The old municipal prison to become a National Monument
The historic building, which since 2001 has housed the Center of Portuguese Photography, will be classified as a National Monument.
The building was completed in 1796 and since then, this imposing building, situated in the Historic Center, very close to the Torre dos Clérigos, has had several uses, having been a court, as well as a prison.
It was in this prison that the famous Portuguese writer Camilo Castelo Branco wrote his most famous work, “Amor de Perdição”, in 1861. The writer had been sentenced for adultery and based on the story about his uncle, Simão Botelho, who had also been imprisoned there, and like the characters in the book, he had lived a tragic and forbidden love story that would lead him to his death.
Zé do Telhado, a nineteenth-century type Robin Hood who according to legend robbed the rich to give to the poor had also been in this prison.
The old municipal prison was restored by the architects Eduardo Souto Moura and Humberto Vieira.