Cultural & Creative Tourism cultural heritage General

City views: The enchantment of the Portuguese sidewalk worldwide

As one of the Portuguese icons and widely recognized by tourists, the Portuguese sidewalk is an inseparable part of the country’s identity.

Even so, many consider that the state of degradation in which the sidewalks are found today represents a risk for the safety of pedestrians – being this a major factor in terminating this historical and cultural patronage.

During the last few decades several cities have replaced their historical sidewalks, including Portuguese mosaics, using more practical and safe options. In the case of Verona and Seville, granite and marble slabs have been adopted, preserving the historical floors in lateral strips. The same has happened in the central area of the city of Porto where the sidewalk that illustrated the history of Port wine was completely eradicated and replaced by granite stones.

These typical pavements started in Portugal in a different way from what it is now, much more disordered. However, in 1842, a limestone sidewalk was made in Lisbon, closer to what it looks like now.

Nowadays, the sidewalk created in Lisbon is represented all over the world, in cities like Rio de Janeiro (the famous “Calçadão de Copacabana”), Luanda, Maputo, Macau, New York, and others.

The Calceteiros, first pavement workers in Lisbon, / Foto retirada do blog: Olhares sobre a cidade – XIV (O mistério da calçada portuguesa) – O Corvo


Recognized internationally as a successful manifestation of the Portuguese culture, we hope to always have Portuguese sidewalks to appreciate, as we believe that despite of the obstacles that these little gems can cause, their beauty can be even greater.

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