Details

Keywords Change this

Portuguese Architecture

Project timeline

1520 – 1523

Type

Residential

Location Change this

Terreiro do Paço
Lisbon
Portugal

Current state

Original

Also known as Change this

House of the Spikes

Architect Change this

Casa dos Bicos Change this

Lisbon, Portugal
by Brás de Albuquerque Change this
1 of 7

Description Change this

The Casa dos Bicos (Portuguese for House of the Spikes) is a historical house in the city of Lisbon, in Portugal. The house, built in the early 16th century in the Alfama neighbourhood, has a curious façade of Renaissance and Manueline influence. It has survived the disastrous 1755 Lisbon Earthquake that destroyed much of the city.

The Casa dos Bicos was built around 1523 by Brás de Albuquerque (1501-1581), son of the first governor of Portuguese India, Afonso de Albuquerque. Brás de Albuquerque had spent some years in Italy, where he could get first hand contact with Italian Renaissance architecture. He presumably saw urban palaces like the Palazzo dei Diamanti, in Ferrara, that have façades covered with diamond-shaped spikes. Upon his return to Portugal, Brás de Albuquerque built the Casa dos Bicos with a façade featuring "diamonds" like in the Italian palace, but incorporating Manueline (Portuguese late Gothic) windows and portals.

In the 1980s the house was restored and partially rebuilt. The two upper storeys of the current main façade were rebuilt based on pre-1755 drawings and paintings, which showed a Renaissance loggia on the third floor and the Manueline-style windows. Archaeological excavations were carried out inside the house, revealing remnants of Roman and Moorish periods.

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