Tuesday 7 June 2022

Elevador da Santa Justa - Lisbon

We could see Elevador da Santa Justa as we walked to and from our hotel. 

Paul Mesnier's extraordinary and quirky Elevador de Santa Justa was built in 1902 by a disciple of Eiffel. Its giant lift whisks you 32m up the inside of a latticework metal tower, to deposit you on a platform high above the Baixa district.

The platform straddles two buildings

This piece of street art is by the entrance.  I am not sure, but I think this is the work of Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils, whose large and striking works are often chiselled into brickwork using pneumatic drills.

We were about to join the long queue to go up the lift when someone approached us and told us that we could access the top by taking a lift in the entrance of a nearby shop, thus avoiding to have to queue.

We decided to take him up on his suggestion, took the lift and came up on a walkway where we could see the lift's platform 

We walked along this partly lawned terrace. We were now in the district of Bairro Alto

in the shadow of Covento Do Carmo. Built between 1389 and 1423, and once the largest church in the city, the building was partially destroyed by the 1755 earthquake but is even more striking as a result, with its beautiful Gothic arches rising into the sky. The entire nave is open to the elements, with columns and statuary scattered in all corners. The city administration decided to leave the church as it is so that the city could remember the earthquake and the subsequent devastation.

Today it houses the Museu Arqueologico do Carmo

From here, we had a good view of the elevator

We moved on under this arch

looking at the ruins

and arrived at Terracos do Carmo, a bustling square

We retraced our steps to the viewing platform of the elevator

which provided good views of Lisbon

The lattice work of the lift is stunning

We wanted to take the lift back down, but the guy who was operating it said that he could not issue us with tickets as this was only done from the bottom, so we decided to go down the way we had come up. 


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