Classified as a national monument, King Dinis' Wall is the only known remnant of Lisbon's medieval wall, which can be visited and understood through an Interpretation Centre.
The exhibition is located in the crypt of the former Church of S. Julião. It invites the visitor to discover objects, sounds and images that characterised the Tejo waterfront during the Roman, medieval and modern times.
A journey of more than 1,000 years through Lisbon’s history.
King Dinis' Wall is a key monument for understanding Lisbon's history
At the end of the 13th century, Lisbon was an important economic and trade centre, subject to sea attack. To defend citizens and merchandise, King Dinis ordered a city wall to be built along the waterfront.
The construction of King Ferdinand's Wall eventually led to the abandonment of King Dinis’ Wall, which was used for around 75 years. In its shadow, everyday life and the bustle of the kingdom's capital carried on.
Over the centuries, many buildings made use of this structure's strength to support their walls, including the Ribeira Royal Palace built by King Manuel at the time of the Discoveries.
In 1755, the Lisbon Earthquake almost ruined the structure, and it remained buried for over 250 years. In 2010, the monument saw the light of day again with the archaeological excavations carried out during the renovation of Banco de Portugal's head office.
The Interpretation Centre for King Dinis' Wall shows how this defensive structure from the 13th century influenced the development of urban Lisbon thereafter. The Centre is divided into themed areas and tells various stories: about the King and his era, the historical context and archaeology's contribution to interpreting the finds, and about the wall that protected the medieval city under expansion.
The wall is presented in an intimate setting, which allows enhanced appreciation of the fragments and the iconography, taking advantage of the setting in the building's crypt and below-ground space. The section of wall provides historical evidence through archaeological remains such as the original, coarse and degraded plasterwork found above the foundations, and the subsequent wall covering – in a well-defined band above – that proves that it formed part of the Ribeira Royal Palace of the 16th century.
Different presentation media are used: multimedia content that transports visitors back in time, everyday sounds, medieval music, graphics, 3D animations, written documents, films, skeletal remains and fragments of royal objects.