Travel Along With Us –
Discover Portugal: Paving the Great Way

I’ve got a lot to share from our recent trip to Portugal (link). One of the things that rocked my landscape world was the magnificent paving. Streets, sidewalks, parks, palaces, praças (town squares), courtyards, traffic roundabouts – everywhere we turned, everywhere we went, the paving was incredible. The paving material varies from region to region, making use of the locally available stone. The net effect is striking – this indigenous paving material anchors the manmade spaces to the surrounding landscape, with the buildings seeming to have grown straight out of the land, and the architecture tied together by a common matrix. In Lisbon and the surrounding region, cobbles are made from limestone.

limestone pavers
Limestone pavers
Street repairs in progress in portugal
Street repairs in progress

street paving in portugal

Black and white limestone cobbles are used to make a dizzying array of patterns – from utilitarian traffic patterns such as the crosswalk pictured above…

…to wonderfully complex patterns such as these:

paving in portugal

paving in portugal

paving in portugal

The Portuguese love and are proud of their traditional heritage — but they don’t shy away from contemporary styles in newer works.

paving in portugal

paving in portugal

These wave-patterned limestone pavings – made of the same limestone that’s been used as cobbles for hundreds of years – are found along the river walk in the Belen neighborhood of Lisbon…

As we went north from Lisbon, granite pavers started showing up…

paving in portugal
A mix of granite and limestone pavers

granite pavers in portugal

Ancient granite pavers with a beautiful patina in a Versailles pattern (gorgeous drain!) in Porto outside the cathedral.

paving in portugal

Isn’t this a beautiful streetscape? Super simple – just two “ingredients” – stone and camellias. The narrow driving surface is composed of mixed granite pavers. Orthotic shapes are used to make a grid pattern that is filled with organic shaped stones. Broad rectangular stones – added long after the street was paved – run the length of the street for easy access to underlying infrastructure.

The pedestrian walks that run each side of the street are comprised of full width granite pavers that are uniform in size, bordered by a solid granite curb.

Check out the size of those Camellia japonica TREES bordering the driving surface!


Sneak peak into our next blog post…

Details: Small But Mighty…The Garden Stool –
The Workhorse of Garden Furniture

With winter flying by, it looks as though we’ll soon be in prime hanging-out-outdoors season. We’re just finishing up a gorgeous fire pit and I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect outdoor stools to provide extra seating that won’t clutter up the space. In the next installment of The Art of Outdoor Living I’ll share my favorite finds…


Follow us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *