Flora & Fauna Lisboa

A brief return to Estufa Fria in Lisboa

A snapshot of the garden's history

Can’t believe it has been three weeks since I took you to Estufa Fria, Estufa Quente and Estufa Doce and promised you another Past Meets Present in Lisboa’s wonderful Parque Eduardo VII but here we are!

It is on the Estufa Fria D’Lisboa website that I found the old photographs and it is here you will need to visit if you wish to see them as well as large versions of the couple of thumbnail images I’ve borrowed to include here. 1933 constructionBut before you go let me share a little bit more about the origins of these beautiful hidden gardens. The site was originally a quarry, but the presence of a fresh water spring began to cause problems and so the quarry was shut down. In 1912 one of the city gardeners began using the site as a location to shelter delicate new plants for the Avenida da Liberdade, but his plans to make this a more permanent shelter were shelved by the First World War. 1954 extensionHowever the plants weren’t notified the plans had been shelved and by the end of the war many of them had taken root in the quarry. In 1926 Raul Carapinha, a Portuguese designer and artist discovered the plants growing in the quarry and thought it would make a wonderful covered garden. In 1996 Tim Smit was to have the similar idea with a pit in Cornwall when he conceived of the Eden Project. Like Tim, Raul must have been quite an influential man as he was able to bring his ideas to fruition, and in 1933 Estufa Fria, the cold greenhouse was inaugurated. By the looks of it the cold greenhouse hasn’t changed much.

In the 1940s/50s the gardens were extended to include a lake, a new entrance and an enormous room known as ‘The Nave’. This room was an events hall, and there are some great photographs on the website of events being held here. For a while ‘The Nave’ was even Lisboa’s municipal theatre. The next development occurred in the 1970s when Estufa Quente and Estufa Doce were added enabling the gardens to also grow plants from the tropics. I’ve not been able to find any photographs of the changes in the 1970s so instead here are a few of mine of the ‘hot’ and ‘sweet’ houses that I didn’t share with you back in April.

Do hope you will join us this month with your own ‘Past Meets Present‘. Don’t forget your past and present photographs do not need to be of Portugal, and as you will have seen from this post and those from previous months there is no set rule for the challenge apart from one old picture and one recent.

6 comments on “A brief return to Estufa Fria in Lisboa

  1. Fabulous- you’ve got a couple of ‘takers’. 🙂 I shall go and read them and come back for your next post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This does look like a place to visit in Lisbon. Here is my Past Meets Present in England https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/past-meets-present-at-clandon-park/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the idea for this challenge! The gardens you posted are fascinating, with their history and all.

    I’m going to try this out. Do I add my link here? http://wp.me/p1m9dW-2Mq

    Liked by 1 person

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