In the city outskirts, next to the bishop’s lands, a new public square was created, the Praça Nova (New Square) which, since then, has had several different names. After the victory of the 1820 Liberal Revolution, it became Praça da Constituição (Constitution Square), but three years later its name changed back to Praça Nova. With the Siege of Oporto (1832-33) it became Praça Dom Pedro and remained so until 1910, when it became Praça da República for a short period of time, and later Praça da Liberdade, given that, in its centre, lays the true icon of Liberalism – the statue of Dom Pedro IV. The 1820 Revolution was proclaimed in this square and here the 12 Martyrs of Freedom were hanged and decapitated in 1829. Their crime…to confront Dom Miguel repressive government.
Statue of Dom Pedro
The statue, produced by the sculptor Célestin Anatole Calmels, was unveiled in 1866 and it represents Dom Pedro IV on horse, holding the Carta Constitucional (Constitutional Chart) of 1822.
On the pedestal, two bronze bas-reliefs are visible (the original ones were produced in marble). One represents the liberal party landing episode in Mindelo, and the second depicts the delivery of Dom Pedro’s heart to the city of Porto.
The plinth exhibits two plaques with inscriptions; the names of the 12 opponents to Dom Miguel, who were killed during the conflict (the Martyrs of Liberty) are listed on one of them. These men were hanged in 1829 in this same square (at the time, Praça Nova; today, Praça da Liberdade) and their heads placed on poles, and scattered through the area, as a token of the repression one would expect, should any action against Dom Miguel be attempted.