"Calçada Portuguesa" - The Portuguese Pavement Art

Click thumbnail to view full-size
LisbonOs Calceteiros (1924) Vicente do Rgo Monteiro (1899-1970)Calceteiros de Lisboa (Lisbon Pavers) 1964 Manuel FigueiraJean Baptiste Debret  Brasil, XIX centuryLaura Chagas BrasilLes casseurs de pierre  Courbet Domingos Soares Branco
Lisbon
Lisbon
Os Calceteiros (1924) Vicente do Rgo Monteiro (1899-1970)
Os Calceteiros (1924) Vicente do Rgo Monteiro (1899-1970)
Calceteiros de Lisboa (Lisbon Pavers) 1964 Manuel Figueira
Calceteiros de Lisboa (Lisbon Pavers) 1964 Manuel Figueira
Jean Baptiste Debret  Brasil, XIX century
Jean Baptiste Debret Brasil, XIX century
Laura Chagas Brasil
Laura Chagas Brasil
Les casseurs de pierre  Courbet
Les casseurs de pierre Courbet
Domingos Soares Branco
Domingos Soares Branco

Stone Pavement as Art

Stone pavement is an art with a long history. Romans are the most well known for this kind of work, both inside and outside buildings, made with intricate,beautiful and colorful designs but, in Portugal, it wasn't only the Romans that influenced this kind of work, Arabian occupation of the territory, was also important to the development of such technicals.

One of the most important reason for this kind of pavement was to prevent mud on the floor and streets because the space between stones lets the rainwater to be absorbed, but there are other advantages like it's durability, to be easy and cheap to repair,
The Portuguese pavement is a decorative art applied in most of the sidewalks around the country and it's former colonies.

In 1842, military commander Eusebius Furtado ordered inmates in the Castelo de São Jorge, a Lisbon prison, to cover its courtyard with a zig-zag pattern of tiles. The design used on that floor was a simple layout,but for the time, the work was somewhat unusual, having driven the Portuguese chroniclers writing about it and attracted so much attention, not only in Portugal, that it was the subject of one of the world’s earliest photographs by Louis Daguerre.

Seven years later, Furtado was given a commission to pave the whole area of Rossio Square, in Lisbon center, with a wavy pattern known as “the wide sea”. After this, the use of calçadas was made mandatory for all new paving projects in the Portuguese capital.
The cobblestone quickly spread throughout the country and colonies and Portuguese masters were asked to perform and teach these works abroad, creating authentic masterpieces in pedestrian areas.

Until early XX century, the designs were made by the craftsmen themselves, the "calceteiros", that were inspired by traditional motifs like armillary spheres, ships, compass roses, ropes, crosses, crowns, crests, emblems, ocean waves, seaweed, starfish, anchors, stylized animals and birds, dolphins and crabs. In the fifties changed and designs began to be made by architects and artists.


The mosaics require backbreaking labor to maintain, making the traditional art of the calceteiros both rare and expensive. It's an arduous labour, where long hours are spent painstakingly laying the stones in a prostrated position.


In November 1986, the Lisbon City Council created the School of pavers in order to renew the actual crew of pavers and promoting the art of paving. Other cities around the country also initiated formation projects in order to train professional men and women, hoping to ensure the "survival" of cobblestone.




Portuguese Pavement in the History of Photography

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (November 18, 1787 – July 10, 1851) was a French artist and chemist, recognized for his invention of the daguerreotype process of photography.

One of his pictures represents the first "Calçada Portuguesa" In Castelo de S. Jorge, 1842

Castelo de S. Jorge, 1842 by Louis Jaques Daguerre

Castelo de S. Jorge, 1842
Castelo de S. Jorge, 1842

Gallery of Portuguese Pavement

Click thumbnail to view full-size
FaroLisboaLisboaLisboaHorta, Faial, AzoresalgarveLisbonAveiroLisboaPonta DelgadaPortuguese pavement, CoimbraCastelo BrancoPvoa de Varzim's runes LisboaPaving near Praa do Chiado, in LisboaLisboa: the Nau and the Two CrowsLisboaGuimaresLagosLisboaNazar
Faro
Faro
Lisboa
Lisboa
Lisboa
Lisboa
Lisboa
Lisboa
Horta, Faial, Azores
Horta, Faial, Azores
algarve
algarve
Lisbon
Lisbon
Aveiro
Aveiro
Lisboa
Lisboa
Ponta Delgada
Ponta Delgada
Portuguese pavement, Coimbra
Portuguese pavement, Coimbra
Castelo Branco
Castelo Branco
Pvoa de Varzim's runes
Pvoa de Varzim's runes
Lisboa
Lisboa
Paving near Praa do Chiado, in Lisboa
Paving near Praa do Chiado, in Lisboa
Lisboa: the Nau and the Two Crows
Lisboa: the Nau and the Two Crows
Lisboa
Lisboa
Guimares
Guimares
Lagos
Lagos
Lisboa
Lisboa
Nazar
Nazar

Calceteiros - the stone masters

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Outside of Portugal

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Curitiba, Paran, BrasilAmparo, BrasilBrasliaIpanemaCopacabanaCopacabanaLaranjeiras, BrasilLondrina, BrasilRio de JaneiroSantos, BrasilPortuguese pavement next to Paulista Av., So PauloMacau, ChinaMacau, ChinaMacau, ChinaMacau, ChinaMacau, ChinaMacau, ChinaMacau, ChinaMacau, ChinaAngolaAngolaAngolaAngolaAngolaTenderloin National Forest San Francisco. CaliforniaRestaurant in Newark. New Jersey Prague, Czech RepublicPequin, China
Curitiba, Paran, Brasil
Curitiba, Paran, Brasil
Amparo, Brasil
Amparo, Brasil
Braslia
Braslia
Ipanema
Ipanema
Copacabana
Copacabana
Copacabana
Copacabana
Laranjeiras, Brasil
Laranjeiras, Brasil
Londrina, Brasil
Londrina, Brasil
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Santos, Brasil
Santos, Brasil
Portuguese pavement next to Paulista Av., So Paulo
Portuguese pavement next to Paulista Av., So Paulo
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Macau, China
Angola
Angola
Angola
Angola
Angola
Angola
Angola
Angola
Angola
Angola
Tenderloin National Forest San Francisco. California
Tenderloin National Forest San Francisco. California
Restaurant in Newark. New Jersey
Restaurant in Newark. New Jersey
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic
Pequin, China
Pequin, China

More by this Author


Comments 1 comment

Becky 4 years ago

I love the symbol in the photo from Faro.. do you have any more details on where exactly it is or a larger photo showing the whole design?

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working