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11/7/12

Art at your feet: lisbon’s 10 most beautiful pavements


It’s inspired by Roman mosaics, but the traditional Portuguese cobblestone pavement developed in Lisbon during the city’s post-1755-earthquake reconstruction. It all started with Rossio Square’s wave-like patterns and soon spread all over the capital, to other cities in Portugal, to Brazil, Macau and other colonies. Here are ten of the most outstanding examples in Lisbon today.

1| RUA DA VITÓRIA




In 2006 Lisbon decided to honor the dedicated craftsmen who’ve paved the city by hand throughout time. A bronze monument with two life-size figures was placed downtown on Rua da Vitória, showing the men at work on a pavement of the ship of St. Vincent accompanied by ravens which are the emblems of the city of Lisbon.

2| ROSSIO


This is where it all started, Rossio Square, given the wave patterns in 1849.

3| AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE





It’s on Avenida da Liberdade that we now find the most beautiful examples of this art form, fromRestauradores Square to Marquês de Pombal. Down the avenue are floral motifs and abstract patterns, while by the monument of Marquês de Pombal is an image of a Portuguese caravel.

4| PRAÇA DO IMPÉRIO





By the gardens in front of Jerónimos Monastery (“Praça do Império”) are other notable examples, but it’s the famous mosaic across the street by the Discoveries Monument that draws the most attention. Surrounded by a wave pattern similar to that of Rossio Square is a map of the world showing the routes of the Portuguese explorers.

5| PARQUE DAS NAÇÕES




Although the eastern district of the city is all about the contemporary, it still follows the use of the traditional cobblestone pavements. It has some of the most extraordinary designs, with images of sea monsters by the Oceanarium and several maritime motifs down Alameda dos Oceanos.

6| LARGO DE CAMÕES



Lisbon’s role in the Age of Discovery is recalled all over the city, and by the statue of the leading literary figure of the time (poet Luis de Camões) are images related to the sea. 


7| AVENIDA PEDRO ALVARES CABRAL




The same is seen around the monument to Pedro Alvares Cabral, the discoverer of Brazil, found by the garden of Estrela.

8| CAIS DO SODRÉ




Usually it’s the images that stand out on the pavements, but most of the city squares present pattern designs. Cais do Sodré (Praça Duque de Terceira) is an exceptional example for the dominant use of dark stone, contrary to what is found throughout much of the city, such as in Largo do Chiado and Municipal Square.


9| LARGO DO CHIADO





10| PRAÇA DO MUNICÍPIO






Texts: http://www.lisbonlux.com
Photos: Celso Gonçalves Roc2c and http://www.lisbonlux.com


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