Seeing Stories

Recovering Landscape Narrative in Urban and Rural Europe

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Calçadinha de S.Miguel: Portuguese Calçada and The King's Rhinoceros

Look down to the ground you're stepping on. This pavement... As it always been like this? In the 16th century, Ganga, a beautiful white rhinoceros, arrived in Lisbon: a gift from Afonso de Albuquerque, Governor of Portuguese India to King Manuel the 1st. Well, it was the King's birthday and a long royal procession was to be held. Back in the day the floors of Alfama were made of sand and mud. Great White Ganga couldn't possibly stain its great white paws with mud! "The floors shall be covered with stone!" And because a king's word is law, the work was done and there you have it ever since: the Portuguese Calçada.




Seeing Stories is ending as a project. But through the project we have met many individuals and organisations who want to share good practice and creative skills. So we are forming an international network called Stories in Place. The network is open to all those who through their work, art or volunteering wish to strengthen the connections between people and place through storytelling. Our aim is to further strengthen international friendship and collaboration.

If you would like to be part of Stories in Place please contact Donald Smith, Project Manager of Seeing Stories, and Director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, on