2.5 euro: Terreiro do Paço
Terreiro do Paço, also known as Praça do Comércio, is situated in downtown Lisbon (the Baixa), beside the river Tagus, and it is considered by many to be the gate of entrance to the city of Lisbon. The Riverside Palace (Paço da Ribeira), which, for around two centuries, was the palace of the Kings of Portugal, was situated in this zone. With the earthquake of 1755, all of the buildings were destroyed. The square, as it exists today, was one of the fundamental elements of the Marquis of Pombal’s reconstruction plan for the Baixa, and Terreiro do Paço is one of the largest squares in Europe, with around 36,000 m². In the year in which the European Series is dedicated to the theme of “the Architectural Heritage of Europe”, the Portuguese Mint and Official Printing Office is participating in the project with a coin dedicated to Terreiro do Paço, designed by Isabel Carriço and Fernando Branco. In the conception of the coin, the sculptors chose Terreiro do Paço as a symbol of architectural heritage. The blocks of buildings, the arch of Rua Augusta and the statue of King José I on the reverse, and the columns and arches on the obverse, reproduce the largest Portuguese square and the icon of the Baixa Pombalina.