Lisbon has four historical outdoor lifts to get over the height obstacle. Anyone can use them: buy a ticket on board or charge your CARRIS public transport card beforehand.
Climbing to the top is always worthwhile, but even a professional climber may become discouraged when faced with Lisbon’s steep hills on a hot summer’s day… Thankfully, we have friendlier ways of getting to the top… and back down to the bottom, without slipping.
Ascensor do Lavra – Lisbon’s first lift. Opened in 1884, it connected Largo da Anunciada with Travessa do Forno Torel. The ramp has a 22.9% slope and is 188 meters long.
Ascensor da Glória – Connecting Avenida da Liberdade to Rua de S. Pedro de Alcântara, it opened in 1885. The first cars had two storeys and a spiral staircase. The ramp is 276 m long with a 17.7% slope.
Ascensor da Bica – Connecting Rua de S. Paulo to Largo do Calhariz. It opened in 1892 but was out of order for a few years due to a few accidents. It returned to service in 1927. It has an average slope of 23% and a 43-meter slope.
Elevator de Santa Justa – Opened with pomp and circumstance 1902, it vertically connects Rua do Ouro to Largo do Carmo. The cast iron construction with filigree handiwork is 45 meters high and holds 29 people. It is one of Lisbon’s most photographed monuments.
Did you know?
- Until 1894, Lisbon’s public transport was animal-drawn.
- The Portugal-born French engineer, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, participated in all the projects of Lisbon’s first public elevators.
- Five other elevators were opened in different zones across Lisbon at the end of the 19th century, later replaced by other means of transport (such as tram 28 and 25) or discontinued.
- The elevators worked first with a water balance system, then steam and only later with electricity.
- Lisbon’s four elevators have been listed as National Monuments since 2002.