Monument to the Peninsular War
Let your imagination soar, and hark back to those old European uprisings.
The lion, the eagle, and Victory.
A lion on a dying eagle at the top of a 45 metre high pedestal will set your imagination soaring back to the age of the old European uprisings. Thus it was that this monument, which was begun in 1909 and not inaugurated until 1951, was built to commemorate the victory of the British-Portuguese Alliance over the Napoleonic forces in the early 19th century. Erected in the Boavista district, the statue overlooks the attractive gardens of the Mouzinho de Albuquerque Plaza from its centre. Its base is adorned with emblems from the dispute, including artillery items and the busts of soldiers who risked their lives to fight the French. While the lion represents the support of the English (since this animal appears on their flag), the eagle symbolises the defeat of the Napoleonic empire. Female representation in the complex becomes obvious in the image of victory who steps forward guiding the town with the flag of Portugal in her left hand and with a sword in her right hand. Those responsible for the monument to the Peninsula Wars were the architect Marqués de Silva and the sculptor Alves de Souza, although the work was finally concluded almost half a century later under the guidance of the sculptors Henrique Moreira and Sousa Caldas.