Saint Clara’s field? No, this is not a rural location! This “field” is at the historical center of Lisbon and it is the place where the famous flea market, “Feira da Ladra” takes place.
Campo de Santa Clara is best known for two things: the Pantheon and the flea market, the famous Feira da Ladra.
From every point here you can see the unmistakable cupola of the Pantheon, with the river Tejo as the background. The monument is placed in the original site of Santa Engrácia’s church and it took so long to finish (it’s construction had many phases from 1568 to 1966) that here we say that when something takes too long, it’s like the construction of Santa Engrácia.
It’s the home of many famous dead Portuguese, like our first president, Manuel de Arriaga, writers like Almeida Garret and world-known Fado singer, Amália Rodrigues. There is a special thing about this place. If you are allowed to visit the terrace, you will see both the bridges that cross the river Tejo (Tagus). There aren’t many places where you can see both.
Feira da Ladra (Market of the Thieves) is a “must visit” if you are visiting Lisbon. It happens every Tuesday and Saturday and the last is maybe the best day to get to know it. Besides the usual sellers selling all kinds of used things (really, all kinds!) and the artisans, this is also a gathering point for some people that didn’t went to bed yet and are still enjoying Friday night! It is also a good place to go in the early morning to find something that was stolen the previous night – maybe that is the reason for it’s name… Anyway, it’s a great place to take pictures and probably to find an old marvelous analogue wonder at a cheap price!
After you visit the Pantheon and stroll around Feira-da-Ladra, Santa Claras’ garden is a great place to relax. It has been restored and it’s very cozy even during winter. During summer, at the end of the day it’s crowded with parents with their children and people walking their dogs.
I always liked this garden but to most people the opening of a coffee shop, Clara Clara, an old traditional “quiosque”, makes it even better.
Enjoy your walk around!