Eduardo VII Park is the largest park in the center of Lisbon. Its main attraction is the Estufa Fria Botanical Garden at the northwest corner of the park. The park was created at the end of the nineteenth century as an extension of Avenida da Liberdade. It was originally known as Parque da Liberdade (Liberty Park), but renamed in 1903 in honor of King Eduardo VII, who had visited the city a year earlier to strengthen the historical ties between Portugal and Britain.
A large park of twenty hectares is located on a slope north of Praça de Pombal. It is divided into three sections, with a central lawn area and geometrically patterned hedges, as well as two landscaped gardens on either side. In the northeastern part of the park there is a small but colorful garden with many statues. Nearby is the historic pavilion of Carlos López, decorated with large azulejo panels. In the western part of the park there is a fish pond and an interesting greenhouse complex of the Estufa Fria Botanical Garden.
At the top of the slope, on a small esplanade with four large columns, there is a modern monument in honor of the 1974 revolution. The monument was created by the Portuguese sculptor João Cutileiro. It consists of a rock fountain supported by large pillars and set in a pool with a crumbling wall and broken columns. The esplanade, facing south towards the Tagus River, offers a beautiful view of the city of Lisbon.
The Carlos López Pavilion was originally built for the 1922–1923 exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, held to commemorate the centenary of Brazil’s independence. After the exposition, the pavilion was reconstructed in the Eduardo VII Park. It opened in 1932, just in time for the Portuguese Industrial Exhibition. After the exhibition, the pavilion was used as a gathering place, a concert hall and even a sports hall. It was renamed in 1984 in honor of Carlos López, the owner of Portugal’s first ever Olympic gold medal.
The White Pavilion was designed by Portuguese architects Guilherme and Carlos Rebello de Andrade and Alfredo Assuncão Santos. It is beautifully decorated with large ceramic panels created by the azulejo master Jorge Colas. Sculptor Raul Xavier created the sculptures that adjoin the main entrance. By 2003, the pavilion was dilapidated and the city decided to close the building. Plans to turn it into a sports museum fell through due to financial problems.
The highlight of the Eduardo VII Park is the Estufa Fria Botanical Garden, a large hexagon of 8 hectares, which was created in 1926–1930 by the architect Raul Karapina. The garden consists of three different greenhouses. The largest of them is Estufa Fria herself, a “cold” greenhouse with large trees and winding paths. Estufa Cuente is a hot house with lots of tropical plants. Estufa Doce, the “sweet” greenhouse, is the smallest of the three, where mainly cacti and other succulents grow. Thus, it is definitely one of the best urban parks in the world.