One of the things that impressed me about our visit to Lisbon was the wealth of late 19th and early 20th century decorative art on the shops and other buildings. Perhaps this is because Portugal’s neutrality in World War Two saved them from the destructive power of the air raids or maybe it’s because Portugal has never been wealthy enough to bulldoze as much of its past in the quest for the new as other nations. Either way there is some good stuff on display. This post is a random selection of stuff I snapped as we wandered around.
These Art Nouveau shop fronts were shot around the Praca dom Pedro IV.
This jeweller’s shop was close to the Elevador de Santa Justa.
Of course from the Praca Dom Pedro IV you get a great view at the platform that used to house the steam engine on the Elevador with its crowds of sightseers.
While the elevador itself was built to be not only functional, but also beautiful in the Victorian tradition of William Morris who said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Okay it’s not inside anybody’s house, but its Art Nouveau cast iron and wood panelled lift cars are quite lovely.
There are also some fine Art Deco buildings like the Eden Theatre complex
And of course the grand railway stations are the expected temples to power and movement.
Even if they do conceal a Starbucks within in country with otherwise great coffee already. Trouble with stations as with temples, cathedrals or anything really big, is that the wealth of detail is often difficult to capture in its full glory.
Of course smaller artworks are much easier.
But often nowhere near as impressive as a whacking great mass of cast iron!