The "house of spikes" is one of Lisbon's few 16th-century buildings
This unusual building was built in 1523, inspired by the architecture of the palaces in Venice. It was home to the viceroy of Portuguese India, Afonso de Albuquerque, and is one of the few buildings that survived the Great Earthquake of 1755.
Casa dos Bicos is part of the Lisbon Museum, with traces of thousands of years of history
The name (“House of Spikes”) is due to the façade covered in over 1000 diamond-shaped stones, and there are also Manueline-style (Portuguese Gothic) windows on the top two floors.
The upper floors are dedicated to author José Saramago
On the ground level is an archaeological site that’s part of the Lisbon Museum. It includes part of the Moorish wall and traces of different eras from over the past 2000 years, including everyday items and a Roman tank used to preserve fish.
José Saramago's Nobel Prize is on display
Upstairs is the headquarters of the José Saramago Foundation, presenting the life and work of the Portuguese writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The award is on display in the permanent exhibition, along with several international editions of the books he wrote, plus newspaper clippings, personal notes, photos and videos of interviews and speeches. There’s also his personal library, a shop with his books translated into several languages, and a recreation of his first office, with his desk and other personal items.
Saramago's ashes were spread in front of the building, next to an olive tree brought from Azinhaga do Ribatejo, his hometown.
How to Get to Casa dos Bicos
Casa dos Bicos is a 5-minute walk from Praça do Comércio and its metro station (named “Terreiro do Paço,” on the blue line).
You may ride the metro (and the city’s trams, buses, funiculars and trains) for free with the Lisboa Card.
Rua dos Bacalhoeiros, 10, Alfama
Admission and Tickets to Casa dos Bicos
The archaeological site on the ground level is free, but to visit the rest of the building it's €3.
There’s a €1 discount with the Lisboa Card.
It's closed on Sundays
A few feet from Casa dos Bicos is another survivor of the 1755 earthquake, Igreja da Conceição Velha. The cathedral is also a short walk away.