Lisbon just got itself a new tourist attraction… for all the wrong reasons.
Road renewal works to the Calçada de Ajuda managed to leave some front doors more than a metre from the ground, which has seen passers-by hoist their children up onto thresholds for amusing snapshots.
The good news is that the five houses affected are essentially ‘abandoned’ – used only by the local GNR.
Agents have been told either to use the back entrance, or improvise with a set of steps.
The bad news is that the entities behind the work are now a laughing stock.
Taking up the story today, tabloid Correio da Manhã explains it will take until November for what it calls “the unevenness” to be corrected.
And there was method in this strange form of madness, insists the DGPC, the general directorate of cultural heritage (one of the entities behind the works).
Said a source, the closure of the road was causing “great constraints” to traffic flow. Its reopening to pedestrians, trams and vehicles was considered ‘indispensable’ – thus the slapdash solution that has left thresholds so comically high and dry.
The unevenness is not, in the end, an issue, the source stressed – particularly as the police using these properties can ‘get in via the back, or by using a stepladder’.
PSD leader Rui Rio has remarked that Lisbon City Council could be a “motive of pride for anyone who sympathises with patterns of rigor from the Third World”.
Lisbon’s mayor Fernando Medina has retorted that Mr Rio should get back to his holidays “and continue with the silly season”.