NileGuide Expert Says:
Designed and built by a pupil of Gustav Eiffel.
Rua do Ouro, Lisbon, Portugal
21 413 8679
NileGuide Expert tip:
Contrary to many guidebook entries, there is no longer a café at the top of the lift.
Looming somewhat incongruously above the terracotta rooftops of the city's Baixa district is this handsome wrought-iron elevator, built in 1902 by French architect Raoul Mésnier du Ponsard, a pupil of Gustav Eiffel. The neo-Gothic design does tend to conjure up images of the tower in Paris, even down to the embellished filigree motifs. And it's equally alluring. An antique-styled car takes passengers to the near top of the structure to disgorge them onto a walkway that links the Largo do Carmo in Bairro Alto. From here it's a short, steep climb up a narrow spiral staircase to the viewing platform, 45m above street level. The giddy 360-degree views embrace Lisbon's busy downtown grid, the nearby ruins of the Convento do Carmo and the River Tejo. Unfortunately the rooftop café is no longer functioning. For a cheaper thrill, pass on the ride and walk up to Largo do Carmo. From here you can cross the bridge and take the stairs. © NileGuide2011