"There is a period of popular celebrations when the Alfacinha (person from Lisbon) doesn't leave the city and when a certain 'power of the peasants' falls into Lisbon. It is in June when the celebrations of Santo António, São João and São Pedro take place. Nights at Praça da Figueira and surrounding areas have a special province stamp in the contagious joy of descants, guitars, coloured balloons, clay pipes, fruit sellers, basil and carnations, all that coming and going of groups impeled by fun, without nexus and meaning, human formicary, mob wave".(Alfredo Mesquita).
This was a description of Praça da Figueira (Figtree Square) made in the 19th century. At this time Figtree square was the centre of popular saints festivities and during the day it was used as the city's central marketplace. Nowadays, the reality of this square is a lot different: the open market gave way to shops, hotels and cafés and a bronze statue of King João I stands on a pedestal right in the middle of the square. Hard to miss are the hundreds of pigeons that perch near the pedestal.