The earthquake of 1755, and the ensuing massive tidal wave and fires, killed thousands of people and reduced 18th-century Lisbon to rubble. But within a decade, frantic rebuilding under the direction of the king's minister, the Marquês de Pombal, had given the Baixa, or downtown, a neoclassical look. Full of restaurants and shops, it stretches from the riverfront Praça do Comércio northward to the square known as the Rossio. Pombal intended the various streets to house workshops for various trades, something that's still reflected in street names such as Rua dos Sapateiros (Cobblers' Street) and Rua da Prata (Silversmiths' Street).

Near the neoclassical arch at the bottom of Rua Augusta you'll find street vendors selling jewelry. Northeast of Rossio, the Rua das Portas de Santo Antão has seafood restaurants, while the area also has three surviving ginjinha bars—cubbyholes where local characters throw down shots of the wild-cherry liqueur. One is in Largo de São Domingos itself, another a few doors up Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, and the third 66 feet east along Rua Barros Queiroz.

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