Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Sidewalks of Brazil

One of the things I love here in Brazil are the sidewalks.

These black and white-patterned sidewalks are can be found everywhere you step. 

I know, it looks a lot like cobblestone. But...it has an attitude...and there's another name for it.

Portuguese pavement, (cal├žada portuguesa), consists of small flat pieces of various different stones, arranged to form a pattern or picture, like a mosaic. As the name suggests, this art originated in Portugal.

If you ever watch them repairing one or setting up a new mosaic sidewalk, you'll quickly realize how labor intensive it is. And it does require skills! Each stone is shaped in a certain way with small chisels and hammered into place carefully so they don't break but fit together perfectly (generally) to form the desired design.

These paved sidewalks do have a down-side. They can present hazards to us pedestrians. These pavements can be especially treacherous when they are wet - and, for those of you who have been to Curitiba, you know that it rains here A LOT. Also, the stones are prone to becoming loose, presenting more hazards. Sometimes they are missing altogether and there is just this big hole to fall into! You have to develop the skill of having one eye on the sidewalk and the other eye on where you're going. 

You'll find plain 'ole concrete around, too, but these Portuguese stones are just as common. 
So pretty!!!


  1. That's really pretty! Maybe we should incorporate that into the walkways here!

  2. Fashion over Function I guess! haha It's becoming more and more clear....Brazil is amazing!! I can't believe they take the time or resources to do that!