Marcos do 25 de Abril de 1974 em Lisboa; Mural de Cravos, Museu do Aljube

25th of April 1974 Landmarks in Lisbon

As we commemorate 50 years since the Carnation Revolution, we have decided to highlight the 25th of April 1974 landmarks in Lisbon. For us, it shouldn’t be optional, but rather an obligation to address this historic day that had such a profound impact on our lives and those of all Portuguese people.

At the time of the events, we were still children, but we hold on to many memories and, above all, the full awareness of how the achievements of April were decisive in our growth, our education, our identity as women, our destiny…

We are grateful to the captains who revolutionised our oppressed, illiterate, and backward country, giving us, without shedding blood and in a collective explosion of joy, the end of a war, freedom, democracy, and the development that resulted from that day.

More critical voices will say that there is still much to be done. There always will be! The world never stops evolving, and the demands of a fairer, more egalitarian, and freer society are always pressing.

However, we must always remember, honour, and celebrate what was the first Day of Freedom because achievements can also be lost if we are not vigilant and if we fall into the mistake of taking them for granted.

25th of April 1974 Landmarks

Exhibits from the Aljube Museum and GNR Museum

We have already talked about two museums that are important to know and that approach the revolution in different ways. The Museum of Aljube – Resistance and Freedom, where the memories and testimonies of resistance and combat against the dictatorship are displayed, and the GNR Museum, which you can visit at Largo do Carmo, the scene where the central action of the revolution took place.

But there are other 25th of April 1974 landmarks in Lisbon; these are the ones we bring you today, in a list that is not meant to be exhaustive but that seems to us to gather a quite diverse set of artistic or symbolic manifestations that have in common “… a madrugada que eu esperava / O dia inicial inteiro e limpo / Onde emergimos da noite e do silêncio / E livres habitamos a substância do tempo” (“… the dawn I awaited / The initial day whole and clean / Where we emerged from the night and silence / And freely inhabited the substance of time”), as expressed so well by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen.”

Tribute to the 4 Victims of PIDE on 25th of April 1974

Tribute to the 4 Victims of PIDE on 25th of April 1974, Rua António Maria Cardoso

It was on the afternoon of 25th of April 1974, already after the surrender of Marcelo Caetano (the last leader of the dictatorship regime), that a crowd of people gathered in front of the headquarters of PIDE/DGS (political police), in Rua António Maria Cardoso, to demand the surrender of the agents who were there and refused to accept defeat. In response to this demonstration, the elements of the Political Police indiscriminately fired upon the population, causing dozens of injuries and four deaths.

These victims were paid homage to in 1980 by a group of citizens with the placement of a plaque at the site of the killings.

Years later, in 2005, and amidst significant controversy, the former facilities where terrible interrogations and tortures were practised were transformed into a luxury condominium.

The plaque was removed in the first decade of the new century, being reinstated in 2009, but disappeared again in 2014, and now, on April 3rd of this year, it was once again placed. This time it is accompanied by a QR code that links to the website of the Aljube Museum, where information about each of the four fatal victims of this tragic event is available: Fernando C. Giesteira, José J. Barneto, Fernando Barreiros dos Reis, and João Guilherme R. Arruda.

This initiative, with the support of the Lisbon City Council, was led by a group of concerned and conscientious citizens, among them the Associação Movimento Cívico Não Apaguem a Memória – NAM, “because without memory, there is no future”.

Tribute to Captain Salgueiro Maia in Largo do Carmo

Tribute to Captain Salgueiro Maia in Largo do Carmo

You may have never noticed, but in the heart of Largo do Carmo, there is a marker on the ground that perpetuates the exact location where the armoured vehicle that fired upon the National Republican Guard barracks, after several warnings. Until a few years ago, the bullet marks were still present on the façade of the barracks, but unfortunately, during a renovation campaign, it was decided to remove them. All that remains of this fact is a book where a bullet was lodged, now on display at the GNR Museum.

This tribute originated from the initiative of the Lisbon City Council a few months after the untimely death of the April captain on April 3, 1992.

It is a circular composition in marble stone where you can read: “TO SALGUEIRO MAIA / REMEMBERING / APRIL 25, 1974 / A TRIBUTE FROM / THE CITY OF LISBON / CML 1992”.

Monument to April 25 by João Cutileiro

Monument to April 25 by João Cutileiro in Eduardo VII Park

In 1997, the monument to April 25th was inaugurated, commissioned by the Lisbon City Council to the renowned sculptor João Cutileiro (1937-2021).

Located at the top of Eduardo VII Park, between the colossal modernist columns from the 1950s by Keil do Amaral (1910-1975), it rises as if erupting from the ground, causing the collapse of the pre-existing elements that symbolise the Estado Novo (dictatorship regime).

90 tons of marble implanted in a shallow lake compose a sculptural ensemble that combines a single figurative element, a carnation composed of a stem in green Viana marble and the flower in red Negrais marble, with an obelisk with a markedly phallic shape, 6 metres high, which spouts water, and two columns that resemble the barrels of the rifles of the soldiers involved in the virile, vigorous, and triumphant Revolution. 

An irreverent and symbolic composition that still does not gather consensus.

April Captains Movement

Evocative Plaque of the April Captains Movement, Olivais

In Rua Sargento José Paulo dos Santos, in front of number 43, there is a plaque commemorating the location where the April Captains Movement clandestinely met on February 5, 1974.

Implanted since 1999 during the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Revolution, its existence is due to the initiative of the Associação 25 de Abril.

By the sculptor Francisco Simões (1946), four military personnel and a carnation are represented, a composition associated with the logo of the Armed Forces Movement (MFA). The inscription reads: “AT THIS LOCATION, ON FEBRUARY 5, 1974, / THE APRIL CAPTAINS MOVEMENT MET CLANDESTINELY / TO DISCUSS THE POLITICAL PROGRAMME TO BE PRESENTED TO / THE PORTUGUESE / ON APRIL 25, 1974 / A TRIBUTE FROM THE LISBON CITY COUNCIL / FEBRUARY 5, 1999”. Following the inscription, a white dove is observed, which refers to the symbolism of peace, certainly alluding to the fact that the revolution took place without the shedding of blood by the revolutionary forces.

Salgueiro Maia Tribute Mural

Salgueiro Maia Tribute Mural, Berna Avenue

The unmissable panel in Berna Avenue dedicated to Captain Salgueiro Maia (1944-1992) could not be excluded from our list of 25th of April 1974 Landmarks in Lisbon, although it has already been discussed in our article Urban Art Tributes to Personalities in Lisbon.

Located on the wall of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the NOVA School of Social Sciences, it presents today a new version that replaced the first one from 2014, which had already deteriorated.

Carried out by the Underdogs platform, it counted on a collective of four artists: Tamara Alves, Sara Fonseca da Graça aka Petra Preta, MOAMI, and Mariana Malhão.

Garden of the Carnations

Garden of the Carnations in Alvalade

In Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia Garden, located in Rua Teixeira de Pascoais, in the so-called Bairro das Estacas, near Roma Avenue, there is a collective artistic intervention that revolves around the Day of Freedom.

This initiative, promoted by the Alvalade Parish Council, was carried out in 2017 by Visual Arts undergraduate students from the Lusófona University under the coordination of Professor Inês Marques. It consists of covering pre-existing concrete elements with tiles that illustrate 24 different carnations that are repeated in different compositions. For this reason, the garden was renamed the Garden of the Carnations.

Memorial Tribute to the April Soldiers

Memorial Tribute to the April Soldiers in Campo Mártires da Pátria

In Campo Mártires da Pátria, next to the Basketball Court of Braamcamp Freire Garden, there is a sculpture representing a huge red carnation. A beautiful carnation, forever alive, just as it is hoped that the spirit of April remains in each of the Portuguese.

This intervention by sculptor Rui Pereira (1975) constitutes a tribute to the April Soldiers and has been in this location since 2017.

By the same artist and in the same year, the Memorial of the Victims of Homophobic and Transphobic Violence in Portugal was inaugurated in Príncipe Real Garden, which we have already mentioned.

April Places Itinerary

One of the 25 plaques of April Places Itinerary in Rua António Maria Cardoso

Since the celebrations of the 45th anniversary of 25th of April 1974, plaques have been installed in Lisbon, marking places where important events occurred on the day of the Revolution. The plaques contain a brief description of the events and a QR code that links to more detailed information.

There are 25 plaques, the last five placed in March 2024, resulting from a partnership between the Associação 25 de Abril and the Lisbon City Council.

Terreiro do Paço, Rua do Arsenal, Ribeira das Naus, Largo do Carmo, and the former headquarters of PIDE/DGS in Rua António Maria Cardoso are some of the places marked. Find out everything on the Associação 25 de Abril webpage.

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For the Future

Fulfill – Collective Tile Mural

Soon you will find collective tile murals next to Rossio Stations in Lisbon and Campanhã in Porto, resulting from an initiative by the Portuguese Communist Party, which offers them to the mentioned cities.

These works, whose artistic conception is due to Miguel Januário, have as their motto “Fulfill”, fulfilling April through its values, its achievements, starting with the application of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic emanating from the Revolution.

The works were carried out in open workshops during the Avante Festival and subsequently in free workshops held in the two cities.

The use of tiles, a fundamental decorative element of Portuguese heritage, aims to affirm freedom, democracy, and progress achieved and built with the 25th of April 1974, Revolution.

25th of April Interpretive Center 

On January 12 of this year, a protocol was signed involving the Portuguese State, the Lisbon City Council, the Lisbon Tourism Association, and the Associação 25 de Abril, aiming at the creation of an Interpretive Center for the Day of Freedom, located in Praça do Comércio and scheduled to open in 2026.

The programming of this space will be under the responsibility of the Associação 25 de Abril, which, through the exhibition and dissemination of its collection and the development of educational projects aimed at young people, aims to perpetuate the memories of that historic and liberating day.

Participate in the many activities integrated into the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Revolution and visit these 25th of April 1974 Landmarks in Lisbon, that we recommend to you.


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