Les Clefs D'Or
Les Clefs D'Or

Your Key To Lisbon Portugal 2024 Les Clefs d’Or Award Nominee

Calçada portuguesa - Portuguese cobblestone

Speaking about Lisbon is always an easy task: whether is about the delicious food, the (almost) permanent good weather or the amazing neighbourhoods – there is always something to fall in love with. Even though it will not be easy to walk around this mesmerizing city without admiring the unique architecture and beautiful light, I invite you to keep your eyes on the ground as you explore some of the city’s most iconic streets and neighbourhoods. Believe me, you will be surprised!

There is one feature in the city that is very special to us: “Calçada Portuguesa” – our unique cobblestone pavement.
In 1498, in order make way for the King of Portugal´s annual birthday parade, which included an exotic rhino, king D. Manuel I demanded some parts of the city to be paved with limestone (the King did not want the gigantic animal to be filled with mud). Even though all of these streets were later destroyed by the earthquake, this was the very beginning of the most famous characteristic of Portuguese floors.
In the middle of the XIX century, the first designed pavement was created using basalt (dark pieces) mixed with limestone (white pieces), having both an esthetical and useful purpose. Since then we have being blessed with hundreds of amazing pieces that bring a clearer and brighter light to Lisbon, creating a unique atmosphere.

I would love to invite you to start your journey at the iconic Avenida da Liberdade, where you will find many different and elegant patterns along the avenue that match so well with the ambiance of the district. Right at the end of the street – Restauradores Square – you will find one of the most iconic designs composed by very big panels, geometrically perfect. Probably, there will be some distractions along the way: the aroma of coffee or the smell of freshly-baked Pastéis de Nata – but I trust you will keep the focus!

Continue your way to the heart of the city – Rossio Square – where you will be presented with an entire square paved with a magical motif: waves. Water related motifs (for example: Portuguese caravels, compasses, anchors, fishes and mermaids) always had a big influence in our culture: both as a representation of Portugal´s bravery on the XVI century during the Discoveries Period as well as of our extensive coastline – loved by all Portuguese and tourists that visit us.

Next and for a perfect ending, make your way to Chiado Square (the most vintage and charming area of town), where you can contemplate a stunning pattern that is divided by a road, tram line and metro station without losing any elegance.

Touring around Lisbon focused on discovering this amazing pieces of urban art is also knowing more about what makes us proud, our history and our values. Who would said that there is so much to learn while looking to the ground? We dare you to discover more about Lisbon without looking up!

Flora Neves is a candidate for the 2024 Les Clefs d’Or Award. This article has been published in its original form.

Meet the Author
Flora Neves

I was born and raised in a little village with less than 40 inhabitants in the mountains. During my first visit to Lisbon I fell in love with the city and I knew I wanted to dedicate my professional life to learn as much as I could about it. I am very curious about all the new things happening in town and I always dedicate time to discover new or rehabilitated districts, restaurants, museum collections and to try various activities and companies that Lisbon has to offer. This concedes me the knowledge to be able to introduce Lisbon in the best way possible to all of our visitors. In 2013 I had the opportunity to embrace an amazing challenge: to create a concierge department from scratch during my first internship. This allowed me to develop it through my perspective, and to understand that becoming concierge was my future. I am a proud member of Les Clefs D’or International since 2021.

Ritz Four Seasons Lisboa

Long considered Lisbon’s premier luxury hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon wears the cultural heart and soul of Portugal on its sleeve. Our hotel rises in the heart of the city with hilltop views of Eduardo VII Park, St. George Castle, the Old Town and the Tagus River. Inside, art-deco sensibilities mingle with an updated Louis XVI style, and a collection of important contemporary local artwork fills our halls. Outside, views of the city’s rolling hills and brightly tiled exteriors spread out as far as the eyes can see. After a restful night's sleep in the newly renovated rooms the guests can enjoy an alfresco swim with panoramic views of the treetops, a light summery menu at the Ritz Pool Bar, unwind in the serenity of the Ritz Spa, or sharpen the edge in the rooftop Fitness Centre, immerse in a cultural visit around the hotel's Portuguese Art Collection and have a seasonally inspired, Michelin-starred gastronomic experience at CURA restaurant. However you choose to spend your time, having Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon as your base will create memories to last a lifetime.


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