Lisbon, Portugal

Rossio (or Pedro IV) Square, Lisbon, Portugal, ca. mid 20th c., by Estúdio Mário Novais, via Art Library of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Commons on flickr (under CC license).

The Rossio has been an important central Lisbon square since the 14th century. Rossio roughly means “commons.” Its current appearance, however, was formed in the mid (paving) and late (fountains and column) 1800s.

The distinctive paving — calçada Portuguesa — is made up of small irregular cobblestones of white limestone and black basalt.  In 1842, the governor of São Jorge Castle, Eusebio Furtado, set prisoners to work laying an unusual zigzag pattern on its parade ground. The effect was so popular that in 1848 Furtado was asked to use the same sort of design (and prisoners) on the Rossio Square.  After that, “Portuguese pavement” spread across the city and country and ultimately out to the colonies of Brazil and Macau.

Although beautiful, it’s said to be extremely slippery when wet.

Lisbon, Portugal

Luís de Camões Square, Lisbon, between 1933 and 1983, by Estúdio Mário Novais, via Art Library of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Commons on flickr, under CC license.

The 1867 sculpture is of Camões, a 16th century epic poet. The square looks much the same today, but the design of the paving tile (Portuguese pavement or calcada Portuguesa) is different.

Leonardskirche labyrinth, Basel

The labyrinth at Leonardskirch, Basel, enclos*ureThe labyrinth at Leonardskirchplatz in Basel, Switzerland, on Thanksgiving Day.

The labyrinth at Leonardskirchplatz, Basel, enclos*ure

The small square — on a hill spur above the old city center — is next to the 15th century Leonardskirche or St. Leonard’s Church.

The labyrinth at Leonardskirchplatz, Basel, enclos*ure

The labyrinth was installed there in 2002 from a design by Agnes Barmettier.

The labyrinth at Leonardskirchplatz, Basel, enclos*ure

On the right side of the sign is a poem, “Labyrinth Spell” by Ingrid Gomolzik, meant to be spoken before entering the circuit: “The labyrinth is a mystery. . . the giant, the path in the middle, the way to ourselves.”

The design features two turning points around linden trees.
The design features two turning points around linden trees.

The labyrinth at Leonardskirchplatz, Basel, enclos*ure

Sculpture of a Basel public servant by Peter Moilliet.
Sculpture of a local politician by Peter Moilliet.

You can scroll through larger versions of the photos by clicking on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any thumbnail in the gallery.

Torn turned and tattered
Bowed burned and battered
I took untensed time by the teeth
And bade it bear me banking
Out over the walled welter
cities and the sea. . .

Robert P. Baird, from “The Labyrinth