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Monthly Archives: December 2017

Just before catching my mid-afternoon flight home from Lisbon, I (Chris) had a walk through this place and a quick bite with a bunch of new friends (J, K, L, R & S). It was a really fun two hours.

I took most of the text posted here from its web site, click here to visit.

“It’s in the year 1846 that a threads and fabrics Company called “Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos Lisbonense”, one of the most important manufacturing complex in Lisbon’s history, sets in Alcântara. This 23.000 m2 industrial site was, subsequently, occupied by a set of industrial use related companies.”

It was Sunday and the place was packed with rural farmers selling fruits and vegetables.

Artists and craftsman selling their work.

A giant fly on the wall of a hostel within the grounds.

Not Rio, it’s Lisbon.

Plenty of street art.

A mural that stretches across one side of a large warehouse.


“An urban fragment, kept hidden for years, is now returned to the city in the form of LXFactory. A creative island occupied by corporations and professionals of the industry serves also has stage for a diverse set of happenings related to fashion, publicity, communication, fine arts, architecture, music, etc., attracting numerous visitors to rediscover Alcântara through an engaged dynamics.”

Among the shops, eateries and offices, a company installed two escape rooms – “LX Escape – Burlesque Edition” – click to see the backstory of the escape rooms here. We wanted to do it but decided to have lunch first. But then I had to leave … and later my friends decided to see Fado with dinner instead. Well, it means the escape rooms are waiting for me to return.

There are quite a few buildings on the site and I did not have the time to walk through them.

I wonder what’s the story behind these images …

It must remind people of Covent Garden or Camden Lock in London. See also our posts on similar ideas of retail/art projects: Common Ground in Seoul and PMQ in Hong Kong.

Great project. It works. Every city needs at least one of these.

One evening after the day’s meetings are over, I(Chris) and friends walked along the Belém waterfront from the conference venue to a gala dinner. Here are some of the photos taken during the walk.

We started from the Fundação Champalimaud at the western end of the waterfront – the sun was setting.

The Monument to the Veterans from Overseas (Aos Combatentes do Ultramar) was the next landmark.

I believe there are soldiers standing guard at this monument from time to time.

Our next sight is the famous Torre de Belem. The tower was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

The tower was built in the early 16th century on a small island in the River Targus near the Lisbon shore.

The tower was built by the military architect Francisco de Arruda, who had already supervised the construction of several fortresses in Portuguese territories in Morocco. The influence of Moorish architecture is manifested in the delicate decorations, the arched windows, the balconies, and the ribbed cupolas of the watchtowers.

A modern waterside cafe

Continuing our walk eastbound after passing a small park, we came to a marina.

On the other side of the marina is the Altis Belém Hotel.

Then the Belém lighthouse … a historical landmark

Then, there was the Museu de Arte Popular. It has to be said that this is a sad looking building when it is compared to the others on the waterfront.  Notice the black cable that runs across the facade of the entrance ? Enough said.

Our dinner was at the Espaço Espelho d’Água – a truly beautiful place, we had an apéro followed by dinner.

Entrance to the venue.

From the terrace of the venue … sculpture in a pool in front of the river

The Espaço has a small art gallery at its entrance.

… and a bar that was completely shrouded in vegetation.

On the far side of the Espaço is the Monument of the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) which celebrates the Portuguese age of exploration in the 15th and 16th century. The main statue is that of Henry the Navigator.

Further into the distance, one can see the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge and the National Sanctuary of Christ the King (Santuário Nacional de Cristo Rei) on the hill.

If one continues to walk (which we did not), the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology is not far (see earlier post about this new landmark).



The MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, opened its doors to the public on 5 October, 2016. I (Chris) had the chance of a private tour in October 2017. A young museum, just over a year old !

Presenting itself as a new cultural centre in the city of Lisbon, the MAAT represents an ambition to host national and international exhibitions with contributions by contemporary artists, architects and thinkers. Click here for its web site.

Our private guided tour started in the early evening and it was eerie inside.

No shopping.

I saw two exhibits. The first “Tensão e Conflito – Arte em Vídeo após 2008 (Tension & Conflict – Video art after 2008)” – 22 artists made video of their personal views on current events. The museum is turned into a number of film viewing spaces.

The second exhibit is “Shadow Soundings” by Bill Fontana as commissioned by MAAT.

It was created from the sounds and vibrations of the 25th of April Bridge (visible from the museum) and the Tagus River (just outside), and then amplified until they acquire a musical quality.

Using seven projections, the installation shows unique views of the bridge and the Tagus river, as well as unknown angles of the shadows of vehicles moving across the bridge.

The MAAT also represents an effort to revitalise the riverfront of Belém’s historic district. It was designed by the British architecture firm Amanda Levete Architects.

The MAAT also occupies the recently renovated Central Tejo power station (closed since 1975) next door which we did not have a chance to see.

The two buildings are united by an outdoor park, conceived by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovik, offering an outstanding leisure space along Lisbon’s riverbank.

If you go online, you can find photos of the museum taken from the river.  It looks like a low undulating wave.

During the day, people can stroll up to the roof of the museum via the “ramp” to view the river at a higher vantage point.

Well worth returning – for a stroll along the river and a very modern experience.