It’s Portugal. But roaming the streets of the capital city Lisbon floats me through traces of visible African heritage, characteristic cultural elements of Brazil merged with that distinctly European flavour. It’s an intriguing melange of eclectic, charming and faded glory.
With a 5-century-old art history of creating beautifully decorative ceramic tiles, the foundations of which are distinct on the surface of buildings, streets and walls, the city is an art-lovers paradise.
Chiado, Alfama and Bairro Alto are predominantly the neighbourhoods in which these following images were taken.
Although many once beautiful buildings are now derelict, the ones in use are fully occupied. Clothes hang on a line outside a 1st floor flat whilst below, a shop or restaurant occupies the ground floor.
CREATIVITY IS LISBON’S LIFEBLOOD
The old parts of Bairro Alto, Chiado & Alfama feed off creativity. I see this from the highly specialised one-off niche shops to street art. It’s a creative hub bursting with ideas and inspiration. These parts, to me, are the real Lisbon.
DECORATIVE CERAMIC TILES
Lisbon has a 5-centuries-old ancient art of creating decorative ceramic tiles. These were once used to decorate the exteriors of buildings. The city now displays tattered remnants of once beautifully tiled buildings alongside newer more modern ones, retaining this legacy.
CLASSIC COBBLED ALLEYWAYS
If, like me, you dream of picturesque streets, quaint cobbled scenes and characteristic quirky vintage shops & curios, Lisbon is for you. In winter, it’s relatively mild, quieter and beckons an inviting charm.
SIMILARITIES TO RIO
Having visited Rio de Janeiro, I’m strongly reminded of Brazil in parts of Portugal. The steps below lead to a neighbourhood in Bairro Alto that’s reminiscent of Lapa in Rio. The colourful streets, pastel houses, guitar-playing in the streets, groups of boys practicing Capoiera and hanging out, girl brushing her hair on the balcony of a top floor flat overlooking the city… Classic scenes of Portuguese life.
LOVE FROM LISBON
I want to live in this street…