Photographer's Note

This is Portuguese pavement or as known in Portugal, Calçada Portuguesa, the modern version was first started in 1842 when a commander of the Portuguese army (Cacadores 5) Eusebio Pinheiro Furtado noticed that his soldiers were so bored that he made them lay the whole barrack`s parade with the local black and white smooths square stones in different patons hence giving birth to the modern Calcada.

It is the traditional paving used today in most pedestrian areas in Portugal and old Portuguese colonies such as Brazil, Angola, Macau etc. Being usually used in sidewalks, although it is also widely used in certain main roads, plazas and hotel atriums where it shows its deepest expression, please don`t think that the pavement on this shot reflects the quality of pavements in the wider area of the country, I took this shot in a small village just to ilustrate my text.

One of the most distinctive uses of Portuguese paving technique is that of the Copacabana beach sidewalk in Rio de Janeiro, designed as a black and white waves pattern although this is also true in Portugal where you will find the most amazing designs made with two types of colour stone which is usually black and white.

Paving as a craft is believed to have originated in Mesopotamia, where rocky materials were used in the inside and outside of constructions, being later brought to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, the Romans used to pave the vias connecting the empire using materials to be found in the surroundings. Some of the techniques introduced then are still applied on the Portuguese Calçada, most noticeably the use of a foundation and a surfacing.

Upon a well compacted trench of argillaceous materials, craftsmen lay a bedding of gravel, which will accommodate the stones, acting as a cement, very few workers (calceteiros) will admit to enjoying this arduous labour, where long hours are spent painstakingly laying the stones in a prostrated position, once an activity performed by hundreds of craftsmen in Portuguese cities and villages, traditional paving is increasingly becoming restricted to conservation works or important architectural projects.

I hope you enjoyed this lecture and thank you all for your support,

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Additional Photos by Joao Paulo Rosa Salas (mcenteesalas) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 290 W: 35 N: 381] (1618)
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