November 7, 2013

Lisbon with its houses of various colors

Olá! This week I've received a very special email from a reader. Among many other nice words he told me that he discovered Lisbon some years ago and... " I was so fascinated by this city that I’ve been going back there every summer since". Coincidentally, last week I was checking Felizarda's work on her blog - açafate dos retalhos, and discovered these lovely embroidered key rings inspired by Lisbon houses. I believe these are two great reasons to show you something about the Capital of Portugal!!!

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest city in Western Europe. In 1147, the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, reconquered the city that had been captured by the Moors centuries before. Some years later it became the capital of our country...

I won't use many words to describe Lisbon as the videos I found do it in a much better way... And yes, there are many reasons to love Lisbon, but you have to know that Lisbon is famous for its magic light, the light reflected from the Tagus river and that illuminates all the seven hills of this unique city in such a special way.

Lisbon house by Felizarda

The old city has inspired many, many artists, especially painters and among them there is a very famous woman, Maluda, who has devoted her life to portraying Lisbon houses.

I've chosen these pieces of embroidery, stitched by Felizarda, to show you some images that represent this beautiful city... Her work talks about one of the most pictorial features of Lisbon's landscape - the houses of Lisbon (casario) described so simply by the great poet Fernando Pessoa:

"Lisbon with its houses
of various colors"

Lisbon houses by Felizarda

Listening to this poem while watching a beautiful video about the casario of Lisbon you will understand how well these stitches capture Lisbon's soul.

There is also a very famous song that describes these typical houses so well... All Portuguese know and sing this song... It is a Fado, our national song that was born in Lisbon. This song is called Uma casa portuguesa - "A Portuguese house" and it says:

Four whitewashed walls, / a taste of rosemary,
a bunch of grapes, / two roses in a garden,
a St. Joseph tile / under the sun in spring,
a promise of kisses
two arms waiting for me ...
It is a Portuguese house, for sure!
It is certainly a Portuguese house!

Lisbon's tram by Felizarda

I could not speak of Lisbon and forget the eléctrico. Lisbon's tram is so typical of this city!!! And the carreira 28 (notice the detail on Felizarda's stitches) is the most famous ride of all. Don't forget to watch this video and visit Lisbon by tram...

And now...  To end this trip, imagine you're arriving Lisbon from the sea...

Yes... I do believe that stitches tell so many stories...


  1. A fascinating post. Thanks for sharing. We flew into Lisbon earlier this year to visit family in cascais and I was in awe with the architecture around us. It's a pretty impressive place as is the traffic to get to the airport. Xo

  2. Not sure why my previous comment didn't show but thanks for sharing this, I found it really interesting. We flew knit Lisbon earlier this year to visit family in cascais and I was in awe with Lisbon. It's a very impressive city as is the traffic getting back to the airport ; -) xo