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Santa Justa Lift in Lisbon inspired by Eiffel | Structures Insider

Updated: Aug 13


Santa Justa Lift

General Info📚


The Santa Justa Lift the top attraction and great viewpoint of Lisbon, Portugal. Inspired by Eiffel Santa, Justa Lift is a state of the art architectural and engineering marvel created from iron.

History 📑


In May 1882 founder and representative of the Companhia dos Ascensores Mecânicos de Lisboa, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, petitioned the city council for permission to explore alternative plans for constructing an inclined transport moved by mechanical means. On 1 June 1882, Mesnier, a Porto-born engineer of French parentage, was granted a licence to proceed.


Santa Justa Lift in Black and White

On 31 August 1901, King Carlos inaugurated the metal bridge and awning, in a ceremony that included members of the royal family, the members of the elevator company, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, and various members of the nobility and journalists.


The operating concession was given to the company Lisbon Electric Tramway Ltd. in 1905. Originally powered by steam, the lift was converted to electrical operation in 1907 by the British company R. Waygood, and the respective concessionary company bought the Elevator in 1913, from the Empresa do Elevador do Carmo.

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Santa Justa Lift sidewalk view

Know Before You Go


The queue for the elevator can be insanely long, but the platform can easily be reached by walking around and up the hill at the back (this also takes you past the Carmo convent ruins). The lift can then be taken down with hardly any queue. 

For more visit: Santa Justa Lift


View of the city of Lisbon

Architecture 🏗


The elevator is a vertical structure, developed along the Rua de Santa Justa, consisting of a metal tower, observation platform, walkway and base. Its base includes four vertical columns, each composed of two pillars.


The largest part of the structure runs parallel to the Rua de Santa Justa. With a height of 45 metres, covering seven stories, the tower includes two elevator cabins, decorated in wood, mirrors and windows, and with an initial capacity for 24 passengers in each (updated to 29 people later).


The structure includes a dozen transverse beams, forming a double lattice, supported at the top by foundations at the Escadinhas de Santa Justa. On the sides of the elevator, the walkway is articulated by means of bearings, as well as on the pillars, which is articulated at the base.


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The main machinery was installed at the base of the Elevator, while at the exit to the Largo do Carmo there is a veranda to allow circulation.


The lift is decorated in a Neo-Gothic style in iron. Since iron was a new building material at the time of its construction, it is symbolic of the technical and memorial construction from this period, representing the culture of the 1900s, when the structure and elevators were considered a major innovation and portent of the modern age.

How much it costs 💰


The ride to the top is fairly short – but be prepared to wait in line – and costs €5.15, plus €1.50 to access the viewing platform.

Source: theculturetrip.com, Wikipedia

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