Portuguese Stone Pavement

To look down and see the pavement in Portugal is to discover real works of art. White limestone and basalt are the chosen materials to draw the history and culture of this country.

Portuguese pavement is the heritage of a mixed Roman and Arabic culture and construction technology, which was established in Portugal in the 14th century during the reign of King João II. The originality of these Portuguese Pavements gives it a very special status in the pavement domain. It can be defined as “a paved floor whose components are of natural stone, mainly limestone, set on the soil and arranged in a more or less uniform manner”. Each Portuguese Pavement is unique not only because of the many designs used (geometric, figurative, depicting regional or local activities or specificities), but also because it’s final effect depends on the quality of stone production and mastery of the craftsman responsible for the settlement.

“Today it is internationally recognized and appreciated as a successful demonstration of our culture, which namely explains its export to Spain, France and other European Union countries, to Australia, United States, Japan and China, in this case influenced by Macau.” (In “Manual da Calçada Portuguesa”, Direção Geral da Energia e Geologia.)