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Deciphering the Mystery of the Changed Statues in Lisbon (Don Pedro or Maximilian)

Updated: Apr 12

Estatua Don Pedro , Rossio , Lisboa

In the charming city of Lisbon, where every street tells a story and every corner hides a secret, there is a mystery that has baffled locals and visitors alike: the enigma of the changed statues. How does a statue end up on the wrong pedestal? Join us on this journey to decipher the enigma and explore the most curious side of the Portuguese capital.

Rossio Square and the Wrong Pedestal

In the heart of Lisbon, in the iconic Rossio Square, stands a majestic pedestal, almost as tall as the surrounding buildings. At the top, one expects to find the statue of Don Pedro IV, but what a surprise awaits those who look up! A figure that resembles Santa Claus more than the Portuguese monarch.

The Mystery Revealed: Don Pedro or Maximilian of Mexico

Don Pedro is not Don Pedro, surprise! The statue on the pedestal turns out to be Emperor Maximilian of Mexico. According to local legend, it is said that the French sculptor Elías Roger was commissioned to sculpt Don Pedro IV in bronze to adorn the Lisbon square. It was ordered urgently and the sculptor needed money. He had finished the statue of Maximilian of Mexico and, thinking that one emperor could well represent another, because Don Pedro had also been an emperor of Brazil, he sent the statue of Maximilian to Lisbon and since then he has been there pretending that he is Don Pedro. Whether it is history or legend, the truth is that it contributes to the mystery of the square.

Statues as Refuge and Joke

This curious incident leads us to reflect on the true purpose of statues in our cities. Are they simply monuments meant to honor the dead and commemorate history, or can they be something more? In Lisbon, statues appear to serve a wide range of functions, from serving as shelter for stray birds to becoming the focus of jokes and satire by locals.

At the end of the day, statues remind us that life is full of surprises and absurdities. Who would have thought that a simple statue could spark so much laughter and reflection? Also, if you're looking to explore this fascinating enigma and other secrets of Lisbon, don't miss Spain Walking Tours Lisbon tour! From Lisbon, we say goodbye with a smile on our lips and a greeting from the world of curious statues and funny legends.

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