Posts Tagged ‘Portugal’


 Some technologies just haven’t changed that much in the last two thousand years. Case in point: stormdrains. The picture below is of a Roman Empire stormdrain situated in the ruins of Conimbriga, in central Portugal.


Conimbriga stormdrain


 The Roman ruins at Conimbriga are a forty-five minute bus ride away from the modern-day city of Coimbra, where this stormdrain picture was taken. 

Coimbra stormdrain

Here are some sidewalks from the picturesque village of Sintra.

Portuguese pavement in Sintra


Another use of Portuguese pavement


The disappearing sidewalk of Sintra



Stepping on Portuguese pavement in Lisbon is like eating cheesesteak in Philadelphia, or drinking Starbucks coffee in Seattle– it’s experiencing a creation in its original environment. I was overwhelmed by the sheer variety and quantity of Portuguese pavement I came across in Lisbon. Here’s an overview.

The wave pattern is a classic:

Praca da Figueira

Padrao dos Descobrimentos in Belem

 Portuguese pavement can be found on the streets as well as on sidewalks. Here’s one interesting use:


A geometric design on a side street:

Portuguese pavement has both form and function. At one extreme, it can be thought of as a tool of artistic expression, exemplified in this plaza in Belem:


Here’s a practical application of Portuguese pavement– 84 and 86 are the building numbers, and Tabacos is a reference to the product sold by the store next door. The assumption is that the store  will continue operating for the long haul– otherwise etching the product name into the pavement would not be very practical.