Praça do Comercio was the arrival and dispatch place of the goods coming from the overseas colonies, and the commercial district lying behind this square served for this purpose.
The street names still remind of the commercial past of the area: Rua dos Sapateiros, Rua dos Correiros exc…).
The Baixa is today the place of fashion cafés and boutiques. The whole square had to be restored after the earthquake of 1755, which raised down many of the city districts.
The equestrian monument dedicated to king José I is situated in the middle of the open space, representing scenes of reconstruction which followed the quake.
Of the same age is the impressive Arco da Vitória, which provides a monumental access to the square from the Rua Augusta. Today Praça do Comercio hosts various ministries under the beautiful porches which surround the whole space.
The streets of the Baixa are paved with beautiful mosaics in black stone, which can be best admired from the top of the elevator Santa Justa (open from 8 am to 22), an iron structure 45 mt high which lies on the west side of the Rua áurea, connecting the Baixa with the upper district of Chiado. Ticket for the elevator costs Euro 2,80 both ways.
The holders of the Lisboa Card, the Cartão 7 Colinas or Viva Viagem have unlimited access to the Santa Justa elevator, as well as to all other elevador and ascensór in town, which are part of the city transport network managed by the company Carris. The panorama from the top of the elevator is superb. An iron passage connects with Largo do Chiado.