Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Storefronts of Lisbon

From The New York Times:
Lisbon has long been considered one of Europe’s loveliest capitals. “By day Lisbon has a naïve theatrical quality that enchants and captivates,” Erich Maria Remarque wrote in his 1962 novel “The Night in Lisbon,” “but by night it is a fairy-tale city, descending over lighted terraces to the sea, like a woman in festive garments going down to meet her dark lover.” Among its beauties are dozens of ornate storefronts, most of which date from the rebuilding that followed the catastrophic earthquake of 1755 to the neon days of the 1930s. 
These facades have been protected since 2015, when the Lisbon City Council authorized the “Historic Shops” program in recognition of their historical, cultural and commercial importance. As a result, several of the city’s finest jewelry stores (joalharias, in Portuguese) as well as those also selling gold and silver objects (ourivesaria, or goldsmith), still look as beautiful outside as the pieces they sell inside.... 
This Spanish fine jewelry chain now has a store in the former Alianca jewelry store, which has been dazzling customers since 1914. The interior may be even more stunning than the beautiful exterior; imagine Marie Antoinette’s boudoir and you get the picture: Pudgy pastel putti look down from the ceiling on a frothy collection of sparkling glass vitrines, hung with gilded garlands and bows and displaying more glitter inside. (To combat a sugar high, head down the street to No. 38, where the scent of coffee beans at the beloved old cafe Casa Pereira will take the edge off.) (Read more.)

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