Saturday, June 07, 2014

Pedra Portugesa

The Portuguese have a unique tradition when it comes to sidewalks and paved outdoor areas. They create elaborate cobblestone mosaics using irregular pieces of stone, usually black and white granite. Everything is done by hand, from cutting the stones to laying them in perfect patterns. It is a fascinating art form. If you are a Portuguese speaker, you can read more here, in English check out this page.

Pedra portuguesa (or calçada portuguesa) isn't limited to Portugal. You can find this tradition all over the lusophone world. Here are some of my favorite examples:

Flower and checkerboard pattern in Lisboa.
Frond pattern in Lisboa. 
Estrelas in Lisboa.
Forgotten waves at Ilha de Moçambique.
Iconic Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro. 
Red and white pedra portuguesa we had installed in the courtyard at Casa Rosa. 
Despedida photoshoot at the Casa Rosa, 2011.

3 comments:

Marcia (123 blog) said...

OH MY GOSH, I love them all!!!!

I would have been taking pictures just about everywhere :)

Mandi | No Apathy Allowed said...

Gorgeous! What a wonderful visual impact this must make on day to day life.

Ali la Loca said...

~Marcia - Between the tiles and the pavers, I must have around 200 photos of surfaces! Not to mention the old doors...I know doors are your favorite. :)

~Mandi - It does really make an impact to see a beautiful work of art beneath your feet as opposed to a piece of concrete with no human touch. Now I am wishing for portuguese pavers somewhere in our garden...