A Baixa vista do Jardim de S. Pedro de Alcântara

A Baixa vista do Jardim de S. Pedro de Alcântara

A strange and sunny day had hit the city when Pedro Alves and I decided it was time to face the mighty challenge of sketching the crown jewel of Roque Gameiro's portfolio. Beforehand, we had the minor challenge of having to climb half way up the São Roque hill. We've been avoiding this because of its time-consuming potential, but an unusually long break from work had blessed us. From the vantage point, with the whole downtown at our feet, we could pinpoint almost all of the sites where we had sketched in the footsteps…Read more
Capela de Nossa Senhora da Guia (Rua da Mouraria)

Capela de Nossa Senhora da Guia (Rua da Mouraria)

This old 16th century portal in the edge of the old town of Lisboa, in the area called Mouraria, aparently hides architectural and artistic treasures inside its doors. There's a police station in what used to be a children's hospital and later a home for orphan boys. Loads of stories - biblical stories - are told in the walls of the eight flights of stairs that go up the inner patio of the building, in the form of azulejo, the blue painted tiles that are so present in Portuguese monuments. (to be continued) Este…Read more
No Largo da Achada

No Largo da Achada

On the top edge of the Largo da Achada, there's a sheltered alley with a staircase and a few private gardens in a public space. Space is seldom entirely public or entirely private in the old town of Lisboa. There's also one of the dozens of casas de ressalto existing in the city. These are residential buildings, mostly hailing from the 15th century, with overhanging timber-framed floors, leaning over streets and alleys. A clever way of expanding your real estate, which finds its counterpart in the modern marquises. Clever, but dangerous, as most of these overhanging floors collapsed during…Read more
Largo da Achada

Largo da Achada

Lisboa has become a city of street art ever since the Carnation Revolution brought with it thousands of political murals in 1974, right down to the international street art stars Vhils and Bordalo II. Many corners and alleys, streets and squares in the old town of Lisboa became showcases for this artform. One of the façades facing the Largo da Achada, a sloped public square with a fountain in its center, was painted by italian street artist Andrea Tarli and depicts a local old lady spraying a selfie-taking hipster tourist - a warning to all tourists…Read more
O Rossio

O Rossio

There are many words for square in the Portuguese language, each with a specific meaning, or maybe not so much  - praça, largo, terreiro, adro... It so happens that rossio is just another one, as there are several rossios around the country, but there is one which people simply call Rossio. It has another name, an official one, but nobody ever uses it. It's one of the main squares in Lisboa, and it has had its ups and downs during its history. From there you can spot some of the highlights of the city,…Read more