Photos: Celso Gonçalves Roc2c (http://roc2c.blogspot.hu/)
The lovely Praça do Império Garden is situated in one of the noble areas of the cosmopolitan Lisboa, right in front of the wonderful Jerónimos Monastery and of the big Belém Cultural Centre.
When the Jerónimos Monastery was founded, back in the 16th century, this area where the Garden is nowadays situated was the so called “Restelo Beach”, as the river margin almost reached the Monastery.
The Garden, built in a classical style of the Greek and Roman green areas, was projected and built by the time of the great “Portuguese world exhibition”, when were celebrated the 800th anniversary of the Portuguese Independence, in a nationalist and propaganda act of the ancient dictatorial regime.
The Garden’s greatest highlight is the Monumental Fountain, also known as “Luminosa” (’luminous’), for the light effects made with lights and water that delight those who contemplate it.
The Garden is endowed with White Cedar and Olive trees that express the typical Portuguese landscape, decorated with Portuguese stone pavement showing off the Zodiac signs in three of the main entrances and a set of 32 coat of arms, among bushes and small flowers representing the Empire’s ancient provinces.
The Praça do Império Garden has a total area of circa 3 hectares, with 1,5 hectares of green areas.