Estufa Fria – Cold Greenhouse
On our last trip to Lisbon we got to visit an amazing enclosed green space called Estufa Fria, which literally translates into English as Cold Greenhouse.
Located in Parque Eduardo VII, Estufa Fria began life in an abandoned basalt mine, which had been closed down due to a fresh water spring compromising the quarrying.
In 1912 a gardener responsible for the planting of Avenida da Liberdade created a sheltered area at the abandoned mine to house some of the more delicate plants. With the event of WW1 the plans were halted, but the plants took root and continued to flourish.
Fast-forward to 1926 painter and architect Raul Carapinha rediscovered the site and thought it would be a good idea to create a greenhouse on the area, four year later Estufa Fria was completed and officially inaugurated in 1933.
Further landscaping to the park and the greenhouse happened during the 1940’s and in 1975 the addition of a Hothouse and Sweet house officially opened to the public: And so the Estufa Fria you can visit today was born.
The space is an amazing oasis in the city of Lisbon; the sounds alone transported me away to my own imaginary island populated with wonderful wildlife and greenery, occasionally interjected with sculptures relaxed in their own spaces. I literally spent hours there just sitting and watching as birds flew overhead and ducks waddled by, sheltered from the direct sun, whilst warm and cosy, almost lulled to sleep by the babbling constant waters.
If you are at all into gardens Estufa Fria is a must visit when you are in Lisbon. During the summer it is open from 10am to 7pm and during the winter from 9am to 5pm, last entrance is 30 minutes before closing. I would recommend at least an hour plus for your visit, if memory serves me well I was there for around three hours. Adult tickets are 3.10 with free admittance before 2pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.