LISBON Câmara’s 50 million-euro facelift for its bullring and Campo Pequeno square, one of Lisbon’s most well-known, historic monuments, should be complete by the end of the year. Accompanied by surveyors and engineers, Carmona Rodrigues, who was Câmara President at the time, made a site visit recently to see how the work was progressing.
The extensive overhaul of the late 19th century redbrick Islamic-style structure will transform the famous bullring into a modern, state-of-the-art entertainment feature, while retaining its historic character. The project will boast underground parking for more than 1,000 vehicles, a commercial gallery within an area of 7,000sqm and more than 2,000sqm of restaurants and cafés. There will be eight lifts serving the bullring from the car park and 13 lifts serving 60 shops and 16 restaurants. Within the total area, more than 800sqm will be devoted to bars and an eight-screen cinema is also included in the plan.
The Campo Pequeno project was originally devised to solve the chronic parking problems that plague the Avenida da República/João XXI and Campo Pequeno areas. From there, Lisbon Câmara, in conjunction with Portuguese children’s school charity Casa Pia, which jointly own the site, came up with the idea of restoring the bullring and transforming it into a commercial and leisure area, aimed at breathing new life into that sector of the city.
Carmona Rodrigues, said: “The bullring and its square represents an historic national emblem that is more than 100 years old. We are very happy that this part of Lisbon is being restored into an area that will not only serve as a ring for traditional bullfighting, but also as a space where people can relax, go to the pictures, see a play or concert, eat and shop.
“This is one of the most important, regenerative plans that Lisbon has seen in recent years,” he concluded. Chris Graeme