Arroios is a dynamic and multifaceted place in the heart of the city of Lisbon that houses about 92 nationalities. There are approximately 40 thousand people inhabiting Arroios, spread over 57 kilometers of streets, in a space with more than two square kilometers of area – the equivalent of going to Sintra and back.
It goes from Largo do Intendente Pina Manique, with more traditional commerce and cultural activity – a space even recommended by the New York newspaper The New York Times – to Saldanha, with offices and multinational companies. In population terms, the parish has a larger number of inhabitants than certain Portuguese cities, such as Espinho or Portalegre.
The Avenida Almirante Reis crosses the parish almost from one end to the other. Walking along this central axis is the green metro line with striking architectural and artistic motifs.
The Andrade, Inglaterra, Açores e Colónias districts, made of buildings with a lot of history and stories to tell, mix Art Déco with Modernism, and have become cosmopolitan and intercultural spaces, with a neighborhood of four corners of the world.
Above Praça das Novas Nações, located in the center of Bairro das Colónias, is the Miradouro do Monte Agudo, which offers a panoramic view over the city. It has about 1.2 hectares of area, a panel of tiles by Fred Kradolfer and a terrace that complements the enjoyment of the landscape. From there, it is possible to see buildings with great impact as the headquarters of the Polícia Judicial, located at Rua Gomes Freire.
Also located on Rua Gomes Freire, is the Military Academy, a public higher education institution military college, which is located near the largest garden in the parish with an area of almost 2 hectares, at the Campo dos Mártires da Pátria. Braancamp Freire is the name of this garden in honor of the historian and archaeologist, which has a kiosk with a terrace, a sports center, a playground and lakes with ducks and chickens. It should be noted that there are trees here classified as of public interest.
Below the Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, is the Rua do Saco, where the Biblioteca de São Lázaro is located, which is the oldest municipal library in Lisbon. Created in 1883, the main room still maintains the beautiful furniture of the time and has publications from the 17th to the 21st centuries. At its side, the first male school to be built from scratch, in the reign of D. Luís, in 1875 – is the Escola Básica No. 1 de Lisbon.
At the other end of the parish, in Largo de Dona Estefânia, stands the statue of Neptune that adorns the fountain of the Largo. This marble Neptune has already toured the city, having even been at the Praça do Chile, where today stands the statue of Fernão de Magalhães, a Portuguese navigator who undertook the first circumnavigation of the Earth.
At the top of the Rua Almirante Barroso, whose rosewoods perfume and paint the street purple at the beginning of the summer, is the José Fontana Square. The life of this square is felt in the garden Henrique Lopes de Mendonça, with a bandstand in the center, a kiosk with a terrace and a playground; at the Escola Secundária de Camões, alma-mater of several of the country’s biggest personalities; and the Mercado 31 de Janeiro, known for its diversified offer of fresh products and services.
Arroios has three recently refurbished and modernized markets: the Mercado 31 de Janeiro, Mercado de Arroios, with new restaurants at the entrance, and the Mercado do Tijolo, which houses shops of traditional commerce, a CTT – Correios de Portugal Post Office, the Clodomiro Alvarenga reading room, the Joaquim Campos Sports Complex, comprising the Arroios Swimming Pool, a sports center and a children’s playground, as well as the Culture Market – a multipurpose space that hosts cultural projects.
Adding to all this the activity of cultural associations, hotels and inns that welcome visitors every day that pass by, and restaurants with gastronomy from all over the world, Arroios could only be a desired place.