Sunday, 1 January 2017

The pavements of Portugal on stamps

You can't help but look down at where you are walking in Lisbon as the pavements are both beautiful but at the same time often quite lethal, especially when it's been raining or you're walking down one of the many very steep hills!  But you have to love and admire these magnificent works of art from the simple house or shop numbers, to the intricate designs on the public squares and avenues which are a famous feature of this charming capital city!
The pavements are made up of literally millions of cubes of black and white stone, occasionally using other colours, to form the patterns,   Simple geometric designs are used in some places,  such as the ones shown here below in the Largo Trinidade Coelho with its Kiosk of San Roque dating back to the late 19th century, a popular place to sit and enjoy a coffee or a beer!(The bronze statue is of a lottery ticket vendor). More intricate patterns and designs have been used  in Camoes Square in the Bairro Alto area of Lisbon, where there are fine examples of ancient sailing ships, known as Caravels,
This celebrates the city's maritime heritage of  voyages of discovery to distant lands by navigators such as Vasco da Gama and Magellan.

In July 2016 a set of stamps and a souvenir sheet  was issued depicting these famous pavements, known as Calcada Portuguesa, which are now used not only in Portugal but in other countries such as Brazil and Spain!   They originated in Portugal though, introduced in the 19th century by Eusebio Candido Pinheiro Furtado, a connoisseur of Roman mosaic art.  The work of laying these pavements at that time was mainly carried out by prisoners who laid the pavements of the Praca Dom Pedro IV (Rossio square).

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