Casa dos Bicos in Lisboa, Portugal

Casa dos Bicos

Casa dos Bicos, also referred to as the House of Beaks, is known for its unique exterior of small jutting pyramids, curiously shaped and placed windows, and manifold uses over the years. 

Located at the foot of the Alfama neighborhood’s steep slopes, construction on the building began around the 16th-century by the son of the former governor of Portuguese India, Afonso de Albuquerque. Barely resembling typical Renaissance architecture, its lattice of diamond-like stubs and collection of windows and doors harken to the Portuguese Gothic style. Although restored several times after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, the original charm of the building’s facade remains. Over the years, the building has been used as a residence, warehouse, gallery space, and even a fish market. 

The upper floors of Casa dos Bicos are occupied by the José Saramago Foundation, an organization dedicated to the life and work of the famed writer. An immersive permanent exhibit entitled The Seeds and the Fruits explores the Nobel Prize winner’s literary output through manuscripts, videos, personal effects, first editions of his novels, and more. 

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