8 B.

Rua dos Bacalhoeiros was known until 1859 as Rua dos Confeiteiros due to the sweet shops that existed there. Rua dos Bacalhoeiros later owed its name to the codfish trade that flourished there.

The construction of Casa das Varandas dates from the 17th century. XVI and was recommended by D. Manuel I, in a Letter of 1508.

It is known that this building underwent restorations and possible additions during the 40s of the 19th century. XVIII, by D. Rodrigo de Menezes.



After the big earthquake of 1755, most of the building was destroyed, remaining only the ground and upper floor, as well as the facade of the three floors with the iron balconies. Francisco Crespo, was responsible for the reconstruction of this building in the year 1761.

20 years later, a fire destroyed part of the building. Between 1803 and 1805, Domingos José de Sousa reconstructed the damaged part, and added two more floors, linking both buildings (nº 6 and nº8) with long balconies.



In 1984, the ground and upper floor of the “Casa das Varandas”, that was being used as a Cod warehouse, was bought by the current owner of the restaurant “Solar dos Bicos” who decided to keep the “Pombalino” architecture style, with it’s stone arches and “Gaiola Pombalina” (construction system developed at the time of Marquês de Pombal and consisting of an wood structure merged with the building walls, thus allowing the building to be flexible in case of earthquake).


These are some of the elements that make this restaurant unique as well as the Portuguese tile panels representing Ancient Lisbon, ordered to a local artist.



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