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THE HISTORY OF PORTUGUESE COBBLESTONE PAVEMENT

The view on the historical influence of the pavements to the Portuguese Cobblestone as we know it today.

The Portuguese Pavement is the result of the time and the vision of the peoples who passed through Portugal and influenced the inventive genius of man in his permanent capacity for regeneration and response to the challenges of his time.



In the year 195 a. C. the Roman people occupied Portugal and here they developed their extensive technical knowledge applying it to the improvement of living conditions. At this time the Roman roads were built and from its improved technique we drank part of the knowledge still applied to the Portuguese Pavement.



Later, the Muslim heritage in our country brought the ornamentation, geometric motifs and symbolism inherent in a new world view, creating unity in multiplicity.



At the time of the discoveries Lisbon, the Capital of the Empire, experienced the opulence and modernization that the global exchanges of peoples and goods allowed, and the important commercial arteries of the city were paved, as well as the aestheticization of the spaces, fruit of the wealth that was lived.



The 1755 earthquake devastated all existing stone paving records, and only later with the requalification of the city was the first example of Portuguese Calçada at S. Jorge Castle, by the governor, who was very knowledgeable of Roman techniques, between 1840 and 1846. A stone carpet that surrounded the whole space and caused great impact and acceptance in the population of Lisbon, generating crowds of people to this area to appreciate the heady beauty of the novelty.



Also the rulers were sensitized by this work of Lieutenant General Eusébio Cândido Pinheiro Furtado, encouraging them to undertake successive works of paving and ornamentation of the streets and squares that decade after decade established a very unique identity for the city of Lisbon.
Later this art arrived in Porto, the main cities of the country and passed borders. The Portuguese colonized the streets and squares of dozens of countries in the world with beauty and technique.



During the Portuguese discoveries, and according to historical reports, the ships were empty to their destinations, which represented a huge challenge to their good navigability, for this the Portuguese mill revealed itself when loading the ships, when leaving Portugal, with stones limestone and basalt that served as ballast, thus allowing a more stable journey and on arrival in the Jesuit and military countries applied these stones across the territory, thus allowing the ships to return to Portugal full of exotic goods from those same territories. We were in the 18th and 19th centuries and the double message inherent in this colonization also by Portuguese stone was a distinctive and recognition factor for Portugal in its colonies.

Macau was one of the territories outside Portugal that had the most Portuguese pavement presence today, this technique was taken by the Portuguese at the end of the century. XIX and beginning of the century. XX. Later in the 80s of the last century, with the project of a master plan for the urban fabric of the Macau peninsula, the sidewalk empire in the East was reborn, there are kilometers and kilometers of Portuguese sidewalks.

The Calçada Portuguesa also served as a peaceful meeting point between the Portuguese and Chinese cultures and even after the transfer of sovereignty to the People's Republic of China, the application of this art continued, they were trained by our masters, Chinese apprentices who today apply this technique. The sidewalk also made it possible to offer the inhabitants of Macao new spaces for social enjoyment and for experiencing the urban space.

In 1906, in Brazil, the first two major works were made with Calçada Portuguesa in this country with the reproduction of the Mar Largo pattern next to the Amazonas Theater in Manaus and the Copacabana boardwalk, at the beginning of the last century Paulo de Frontin, the then perfect of city, decided to pay homage to the Portuguese colonizers, through the application of the pattern used in Lisbon, in Rossio square, perpendicular to the direction of the sea waves.

Later in 1960, Avenida Atlântida was enlarged and renovated by the landscape architect and artist Burl Marx, tripling the size of the boardwalk and changing the layout of the pattern to become parallel with the waves of the sea. Burl Marx creatively explored the sidewalk technique on other supports, having applied some of his knowledge in the production of important urban murals that complemented his landscaping projects. Also in other areas of Brazil, in Ipanema and Leblon, sidewalks with waves, geometric shapes and marine motifs were created.

African colonies were no exception and this art was also taken to the avenues of Mozambique; Cabo Verde; Guinea and Angola in works aimed at modernizing these countries to Portuguese aesthetics and culture, some of these works in Calçada Portuguesa still exist to a greater or lesser degree in conservation.

In recent history, many countries have also adopted Calçada Portuguesa and carpeted their sidewalks, squares and private spaces with this art, among them: USA; Spain; Luxembourg; Norway; Qatar; Belgium; Canada; Australia; China; Switzerland; India and we are very proud, through the work of ROC2C, to have contributed to increase this list of countries, spreading the knowledge of Calçada Portuguesa in the world. In each of them, the sidewalk allowed itself to be influenced by the cultural genesis and identity particularities, blending through the symbols specific to each country, used in the ornamentation designs and thus creating proximity to the places.

In 1986, the Lisbon City Council's paving school was created in Portugal to give continuity and structure to this profession, and is still today a precious archive of historical molds used in the most emblematic sidewalks in Lisbon.

Calçada Portuguesa is currently a candidate for the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, whose application was submitted by the city of Lisbon in 2016, and is still being analyzed by UNESCO.

Over the centuries, this immemorial knowledge has come together to bring us what we know today as Portuguese Pavement, which is in historical reality: a Portuguese memory Pavement.

A history that is written of passions, of people who believed in the technical and artistic capacity of this art and were continually disseminating it throughout the world, but the history is continuous and in permanent record, in this sense we intend to investigate, deepen and show the history of Portuguese pavement to the present day, continuously.

© Pinterest
Method of Building a Roman Pavement
© Javier Ramos
Conimbriga - ornamental and geometric motifs pavements, in Coimbra PT
© Sociedade de Antiquários de Londres
Street Nova dos Mercadores, Time of the Discoveries, Lisbon PT
© Wikimedia Commons
Rossio square, before the 1755 earthquake, Lisbon PT
© Paulo Guedes
São Jorge Castle, Portuguese Cobblestone Pavement in 1842, Lisbon PT
© Roc2c
Portuguese Caravel - Discoveries
© Revista Macau
Cobblestone in Largo do Senado, Macau - 1980s
© Arquivo Nacional Brasil
Amazonas Theater 1972
© Mosaicos do Brasil
Copacabana Beach - 1920s
© American Geographical Society Library
Lourenço Marques ,Maputo - 1961
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