Casa dos Bicos
The Casa dos Bicos (“Beaked House”) is one of the most emblematic buildings of the Portuguese Capital, Lisboa, not only because of its curious name, but also for its façade decoration originality, covered with diamond-shaped stones.
The house is situated on the ‘Campo das Cebolas”, on the western side of the astonishing ‘Terreiro do Paço’, and was built by D. Brás de Albuquerque in 1523, after this business man returned from a trip to Italy where he saw for the first time the Diamond Palace of Ferrara and the Bevilácqua Palace in Bologna.
The House was quite destroyed by the big earthquake of 1755, both on the inside and on the outside.
The ‘Casa dos Bicos’ served many functions, among them as headquarters of the India Maritime Trade Association.
During the 1060’s it is bought by the Lisboa Municipality that recovered and conserved the building, based on a tile panel depicting the Ribeira Velha zone, belonging to the City Museum, and already in the 1980’s reconstructs the two floors that were ruined since the earthquake.
The ‘Casa dos Bicos’ presents, hence, a quite unique architectonic style, marked by the Italian Renaissance, with an irregular distribution of the windows and doors, all in different shapes and dimensions.
In the interior one can find parts of the archaeological set discovered during the conservation works, including four Roman salting tanks, part of the Moorish defensive walls, part of a medieval tower and a piece of a mudejar pavement.
Nowadays the ‘Casa dos Bicos’ is closed to the public, and here is settled the Cultural department of the Lisboa City Council.