There’s nothing quite as humbling as walking through a massive square (Praça do Comércio) towards this massive triumphal arch (Rua Augusta Arch). I felt tinier than I already am. Colossal 7-metre statues of Glory holding a crown over Valor and Genius grace the top of the structure, made as big as they are so they may be viewed from the base. Major historical figures crown the columns, and next to them are representations of two major rivers, the Tagus and Duoro. This triumphal arch was built to commemorate the city’s rebuilding after the devastating 1755 earthquake — the city’s triumphant recovery over nature’s destruction.
I’m obsessed with symbols. I’d study every little detail till I know exactly who and what those symbols represent. It injects historical context and culture, thereby, colouring up otherwise indistinguishable monuments. One of the ways I stave off traveller’s fatigue. 🤫