Let’s go to Praça da Figueira, in the middle of the historical center of Lisbon! In this place, skaters live in harmony with the normal life of the town, beside the usual people of the historical center of Lisbon. It’s quite unique to find a place in the middle of a capital city in which skaters are so well accepted.
Lisbon has always been a very open-minded and alternative city, particularly about skating and skaters — even policemen don’t care so much about the skaters’ activity, since they usually don’t disturb so much the “environment”, the citizens and the tourists. Let’s analyze one of the main places for skating in this amazing city in the extreme west of Europe.
Praça da Figueira is a square in the middle of the historical center of Lisbon and is on the eastern side of the most famous squares of Lisbon: the so-called “Rossio”. We are not even a little bit outside the center, we’re in the middle of it. Praça da Figueira is a part of the so called “baixa” of Lisbon (literally the “lower” part of the town, which was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake and then rebuilt by the Marques of Pombal). In the middle of the square there is a bronze equestrian statue representing King John I (1357-1433).
The statue is in the middle of a square area and is about 30-40 centimeters high. The skaters use this as a step in order to play. It’s a great place to skate, because it’s a space in the middle of the square in which tourists usually don’t go: if they have to shoot some pictures, they do that from a certain distance (the statue from the “skaters’ area” is not well visible. That’s a golden feature, because the two “species” (i.e. tourists and skaters) don’t annoy each other.
Technically speaking, the square is surely not the place to train your skating skills, because it has not all the things you can find in a skatepark. Surely is a good place to meet some very skilled skaters, that can help you if you’re a noob…