The first vestiges of the Portuguese sidewalk, appeared in the 15th century, especially in places where the Portuguese approached during the period of maritime expansion, as well as Brazil. Timor, Cape Verde or others.
The reason that the sidewalk traveled to other countries is extremely simple, the famous Caravelas and other ships that on these voyages would return loaded with goods and merchandise, could not sail “empty”, that is, without cargo, in such a way that to guarantee the stability, when going to these destinations they were loaded with stones to guarantee the ships’ ballast.
Knowing the importance of the Jesuits in the Portuguese colonies, they began to use these stones that were often abandoned in the ports, placing them as asphalt, on sidewalks, squares, with different shades, between darker and lighter, creating designs and different geometries.
Being Lisbon in the 19th century, as the country’s capital, it was perhaps the city in which the Portuguese Calçada was most developed, still today one of the brand images of Lisbon, not so much out of necessity, but rather as an object of great work art. mastery, being that in the beginning the pavers (people who put the sidewalk), were inmates and called shackles, having carried out the same inside the Castle of São Jorge.
The Portuguese Sidewalk
Due to their elegance, it soon spread throughout Lisbon, especially downtown, more specifically in Praça do Rossio, one of the most emblematic squares in the city with approximately 9000m2, also committed as Mar Largo, with allegorical figures like Roas of the winds, caravels, fish, shells, stars, but more notorious, the waves of the sea, seen all over the world through Brazil, more specifically in Rio de Janeiro in Copacabana.
Unfortunately these same pavers, a profession that makes the Portuguese proud, is in danger of disappearing, very few know this art, a profession that once had a great reputation and with its own school that was busy teaching this art.