Hi friends,

Here in Freedom Square in Porto, the first thing that I noticed here was this statue of King Peter IV of Portugal. He was also known as “the Liberator” and the “Soldier King.” He also served as the “Emperor of Brazil.” Can you guess what important document he is holding in his hand?

King (“Dom”) Peter IV is holding the Portuguese Constitutional Charter, a revision of the former Constitution of Portugal, that he fought to protect for during the Portuguese Civil War which took place between 1828-1834. This new constitution established four branches of government: two chambers of Legislature, the Courts, and the Royal power of the King.

Historically, Porto’s Freedom Square (“Praça da Liberdade” in Portuguese) has been a central meeting place for political, economical and social gatherings.

Porto’s City Hall:

Other buildings in the plaza include banks, hotels, offices and cafés. I was overwhelmed by the ornate decorations on the buildings:

The people of Porto consider King Peter IV one of their heroes…someone who championed liberty in both Brazil and Portugal. Do you have a hero or someone that you look up to? What makes that person a hero to you?

Your freedom-loving friend,

Peter