Saint Justa Elevator (Elevador de Santa Justa) First opened to the public in 1902, It was designed in a neo-Gothic style by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard who had been an apprentice to Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower in Paris).
The Elevator rises vertically some 45 meters from Rua de Santa Justa in Baixa to Largo do Carmo it offers some great views of the city and the River Tagus.
it costs € 2,80 for 2 trips and is open every day between 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.
This is one of Lisbon’s most distinctive sights, a lift in the middle of the city that transports its passengers from the low-lying Baixa to the fringes of the Bairro Alto in seconds, offering spectacular vistas of the streets below as it does so. I hesitated over whether to place it here as a “Thing to Do” or to include it as a transport tip, and in the end decided that although it clearly is a means of transport, it is such an iconic sight, and so many ride the lift simply for the experience and the views, that it merited its inclusion here.
The lift was designed by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard, a Portuguese engineer who studied under Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame (some sources seem to erroneously give Eiffel himself as the designer). It is made of iron, the metal shaped into neo-gothic arches and ornaments, each storey different from those above and below. Its 45 metres link the streets of the Baixa to the Largo do Carmo above, and passengers emerge on to a viewing terrace affording an excellent panorama of the city’s rooftops and characteristic black and white paved streets and squares, including Rossio, with the Alfama and its castle beyond. From here a walkway bridges the gap to the Largo do Carmo, your gateway to the Bairro Alto.
You can use your Lisbon Card or any of the various public transport cards to pay for your ride, but if you don’t have any of these a return trip will cost €2.80 and is worth it in my opinion not only for the views but also to spare you the steep walk and save your energy for explorations around the Bairro Alto’s maze of streets.
As Lisbon presents a very irregular relief the city authorities start to develop funiculars and lifts, means of transportation which become very useful to people who do not wish to climb the hills on foot. Leading to Bairro Alto there are three lifts or elevators, and Santa Justa Elevator, aka Elevator of Carmo, which connects the lower city with the Chiado district is the only vertical one.
Constructed in neo-gothic style with wrought iron and glass, and agreeably decorated, the lift is similar to a metallic tower (45 meters high) and is a unique post-Eiffel iron architecture masterpiece. This landmark of downtown Lisbon was a project of Raul Ponsard (Eiffel’s pupil) and was put on service on 1902. Originally powered by steam it was changed to electricity a few years later and it still works today as it was at that time.
Getting on the elevator is like entering an open air museum and you can go up to the esplanade and take in panoramic views over all of Lisbon -Igreja do Carmo nearby, the Rossio and the Avenida da Liberdade, the castle, the river, Alfama and the cathedral.
Of course this tourist attraction is often crowded mostly in summer time and around other major tourist events. So if you want to get that view and you don’t want to wait on the line follow my suggestion -go on foot take the Carmo and Garrett streets go to Carmo’s plaza and from there take the last 20m via a spiral staircase and enjoy the splendid views.
I go from time to time to the cafeteria on the top just to get the magnificent panorama over the city centre and the gorgeous Tejo river... and get some photos.
Open - 7am- 11pm; Sundays and holidays: - 9am- 11pm
Served by several buses (www.carris.pt) and Baixa/Chiado metro station or Rossio metro station (www.metrolisboa.pt)
The neo-Gothic Elevador Santa Justa is probably Lisbon's most popular lift. The 45 m tall structure was built between 1900 and 1902 by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard who was an apprentice of Gustav Eiffel.
The lift connects the Baixa with the Bairro Alto district. Apart from that it offers splendid views of the Baixa.
A return ticket is 2,40 Euro (2006), but you can also enter the viewing platform for free when coming from Lago do Carmo in the Bairro Alto district.
The Elevador de Santa Justa is located in the Baixa district, just in between the Rossio square and the Praca do Comercio. The nearest metro stop is "Baixa-Chiado" (blue and green line).
Walk it was exactly what I did and thank goodness I didn’t need to talk to anyone on the way up or down. While fit enough but not overly, I had to stop several times to catch my breath on the way up. There is a path that runs either side of the tram tracks. If you can manage the hike, the walk is certainly worth it.
The angle is at a gradient of 18% in most places and runs for 265 metres. It only takes around a minute or so to complete the journey to the upper station on Rua de Sao Pedro de Alcantara, but certainly the only means to get up to the top of the hill unless you are fairly fit and want to walk it.
Just to the side of near Praca dos Restauradores is a very steep and narrow street which leads up to the Bairro Alto and where the Gloria Elevador da Gloria operates. This is apparently the busiest elevador of funicular in Lisbon and dates back to 1885. Today it is operated by Carris on a daily basis from Operating 07.00am to 12.55am-0055am.
You can buy your ticket at the base of the tower near the stairs to the Rua do Carmo. The elevator ride is an interesting one in a cabin furnished with polished wood panels and shiney brass fittings. There are two cabin lifts which hold up to 25 people each. Originally they were powered by steam but after 1907, they were operated by electricity
The elevator is also known as the Elevador do Carmo as well. It was built in a neo-Gothic style at the turn of the century by an apprentice of Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. It was constructed of iron and highly decorated with filigree. It stands at 45 metres (150ft) high in the hilly Baixa District.
The Santa Justa Lift is made of iron and it is 45 m tall. The top storey is reached by helicoidal staircases. The terrace offers views of Lisbon Castle, Rossio Square and Baixa.
The Santa Justa Lift was designed by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard, an engineer apprentice of Gustave Eiffel. Originally the lift was powered by steam but since 1907 it works with electricity. The decoration is neogothic style, with a different pattern on each storey.
What a strange sight of this standalone elevator in the middle of the street. At the top, the fantastic wind and view of the Moorish castle of Alfama, Bairro Alto and Atlantic will leave the deepest impression of Lisbon in your mind.
Since Lisboa was born on the Tejo river, it expanded on the seven hills backing the area. Bacause of this location, some elevadores have been built to ease the climbing on the hills but, at present, they can be mainly considered as touristic attraction!
We found the Elevador do Lavra by chance and we decided to have a go: the trip lasts for less than a minute, and the elevador leads to a panoramic balcony which is not so interesting...
The most famous elevador in Lisboa is the Elevador de Santa Justa, located in the main street, but we never found it working: we always passed by at the wrong time!
Lisbon's answer to the Eiffel Tower is the Elevador de Santa Justa, an extraordinary edifice - all neo-Gothic ironwork on the outside - containing a polished wood-lined lift that takes you the first 32 metres, with another 13 metres up a staircase to a rooftop terrace - straight up from Baixa to the Largo da Carmo in Chiado.
With lancet tracery - every level a different pattern - piercing the exterior of the lift and a veritable pattern book of wrought iron work in the various elements of the tower, all topped off with a flag-decked pod right at the top and visible above the surrounding buildings like some weird flying saucer, the elevador certainly is a city landmark.
The upper level exit leads to a covered walkway across to the Largo ds Carmo, or you can climb the spiral staircase to the rooftop cafe - a great place to take a break, especially on a sunny day, as the views are astonishing.
I've no doubt, summertime sees long queues for the lift - the cabin only holds 24 people - and there is a charge for the very brief ride up and/or down. Visit in winter as we did and you should be able to walk straight in. Lovers of the bizarre and the peculiar will love it - we did.
Like the city's trams, Lisbon's elevadors have become a tourist "thing to do" in their own right. Built in the late 19th century to cope with the city's steepest hills, there are three funicular railways. They're quite extraordinary pieces of engineering as well as very welcome ways to avoid climbing some of those steep streets when making your way from the lower city up to the Bairro Alto
Elevador da Glória runs up the almost impossibly steep São Glória near Praça dos Restauradores as far as Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara, just a few steps from the miradouro of the same name. When it was built in 1885, it was powered by water displacement. Steam replaced this but nowadays it runs on electricity. The elevador only takes about a minute - and much less puff than trudging up the adjacent footpath, the alternative way up to the top!
Closer to the river, the Elevador da Bica has been saving people's legs since 1892. It runs up the hill between Rua São Paulo and Calçada do Combro. Take the elevador up and walk down through the Bica area, an absolute maze of narrow streets lined with old shops and houses.
We didn't make it over to the Elevador do Lavra, the first (1882) of the funiculars to be built. Next time ...
If you've bought a multi-rider transport ticket (useable on buses and trams but not the metro) you can use this for the elevadors. Otherwise you can buy a single ticket for 1.20 euro from the elevador operator or a 2 ride ticket for 1.50 euro from kiosks around the city.
Portuguese: Elevador de Santa Justa (also called Carmo Lift). Was designed by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard, an engineer born in Oporto to French parents, and apprentice of Gustave Eiffel. Construction began in 1900 and was finished in 1902; originally powered by steam, it was converted to electrical operation in 1907.
The iron lift is 45 metres tall and is decorated in neogothic style, with a different pattern on each storey. The top storey is reached by helicoidal staircases and has a terrace that offers views of Lisbon Castle, the Rossio Square and the Baixa neighbourhood. There are two elevator booths. Each has wooden interior and accommodates 24 people.
The lift has become a tourist attraction in Lisbon as, among the urban lifts in Lisbon, Santa Justa is the only vertical one.