Lavadouro das Francesinhas

Historic Building in Príncipe Real, Santos & Estrela

Most folks walk right past one of Lisbon's only surviving public laundromats – there's no sign other than 'CML' inscripted across the doorframe – and this historic 1876 landmark sees little action these days (there's a coin-operated facility inside). But it's worth popping your head in and imagining hundreds of lavadeiras (washerwomen) giving the city's sheets a once over. The huge water tanks are still occasionally in use today.

And while this bygone human-powered washing machine is no Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai's insanely fascinating public wash facility), it's a faded piece of Lisbon history that most folks don't know about.


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