Ascensor da Bica

Lisbon, Portugal

Ascensor da Bica

The Bica Funicular (Portuguese: Ascensor da Bica), sometimes known as the Elevador da Bica (Bica Lift), is a funicular railway line in the civil parish of Misericórdia, in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal. It connects the Rua de São Paulo with Calçada do Combro/Rua do Loreto, operated by Carris. Although commonly described as a funicular, technically it does not qualify because the traction is not provided by a mechanical cable but by electric motors on the two cars (powered through an overhead wire). The cable links the two cars together so that they ascend and descend simultaneously, each car acting as a counterweight for the other one.

In 1888, the municipality of Lisbon celebrated a contract with the Nova Companhia dos Ascensores de Lisboa providing them a concession to the installation of a lift system that connected the Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo to the Rua de São Paulo along the Largo do Calhariz. The project was conceived by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard. The mechanical motor of the elevator was installed in 1890, after the conclusion of the public work. However, the lift only began functioning on 28 June 1892, after a couple of years of tests.

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