Santa Justa Lift
The Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa), also called Carmo Lift (Elevador do Carmo), is a elevator/lift in civil parish of Santa Justa, in the historical city of Lisbon, situated at the end of Rua de Santa Justa. It connects the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher Largo do Carmo (Carmo Square.) Since its construction, the Lift has become a tourist attraction for Lisbon as, among the urban lifts in the city, Santa Justa is the only remaining vertical one. Others, including Elevador da Glória and Elevador da Lavra, are funiculars, and the other Lift constructed around the period, the Elevator of São Julião has since been demolished.
The hills of Lisbon have always presented a problem for accessibility, especially in a time when people were required to move on foot or being pulled by horse (or other animal). On 1 June 1882, the council licensed Raul Mesnier to construct and explore alternative plans for an inclined transport, moved by mechanical means, following a petition a month before by founder and representative of the Companhia dos Ascensores Mecânicos de Lisboa.
The Santa Justa Lift was designed by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard, an engineer born in Porto to French parents. Raul Ponsard was an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel and returned to Lisbon with grand design ideas. In 1896, Raul Mesnier petitoned for the concession of this project, in order to establish the Escadinhas de Santa Justa, a request that was contested by Henry Lusseau.
In July 2002, the Santa Justa Elevator celebrated its first centenary; it along with the three remaining cable railways of Lavra, Glória and Bica were classified as National Monuments that year. After remodelling and renovation, on February 2006, the Elevator walkway was reopened for the general public and tourists. It is included on the historical guides of Lisbon, within the Pombaline Baixa area isolated between several older historical buildings in the quarter. It is situated in the Escadinhas de Santa Justa which connects the Baixa to the Rua do Carmo. The Escadinhas are actually part of the northeastern urban wall of the Baixa and west of the Rua de Santa Justa. Access is established by the elevator to many of the important zones of the city.