You may recall from our first visit to Lisboa our delight when we discovered by chance Portugal’s exhibition pavilion for 1922-1923 World Expo. It was looking rather unloved last year but despite the dilapidation most of the external tiles by the renowned tile painter Jorge Colaco still looked lovely. At the time I had read somewhere that there was a proposal to renovate the pavilion and turn it into a hotel, but five months after reading that I failed to find any details that it was going ahead and so assumed the pavilion remained in a state of disrepair – boarded up and closed off to the public.

It was therefore with some surprise but even more delight that we discovered last week on a stroll in Parque Eduardo VII that the pavilion has been fully restored.Lovingly restoredWhich makes it a perfect ‘Past Meets Present‘ for this month’s photography challenge. Just take a look at my then and now gallery below.

One of the reasons I was so delighted by the renovation is that they have retained the building as a pavilion and in honour of the man it is named after – Carlos Lopes – it also now houses a superb permanent exhibition about him.

Carlos Alberto de Sousa Lopes is a Portuguese former long-distance runner, and considered a national hero as he won Portugal’s first ever Olympic gold medal in 1984. As well as winning the marathon in Los Angeles he created a new Olympic record of 2:09:21 which he held until 2008. His Olympic TrainersHis success was remarkable as not only was he 37 years of age at the time of his win, he had been in a serious car accident less than two weeks before the race. The exhibition includes a wonderful interview with him as well as various memorabilia from his many races.

My Dad would have loved this as he was also a long distance runner. For most of us though the reason for visiting will be the azulejos. As well as the stunning ones by Jorge Colaco outside there are numerous panels inside. I’m not sure who the artist was for the panels inside but, given a signature I spotted, they are possibly by José António Jorge Pinto. More research is needed so expect another post and more azulejos photographs soon. 

As you will have noticed from the gallery above on the day we made our discovery there were only a few other people there. Perfect for us as we were able to enjoy the splendour of this building and spend quite a bit of time in the exhibition rooms. I think it was quiet as it is not yet on the tourist routes, the grand re-opening had only taken place a few weeks earlier on Carlos Lopes 70th Birthday (18th February).  I am sure it won’t be long though before this becomes a major attraction now this building has been restored to its 1922 grandeur.

When I first introduced the Carlos Lopes pavilion to you a year ago it was also on a Saturday and my title like today was six, so like today I made it a Six Word Saturday post. So it is feels rather special that today not only have I shared it again as a 6WS but I am sharing it on Cate’s last Six Word Saturday. Wishing you well Cate, and thank you for hosting 6WS for so long, and a thank you to you Debbie for taking up the mantle from next week.

PS I do hope that a few of you will take part in this month’s ‘Past Meets Present‘ challenge. The rule is very simple you just need two pictures – a photograph taken recently and then another picture (photograph, postcard or painting) one of the same scene taken a while ago.