Culture

Fenianos, for Porto
15 December, 2018 / ,

Clube Fenianos Portuenses was founded on March 25, 1904, in the Batalha Square. In 1935, it was moved to its current location, in the Aliados Avenue, right next to the Porto City Hall.

The club was recognized as Commander of the Military Order of Christ for the services rendered throughout its 111 years of existence to that moment and with the Gold Medal of Porto as well, reinforcing its motto “Pelo Porto” (For Porto).

Around 1903, four of its founders, Porto citizens and future Fenianos, sought to obtain the necessary knowledge for the organization of a Carnival-like corso with the exuberance of the Carioca Carnival and the aesthetic beauty of the one in Venice, having made a trip to Brazil with this goal.

Clube Carnavalesco Fenianos Portuenses was born from this collaboration, later renamed Clube Fenianos Portuenses. The main goal was to give the city a Carnival at the level of its artistic sensibility.

As a note of curiosity, the floor of the Salão Nobre (Noble Room) also brings with it the “Brazil effect”, since all of it is of pau-cetim of light tone and macacaúba.

The history, patrimony, memories and civic and cultural intervention of Fenianos in Porto became entrenched in the city. The club was cherished by its populations, erudite, notable and anonymous, becoming a memorable tradition of Porto.

Its centenary and noble history, its gold books and the tombstones and pictures, that internally cover its old walls, register the presence of some of the most important living forces of the city, industry and commerce, great names of writers like Aquilino Ribeiro, Jorge de Sena, José Régio, of playwrights like Pirandello, of plastic artists, photographers and renowned painters such as Guedes de Oliveira and Amadeu de Sousa Cardoso, of folklorists and musicologists such as Armando Leça, of lectures with the historian of the city of Artur de Magalhães Basto and many, many other national and international figures.

Nowadays, the club continues to maintain an annual program of permanent socio-cultural activities, ranging from Music, Choral Singing and Instrumental to Illusionism, Theater, Dance, Billiards, Table Tennis and other ballroom games, not only for members, but for everyone who visits.

D. António Ferreira Gomes: look for the good without fearing the penalty
15 December, 2018 / ,

It would be dishonest and even bizarre to deny the size and political impact of a figure like the former Bishop of Porto, D. António Ferreira Gomes (1906 – 1989) identified as a critic of the dictatorial regime of the Estado Novo in Portugal that was in force in 1933 until April 25, 1974. But it is easy to blur our gaze and diminish the person he was once if we look into it from a narrow perspective. To understand that in God one can find the liberating force, the confidence that gives gestures and words the emancipation of all the powers that pass (especially of those who believe them to be eternal), would prevent many mistakes. It is a mistake to reduce D. Antonio to a mere political figure and to read from there his gestures and his intentions.

The Bishop of Porto was a man of God, moved by the desire for faithfulness to the Church and his Social Doctrine. He did not want to be ahead of his time. It was because he was a man of his time that he learned to read the human, social and religious dramas of the days he lived. That is why he created so much resistance. The letter he wrote to Salazar, which eventually contributed to his ten-year exile (1959-69), reveals his ability to understand reality. Written on July 13, 1958, those lines intended to prepare a meeting with Salazar. It was a “pro-memory” through which D. António wanted to present to the President of the Council the themes and issues he would like to discuss at the meeting they would have.

The letter revealed his sensitivity to injustice. Following the Doctrine of the Church, he spoke of the need for the fruits of labor to be evenly distributed, recognized the Right to strike, denounced human miseries and opened the possibility of creating parties. He wished upon Catholics a political and civic formation that would enable them to participate consciously and freely in social life. The letter would eventually be revealed publicly. The Bishop of Porto has always denied any responsibility in this incident.

What D. António Ferreira Gomes moved were not fruitless games or the search to be a protagonist. From the deep and demanding reading of reality, freed from fears, because founded on God, he desired good and justice.

This spiritual way is often difficult to grasp. There are few who are able to understand the human being from such deep convictions and motivations. But only these sustain free men. And only those who are free find the detachment of seeking the good without fearing the penalty.

Clerigos Museum
14 December, 2018 / , ,

The journey through the Casa da Irmandade (1754-1758), where the Museum is located, provides a return to the past as you get to explore spaces that once were private and destined for the daily life of the Brotherhood of Clerics.

Walking through the Casa do Despacho, the Sala do Cofre, the Archives, and the old infirmary, one can see that the Museum has a collection of cultural assets of considerable artistic value from the 13th to the 20th century, which spreads through its collections of sculpture, painting, furniture and jewellery. These goods are messengers of a historical and cultural patrimony, whose function was lost throughout time but gave way to the creation of the museum.

 

The infirmary of the Brotherhood of Clerics, which operated until the end of the 19th century and dedicated to the treatment of sick clerics, has been converted into an exhibition space and currently houses the Christus collection. This exhibition, conceived from the donation of a collection by a private collector, reveals the passion for collecting and tells a story complemented by objects, once of devotion, considered today cultural legacies of interest. They are important pieces of sculpture, painting and jewellery making that enhance the encounter of art with faith.

The exhibition, distributed in three rooms – Núcleo da Paixão, Viagem das Formas e Imagens de Cristo – invites you to travel through time and space, through image and devotion.

The Museum of the Irmandade dos Clérigos, is part of the Portuguese Museum Network, since August 28, 2018.

 

The magic of Christmas in Lapa
5 December, 2018 / , , ,

If we ask different people what Christmas is like in Porto we will get different answers. They will say that it is the beauty of the Aliados Christmas tree, the color of the lights downtown, the frenzy of Santa Catarina, the Bolo Rei from different traditional pastries or the cod of a certain grocery store, which has been conceptualized by years of infallible service to the palate of Porto. All this is true, and there would be more to add. However, all this is part of something infinitely more important, all this underlines the joy of what Christmas really is, but it does not exhaust or overshadow it. Christmas is the birth of Christ, the proclamation of redemption, the celebration of God’s supreme trust in His people.

Living, or being in Porto, on this date makes it mandatory to witness to the way the city lives this significant moment of its spirituality. I venture to say that, at least once in my life, so as not to steal the limelight of other parishes, it is mandatory to participate in the extraordinary Missa do Galo in Lapa. Christmas is also magic, and magic is not incompatible with solemnity. The experience of the Missa do Golo in Lapa is just that, magical and solemn. Here, the spirit is awakened through the different senses in a sublime way. As the eyes marvel at the artistic richness of the Church and with the aesthetic rigor of the celebration, the scent of traditional incense reinforces the intensity of the moment and the music of extraordinary execution and delicate choice fills the time between words that give meaning to everything else. It is a unique experience!

The very special care put into this Mass, the strict observance of a tradition that is strengthened with each passing year, has had the power to attract more and more people, giving more meaning to the Christmas of each one who chooses to join this celebration. One can say that there is pomp, rigor, staging even, but without ever losing sight of the essential. Everyone gives their best to receive the Christ who has come. I would say that it is the gold, the incense and the myrrh that Porto has to offer.

 

I would dare say that this is not an exclusive moment of believers; it would be terribly selfish. This is also a time for those who do not believe, but like to feed their spirit with the beauty of creativity and the sublime power of art in different forms, architecture, painting, sculpture, music, the word. Believers and non-believers, for different reasons, some of them communal, leave from there full of soul and with the clear notion of the privilege of participation in such a special moment. And Christmas happens.

Francisco de Sá Carneiro – Bold in Life and Politics
7 November, 2018 / , , ,

If you arrived in Porto by landing at the Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport, or if, walking through the streets of Antas, you met his statue in the square with the same name, this article is for you!

Born and raised in Porto in 1934, Francisco de Sá Carneiro is a Portuguese lawyer and politician who early stood out in opposition to the dictatorial regime in force at the time, of which the most outstanding expression was the struggle for the return of Bishop António Ferreira Gomes (whose statue can be admired next to the Clérigos Church) to the country. The Bishop had been exiled by Salazar’s Estado Novo.

In 1969, as an independent, Sá Carneiro was elected to the National Assembly of Portugal and soon became the face of the so-called Ala Liberal (Liberal Wing). He was responsible for several initiatives aimed at Portugal’s peaceful and progressive transition to a free and democratic regime.

Failing to implement his democratic, personalistic and humanist views, he resigned as deputy and returned to Porto, where he helped develop the idea of creating a social democratic party that would see the light of day after the revolution of the 25th of April of 1974, that ended the dictatorial regime. On the 6th of May of 1974, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) – later, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) –, of which Francisco de Sá Carneiro was a co-founder and main promoter, was born.

As President of PPD, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly of 1975, which was responsible for the preparation and approval of the first Constitution of the Republic of the new democratic regime.

At the end of 1979, he created the Democratic Alliance, which came to win the next Legislative Elections. At the leadership of the largest government coalition since April 25, 1974, Sá Carneiro was named the Portuguese Prime Minister in January of 1980, a position he held until his unexpected and tragic disappearance on the 4th of December of 1980, when the plane in which he was traveling to Porto crashed in Camarate, in circumstances that, to this day, could not be ascertained.

His public side did not prevent him from living his own private life and risking criticism in a traditionalist country where divorce was not even allowed when he separated from his wife to join Snu Abecassis, the Danish founder of Don Quixote Publications, who would also end up dying in the Camarate accident. Bold as always in life, Sá Carneiro soon clarified: “If the situation is deemed incompatible with my duties, I’ll choose the woman I love.”

Considered by many to be a true good man of his city and country, with a particular nobility and straightforwardness of character, the death of Francisco de Sá Carneiro was an irreparable loss to Portuguese public life and his memory is still an inspiration today for all those who recognize, in his example, the greater form of being in life and politics, for all of those who know, as he did, that, “above Social Democracy, Democracy, and, above Democracy, the Portuguese People”.

Gomes Teixeira – The mathematician who could have been a priest
15 October, 2018 / , , ,

Gomes Teixeira, illustrious mathematician who would become the first rector of the University of Porto, only did not study Theology by mere chance.

Born in January 1851 in Armamar, he was soon distinguished by his intelligence and good grades obtained in all subjects. At that time, it was common for boys with good schooling to be referred to the Seminary, but the young man was also brilliant at Mathematics. Thus, when it was time to go to university, the family decided that it would be the good fortune to decide between Theology and Mathematics.

Luck dictated Mathematics and since he arrived at the University of Coimbra, Francisco Gomes Teixeira stood out by the maximum notes obtained. At the age of 20 he published his first work and in 1874 he finished the course with a grade of 20 values. Such a brilliant academic course would, naturally, have to lead him to a teaching career. He excelled at the University of Coimbra and at the Polytechnic Academy of Porto, which he would eventually direct.

In 1911 the University of Porto was founded and Gomes Teixeira was chosen to be its first rector. He died in Porto in 1933. After his death, three busts were made in bronze, later placed in his native land at the University of Porto and at the University of Coimbra.

Source: O Tripeiro 7ª Série Ano XIX nº1 e 7ª Série Ano XXX, Número 12

Praça Gomes Teixeira (Praça dos Leões)
12 October, 2018 / , ,

The centre of Porto’s student life, this square is named after an illustrious mathematician, but it is the lions of its imposing fountain that have made it known.

The official designation of this square in Baixa do Porto is homage to Gomes Teixeira, a mathematician who was the first rector of the University of Porto. However, it is best known for the Praça dos Leões (Lions Square), due to the granite and bronze fountain that exists in the central zone.

In fact, this place dates much earlier than the fountain and even the university itself. According to legend, in the 12th century, the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques and his wife, D. Mafalda, were on their way to Guimarães when the queen fell on a precipice. In that moment of distress, each element of the couple invoked a saint. Grateful for having rid themselves of the danger, they built chapels in that place, Nossa Senhora da Graça and São Miguel-o-Anjo (already demolished).

Already in the XVII century the Convento dos Carmelitas (where the GNR barracks is nowadays) and colleges where orphans were housed, which led to this place was also known as Largo do Carmo or Campo dos Meninos  Órfãos. Later, and because flour and bread were sold there, it was also known as Praça do Pão (Bread Square) or Praça da Feira do Pão (Bread Market Square). Already in the XIX century, it became Praça dos Voluntários da Rainha, thus honoring the liberal battalion of the Portuguese army that had occupied the Convento dos Carmelitas.

When the University of Porto was created, it was renamed Praça da Universidade and, later, Praça Gomes Teixeira.

The current building of the Rectory of the University of Porto was built throughout the nineteenth century and it also served as the Faculty of Sciences and Engineering. The square then gained a new life; the presence of the students was decisive for the emergence of cafes, such as the mythical Café Âncora d’Ouro (better known as O Piolho), bookstores and other services linked to academic life. The shops and warehouses nearby also created, along with the people of Porto and who visited the city, the habit of shopping in this area.

Nowadays it is one of the main places in Porto for nightlife activities and it continues to be a meeting point in the main moments of the academic life of the city, such as Queima das Fitas or the Reception to the new students of the University of Porto.

The churches of Carmo and Carmelitas, separated by the narrowest house of the city, are another point of interest in the place.

 

The fountain

Imposing, this emblematic source was commissioned by the Companhia das Águas do Porto in 1882, with the purpose of supplying water to that area of ​​the city. Built in France by the Compagnie Générale des Eaux pour l’Etranger, it is 8 meters in diameter and 6 meters high, consisting of a granite tank and a central bronze fountain with four winged lions and seated at the ends. Two cups on the top complete the decoration of this fountain, once protected by an iron fence.

University of Porto
11 October, 2018 / ,

Founded on March 22, 1911, the University of Porto is increasingly sought after by Portuguese and foreign students. With 14 colleges and three hubs (in the center, Asprela and Campo Alegre), it has about 30 thousand students from all over the world.

The origins of the University of Porto are in the Nautical Classroom, created by D. José I in 1762 and designed to prepare sailors and pilots to board ships departing from Barra do Douro to the whole world. Drawing Class followed right after, created in 1779; Royal Academy of the Navy and Commerce, in 1803; Polytechnic Academy in 1837. All these schools were designed to prepare cadres qualified to work in the naval area, in commerce, industry and the arts.

In 1825 the first medical school of Porto, the Royal School of Surgery, was founded, which 11 years later gave rise to the Medical-Surgical School. The Drawing Class was also the origin of other schools linked to the arts.

In March 1911, a few months after the Implantation of the Republic (October 1910), this university was established, which has since continued to grow in terms of courses, number of students and international prestige. Initially divided in two faculties (Sciences and Medicine), it received in 1915 the Technical Faculty (renamed in 1926 of Faculty of Engineering), in 1919 the Faculty of Letters and, in 1921, the Faculty of Pharmacy. The Faculty of Economics was established in 1953.

With the revolution of April 25, 1974, the University of Porto would see great growth, receiving more faculties: Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences (1975), Faculty of Sports (1975), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences 1977), Faculty of Architecture (1979), Faculty of Dental Medicine (1989), Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences (1992), Faculty of Fine Arts (1992) and Faculty of Law (1994). The Porto Management School was created in 1988 and since 2008 it has been designated as Business School of the University of Porto.

The rectory

It is the headquarters of the University of Porto. Located in the centre of the city, at the Praça Gomes Teixeira, this imposing building also houses the Museum of Natural History and the Science Museum. Between 1803 and 1837 it received the Royal Academy of Navy and Commerce and the Polytechnic Academy of Porto between 1837 and 1911. Installed in the space that housed a college for orphans, this building had a time-consuming construction and was often re-adapted for new functions. On April 20, 1974, a fire destroyed a part of the building, which was again the target of works and renovations. Between 1976 and 1996 the rectory worked in a building near the Palácio de Cristal.

Church São Pedro de Miragaia
9 October, 2018 / , ,

Close to the Douro and in the middle of the historical area, this church with a richly decorated interior is a sign of devotion from the fishermen to São Pedro.

The current church, rebuilt in the eighteenth century, emerged in the place where there was previously another temple of medieval origin. Miragaia, along the Douro River, was one of the first inhabited zones in the city. Born in the heart of a devout fishing community, this church was dedicated to São Pedro, patron saint of fishermen.

The previous temple gave place, in 1740, to a temple with a simple structure and with a unique ship. However, the richness of the interior decoration compensates for this stripping. The chancel is fully lined with gilded carving. A work that lasted for several years and that made this decoration reflect the evolution of the aesthetics of different periods. The ceiling and the triptych in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, attributed to the Flemish painter Van Orley, also deserve a close look. In the exterior, the simple tiles – placed in the 19th century – stand out on the façade and the bell tower and the baroque ornaments on the lateral pilasters.

Largo de S. Pedro de Miragaia, Porto

Visiting hours: Tue-Fri 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sun. 10:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Closed: Monday

The crickets and their church ( O TRIPEIRO)
19 September, 2018 / , , ,

Legend has it that in the place where the Igreja de São Lourenço was built, one could hear the constant singing of the crickets. For this reason, the church is still known today as the Church of the Crickets.

The legend, which has long been known in the city, tells that the Jesuit temple was built in the place where the gardens of the Bishop of Porto, who donated these lands to the Society of Jesus, existed. A place that, due to its abundance of these singing insects, was known as the Campo dos Grilos (Field of the Crickets). Thus, the Porto residents never adopted the official designation of Igreja de São Lourenço and since it was built in the sixteenth century, this temple was always known as … Igreja dos Grilos (Church of the Crickets).

Another explanation, more based on historical facts, is related to the expulsion of the Jesuits from the country in 1759. The church and college belonged to the University of Coimbra, which eventually sold the buildings to the congregation of the Agostinhos Descalços, also known as “Cricket Fathers” since their headquarters was on the Calçada do Grilo (Curbside of the Cricket).

The history of the name may not be consensual, but the imposing facade and the richness of its interior justify a visit.

Source: O Tripeiro 7ª Série Ano XXXIV number  5 – May 2015