Why both Largo and Praça

Someone has just posted a photograph at Reddit/Portugal of the Largo de Camões in Lisboa. https://old.reddit.com/r/portugal/comments/cd6jsm/largo_do_camõeschiado_no_início_do_século_vs_2019/ which I am familiar with although it was taken long before my visit.
However when I Google search “Largo de Camões” the right-hand panel says “Praça Luís de Camões”
I’m confused however I’m inclined to think that most Portuguese towns and cities tend to go with largo? And is size a factor in the choice of word? Largo sounds to me of a larger size than a Praça

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I think that in a general sense, they can be considered near-synonyms. I had to look up the possible differences between largo and praça and apparently, size is not the main factor. If it were, praça would win anyway, because you have very large praças, like Praça D. Pedro IV or Praça do Comércio, but all largos I can think of are medium to small, like Largo do Carmo or Largo de São Carlos (still speaking of Lisbon).

It seems that largo is a term that can be broadly used for any open space at an intersection/confluence between several streets. On the other hand, the word praça is a bit more specific and pressuposes that this open area (usually square) actively serves as a gathering place and that there was more urban planning involved in its construction.


Excellent explanation.
And by the way and when we are able to post photographs, I’ll post an early morning shot of the Camões statue. Not a soul in sight but alas a disrespectful empty beer bottle a the feet of the great man


Oh, you can already post pics. When you reply to a post, look at the bar just above the text box and click on the icon with the arrow pointing up to upload an image from your computer or the web. It’ll be embedded on your post, just like the image below (the image upload icon is circled).


You could actually create a new topic for photography in The Café. Other people could pitch in with their own photos too :slight_smile:

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