Terreiro do Paço’s landing pier on the Ice Route

“Starting from the point upstream of Alfândega, the pier continues in a straight line until Ribeira das Naus, leaving two large and protruding landing docks, with stairs, one in front of Alfândega and Jardim do Tabaco, and another in front of Paço Real.”
[From a project by the engineer and architect Carlos Mardel, in 1726]
Between the 18th and 19th centuries, when the Royal Montejunto Ice Factory was in operation, the landing dock at Terreiro do Paço – renewed during the reign of King José I – was the first stage for the distribution of natural ice, landed in Lisbon by the “snow boats” that crossed the Tagus. This arrival point was the culmination of a complex and lengthy process. First, the ice was collected from the freezing tanks by the villagers of Pragança (Cadaval), being stored all winter in the Royal Factory’s silos. At the beginning of summer, the ice was compacted and cut, and then wrapped in straw, hay and burlap, so that the blocks were preserved during the trip to the capital, which took about 12 hours. The ice was first transported in carts pulled by mules, which descended Serra de Montejunto; upon arrival at Vala do Carregado, the ice was transferred to the “snow boats”, which crossed the river and docked here. The ice was then taken to Casa da Neve, which supplied the Royal House, the best cafes and, also, Hospital de Todos os Santos, located in Praça da Figueira and destroyed by the 1755 earthquake.