The Lavra funicular was the first street funicular in the world. It opened on 19 April 1884 and carried 3000 people, free of charge, on that day alone! Originally water-powered, it was converted to electricity in 1915.
It runs from the Rua de São José (near Largo da Anunciada) to Travessa do Forno do Torel. To reach the bottom of the funicular, turn right off the Avenida da Liberdade, or, from Rossio Square, it’s a 10 minute-walk through Rua das Portas de Santo Antão.
Waiting for the driver……Lisbon has three working street funiculars: Lavra, Gloria and Bica, which allow its citizens and visitors to move to and from its hilly districts more easily. All are operated by Carris, (including timetables and funicular’s history) the Lisbon city transport undertaking.
For me, it is still a miracle!
When you turn left off the funicular, after passing Rua do Instituto Bacteriológico, there’s a lovely park, Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, located on one of the 7 hills of Lisbon, the view from here is really wonderful!
Here you will be surprised by the spontaneous religious fervour of Portuguese people who have honoured the statue of doctor Sousa Martins in front of the Faculty of Medicine. Yet since the memorial was erected in 1904, it has become the focal point for a religious devotion. People who come here believe that by praying to him and asking for his intervention, they will be cured. More….
Lavra funicular hours of operation: 07:00-22:45, every day except Sunday, when the opening time is 09:00. One way ticket: cheap.