Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria – Cold Greenhouse

On our last trip to Lisbon we got to visit an amazing enclosed green space called Estufa Fria, which literally translates into English as Cold Greenhouse.

Located in Parque Eduardo VII, Estufa Fria began life in an abandoned basalt mine, which had been closed down due to a fresh water spring compromising the quarrying.

In 1912 a gardener responsible for the planting of Avenida da Liberdade created a sheltered area at the abandoned mine to house some of the more delicate plants. With the event of WW1 the plans were halted, but the plants took root and continued to flourish.

Fast-forward to 1926 painter and architect Raul Carapinha rediscovered the site and thought it would be a good idea to create a greenhouse on the area, four year later Estufa Fria was completed and officially inaugurated in 1933.

Further landscaping to the park and the greenhouse happened during the 1940’s and in 1975 the addition of a Hothouse and Sweet house officially opened to the public: And so the Estufa Fria you can visit today was born.

The space is an amazing oasis in the city of Lisbon; the sounds alone transported me away to my own imaginary island populated with wonderful wildlife and greenery, occasionally interjected with sculptures relaxed in their own spaces. I literally spent hours there just sitting and watching as birds flew overhead and ducks waddled by, sheltered from the direct sun, whilst warm and cosy, almost lulled to sleep by the babbling constant waters.

If you are at all into gardens Estufa Fria is a must visit when you are in Lisbon. During the summer it is open from 10am to 7pm and during the winter from 9am to 5pm, last entrance is 30 minutes before closing. I would recommend at least an hour plus for your visit, if memory serves me well I was there for around three hours. Adult tickets are 3.10 with free admittance before 2pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Further details including maps are available online here.

 

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

Estufa Fria, Lisbon

 

Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa – Lisbon

Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa – Lisbon

One of the most interesting places we visited in Lisbon had to be the Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa on Rua de O Século 79, Bairro Alto. We were quite lucky as it was a ten minute walk from our Airbnb.

Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa is set in an amazing space housed in Pombal Palace, a sixteenth century building by Sebastião de Carvalho e Melo, which was the home of the Pombal family until the earthquake of 1755, after which they moved to Ajuga.

The building, present day, is rustic, beautiful and under constant maintenance whilst still being a living breathing space for art, events, classes, talks, demonstrations along side having a cute cafe with wonderful homemade lemonade.

Passing through the cool space, in contrast to the heat and the bustle outside, one finds a hidden garden, overgrown and in much need of repair, but it is an absolute gem of a find.

Built in benches surround the circumference of the walled garden, weather worn but impressive, with tradition blue and white late eighteen century tiles.

And just below the stair case a few tables sit in the shade of a large tree, perfect to sit beneath, while pondering on stories and dreams.

I could have sat there for the whole afternoon in peace.

Carpe Diem, opens from a Wednesday through to Saturday 1 – 7 pm and I would definitely recommend a visit if you are planning a trip to Lisbon.

For further details visit their website http://www.carpe.pt/en

Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa

Botanic Garden Lisbon

Botanic Garden Lisbon

Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Lisboa.

I do love gardening and my little garden at home, so when I discovered our Airbnb was just across the road from the Botanic gardens, I had to visit. Even though it wasn’t very hot, around 23 degrees while we were in Lisbon, it seemed far hotter than the recorded temperature, and gardens have that lovely ability to cool everything down once under their shaded protection.

The garden itself has a fee of 2 euros to enter and it comes with a warning, apparently due to funding issues there is very little maintenance carried out, just the basic amount to keep it ticking over and this was very apparent. But I loved it, I love gardens that are not too prettified, and allowed to wander in their own direction, living and breathing for itself.

One of the first areas we came across was the cacti plants, now having only seen in real life my small aloe plants at home and the various cacti I have, these were huge actual trees and bush structures. This small area was my favourite section, just seeing how these plants exist outside in a warm climate in comparison to back home in Ireland makes me want to visit them in their actual own habitat.

National Museum of Natural History & Science Botanic Garden Lisbon

Moving on from there, the garden is more over grown and unkempt, the small hedged area has definitely seen better days. Yet it still provides shade for the birds and insects, while flowers grow precariously wherever they take seed.

Further into the garden, the trees provided the much needed shade and the birds sang a mixture of melodies as the wild cats made there way through the undergrowth.

I would definitely visit there again, part of me hopes it can retain the mix of the human hand print of planting and structuring juxtaposed against the plants ability to move grow and restructure themselves.

The garden is located at Rua da Escola Politécnica 54, 1250-102 Lisbon and it is definitely a place to visit as a small tranquil haven in the middle of a bustling city. Visit their website.

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