ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Rossio square pavementing. World wide fashion.

Updated on May 25, 2020
Sandra Miliers profile image

Sandra was born in Toronto, came to Europe for university and ended up travelling and working the world. Portugal is one of her favourites.

Rossio square with its purple jockrand trees.
Rossio square with its purple jockrand trees.

Rossio Square, Lisbon.

If you have been to Lisbon, Portugal, you have without a doubt seen or been to the Rossio square. Today, it is the main square of the city, the connection point, and if you go there mid- or end of May, the jockrand, or jakaranda trees will be coloring the square purple.

On the square you can see two fountains, incredibly elaborated (they were imported from France), the big statue of Peter IV, and at the very end, the theater of Dona Maria II, an old queen of Portugal.

Another thing that people often not really notice, are the "waves" of black and white that are all over the square. They actually have a story to tell, a story that not many people know of.

Three names.

The official name of the square is Praça Pedro IV. Peter IV is an old king of Portugal, I actually wrote an article about him and the statue and how it came about before.

But what you might not know, is that it also has two more, inofficial names, Rossio, which is the name the local people gave the square, and "square of the waves".

Look down.

But where are the waves? You might say now. Or does it have anything to do with the tsunami of 1755?

Nope, nothing to do with the tsunami. To get the answer, all you need to do is look down. The whole square is pavemented in black and white with what looks like waves. But how did this come about?


Well, at the beginning of the 1800's, Lisbon (and most of Portugal it seems like) had alot of black stones and a lot of white stones, and alot of prisoners. What we do now?, said the government. Well let the prisoners pay their dues by pavementing the square.

The prisoners "got to work" and pavemented the square of Rossio, and now the waves had appeard. However what they had not counted on, was the tri dimensional aspect of the waves of the pavementing.

The black and white "waves" on the pavement of Rossio square.
The black and white "waves" on the pavement of Rossio square.


People saw the tri dimensional waves, and were completely amazed, they had never seen anything like this in their lives. This now became the new fashion in the city. The local government decided that because of people's amazement, every single square was now going to be remodelled into this black and white wavy formation.

Slowly, one by one, the squares now got this new pavementing. And the amazement grew even bigger and bigger. Now we have no square left to pavement in the city, said the local government one day, what do we do now? Well we can pavement the rest of the city as well, said the other politicians.

Now every little sidewalk, every little road, terrace, whatever you can think of, got remodelled in black and white, however, not with the waves, that was reserved to the squares.

Moving further.

Now we have no more space to pavement in the city, said the government, what do we do now? Well, then let's pavement the other cities as well, said the politicians.

Said and done, now all the other cities in the country were pavemented, from Braga and Porto in the north, to Evora inland. Even the small fishing villages of Algarve got this pavementing.

But that was still not enough. What do we do now? Said the politicians. Well, let's pavement the islands as well. No slowing down, now the islands of Açores and Madeira became pavemented in black and white waves.

Faro also got remodelled in black and white.
Faro also got remodelled in black and white.

To the colonies.

So, now, we have nowhere more to pavement in the country, what do we do now? Well, let's pavement the colonies as well!

If you go to Brasil, you can see this type of pavementing on the ground in the major cities. You can go to Angola or Mozambique in Africa, and you can see black and white pavementing on the ground, you are also supposed to be able to see this as far away as Macao, but I have never been to Asia, so in reality, I couldn't tell you if it is true or not. What I can tell you, is that it started right here, on the Rossio square, and it spread all over the world.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)