Like everyone else in the world, I admire Portuguese sidewalks, paved in mosaic patterns of polished white and black limestone, hand-cut and hand-laid: calçada Portuguesa is definitely an important part of Lisbon’s municipal identity, with a bronze installation of two pavers (calceteiros) at work situated in one of its central squares. We had great weather last week, but I’ve been on these sidewalks in the rain before, and I know that they are definitely slippery when wet. Consequently they have their critics, but I think the more serious threat to their continuing existence comes from the production side, as low wages, arduous work, and long hours have diminished the number of calceteiros working in Lisbon in recent decades. One article asserts that there are a mere ten pavers in Lisbon today, compared with 400 in the eighteenth century. I saw several pavers working while I was there, and they looked just like this bronze pair below: craftsmanship from time immemorial, still very evident along the streets of Lisbon.
Even the beautiful store Vista Alegre was inspired enough by Portuguese sidewalks to design and produce an entire line of dinnerware with some traditional motifs: just stunning. It was hard to resist these plates but I was worried about breakage: and now I see I can buy them here!
March 20th, 2019 at 1:00 pm
These look just beautiful! Hope I can see them someday!
March 20th, 2019 at 1:06 pm
Beautiful and elegant…..somewhat smaller that the italian grey granite pavers which are more utilitarian
March 20th, 2019 at 1:21 pm
Yes, I agree!
March 20th, 2019 at 6:47 pm
I can’t imagine the time it took to build some of those surfaces.
March 22nd, 2019 at 6:37 am
I am glad that You presented them. Thank You.
Happy upcoming weekend!