Located right in front of Praca do Comercio, it stands as a testament to one of Portugal’s most important historical figures – King José I. It was built in 1772 by sculptor Joaquim Machado de Castro and honors all those who worked hard during his reign to pave roads throughout Lisbon.
The monument itself is quite grandiose, with two large statues depicting workers carrying heavy stones on their backs while being watched over by King José I himself atop a horse. The statue symbolizes the dedication and labor that went into paving roads across Lisbon during this time period, which helped make travel easier for both locals and visitors alike.
At its base are four allegorical figures representing Strength, Justice, Wisdom, and Moderation – each holding different tools such as a hammer or shovel to represent their respective qualities. These sculptures were inspired by Ancient Greek mythology with Hercules (Strength), Athena (Wisdom), Themis (Justice) and Zeus (Moderation).
In addition to its symbolic importance, this monument also serves as an excellent photo opportunity due to its stunning design details like intricate carvings on each side panel depicting scenes from Portuguese history, including battles against Spanish forces or sea voyages around Africa’s Cape Verde Islands. With these panels acting as a backdrop along with views of the Tagus River behind, it makes for some truly memorable photographs.