Estufa Fria, or Lisbon Greenhouse, is the oldest greenhouse in Lisbon, located in Parque Eduardo VII, and it was created almost by accident.
In 1912, one of the gardeners responsible for the new plants that were meant to decorate the nearby Avenida da Liberdade, decided to make a shelter for the delicate and exotic plants that were being brought to Lisbon from all over the world. The beginning of the 1st World War put the plan on hold and the plants started growing roots in the small shelter where they had been temporary placed.
A few years later the architect Raul Carapinha was very surprised to find this charming space, had the idea of establishing a greenhouse at the site and in 1933 it was officially inaugurated.
Estufa Fria is nowadays visited by students, tourists and lisboners looking for a place to relax.
It has 3 main spaces: the Cold House (located outdoors and having only a lath roof, it houses plants from Brazil, China, Mexico, Australia, and Peru), the Hothouse (where some tropical plants such as coffee, mango and banana trees are placed and protected by a glass dome that keeps the temperatures quite high) and the Sweet House (also known as the cactuses home).
Up to this day all plants are carefully taken care of by very talented gardens, that have worked there for decades and know all the secrets of the their trade, as well as of the space.
The Lisbon Greenhouse is open everyday of the week, 362 days a year and it is the perfect oasis if you want to escape all of the city center hustle.
> Parque Eduardo VII
> Metro: Parque or Marquês de Pombal
> Insider tip: Estufa Fria also has a building called “Nave”, built partly underground, that almost seems like a cave in the middle of a tropical jungle. It is usually closed but has staged several events, namely parties, concerts, films, plays and receptions so if you happen to catch an event happening there make sure you don’t miss it, it’s a one of a kind venue.