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Portuguese pavement

One of the defining characteristics of Portuguese cities is the stone paving that is used in many or most pedestrian spaces. In European Portuguese, it is called calçada portuguesa. Above is a photo — that I didn’t take — of Rossio Square is Lisbon.

This craft was also exported to Portugal’s former colonies, including Rio de Janeiro, Macau, and Luanda. Supposedly, the Portuguese used to load up their boats with limestone in order to weigh them down and make them stable before they set sail. And that’s, at least partially, the reason why this tradition ended up traveling.

They’re dangerously slick when wet — particularly in a hilly city like Lisbon — but they sure are beautiful. Here’s a short video talking about the tradition in Macau. It’s an interesting example because the Chinese ended up adding their own touches.

Click here if you can’t see it below.

Photo by Alex Paganelli on Unsplash

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