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Hospital Santo António – 250 years of City Hospital
6 November, 2020 / , ,

Located in the Historic Center of Porto, more specifically in Largo do Professor Abel Salazar, Hospital de Santo António completed, in 2020, 250 years since the first stone was laid.

The history of Hospital de Santo António emerges as a saga of determination, boldness and altruism. Right from the start, its construction, which, regardless of the megalomania of the project and the location error, very swampy, constituted a pressing need for the city in transformation.

However, it was demonstrated that, in order to build and maintain their Hospital, the people of Porto and their Misericórdia often found themselves alone and dismayed by the power that, at decisive moments, treated Porto with the pride of a centralism that only in the mid-twentieth century would begin to look at the city in the right measure of its hospital needs.
On 15 July 1770, the vacant land on the outskirts of Largo gave way to the construction of the Hospital, but the proposal presented by the English architect John Carr did not come to be fully implemented, such was its size, grandeur and cost. The start of construction was faced with an unexpected difficulty, the terrain that was very moist and swampy, making it difficult to build the foundations that would support the building. John Carr, who never came to Porto, designed the interiors in brick. The option for granite was expensive and prolonged the construction.

In addition to the geographical problems, the first years of construction were marked by the “turbulence” of the French invasions, between the 1770 and the beginning of the 19th century, causing only two thirds of the project to be carried out.

Further on in history, and already after the inauguration of the unit, which happened only in 1824, the country waged a civil war between absolutists and liberals and, later, still faced the bubonic plague and the Spanish flu of 1918.

It is also in 1825 that it is associated with the hospital, the Porto Medical-Surgical School, ancestor of the Faculty of Medicine of Porto that operated there until the end of the year 1959, moving to the newly built Hospital São João.

After 20 years, in 1979, the hospital again receives students from the 4th year of the medical course at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS) at the University of Porto, ensuring the regency of most of the curricular units. Currently, the average admission is the highest among the 7 integrated Master’s degrees in Medicine from Portuguese universities.
The building is the most Palladian of Portuguese buildings, and the largest, built outside the British Isles, developing on several floors, in a sober, simple and symmetrical way, but with well-defined volumes animating the surface.

It became the “city hospital” and, since 1910, it is considered a National Monument.

Today the Hospital de Santo António is the anchor of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto, which also incorporates the Jacinto de Magalhães Medical Genetics Center and the Northern Albino Aroso Maternal and Child Center, resulting from the merger of the Júlio Dinis Maternity and the Children Hospital Maria Pia, as well as the human and cultural heritage of the Joaquim Urbano Infectious Diseases Hospital.

CHUP is dedicated to assistance, teaching, medical internships, training, innovation and clinical and scientific research. The direct reference area ranges from the cosmopolitan seafront to the old islands of Porto, passing through the city, working class neighborhoods and villages of Gondomar. It has about 4400 workers, from dozens of professions. Each day that passes, there are about 100 admissions, 2900 consultations, 140 scheduled surgeries, 420 emergency episodes, 300 episodes of day hospital and 10
parturition .

Each week, it hosts a new international multicentre clinical trial and places four scientific articles on an international basis. The library has numerous resources for searching and obtaining bibliography. The Museum of Medicine and Pharmacy is part of the Portuguese Museum Network, linking the hospital to the city and to tourists.

Writers’ route through Porto ( Camilo Castelo Branco )
1 October, 2020 / , ,

Although, he was born in Lisbon (1825) the illegitimate son of an aristocrat with his maid, at the age of 5 he came to live to the north – Vila Real, a mother orphan. At just 16 years old he married, and in 1843, 2 years later, he was a father. That same year he came to Porto to live alone, to Rua Escura, in the historic and picturesque district of the cathedral, to study medicine. Later he lived in the Hotel Paris, on Rua da Fábrica.

He was an elegant man, he was a renowned journalist and writer. In 1850, he enrolled at the Porto Seminary, where he studied theology and founded 2 religious newspapers.

Camilo’s life in Porto was intense, controversial and bohemian and caused some scandals of a loving nature. He was celebrated for his passion for Ana Plácido and consequent imprisonment in the jail of Relação. From these events, his most famous work “The Love of Perdition” was born, which was immortalized by a statue of the two, which can be seen next to the jail where both were imprisoned.

In 1868, Camilo returned to Porto to live on Rua de Santa Catarina and Rua de S. Lázaro, after marrying Ana Plácido and with her founded and directed the city’s Gazeta Literária.

The 1980s were very turbulent because they already saw very badly and maintained controversial relations with various masters of society. He was physically threatened several times and bought a revolver to defend himself. Ironically 7 years later he would use it to commit suicide after realizing that his blindness had no cure.
Camilo was buried in the cemetery of Lapa.

Until today, manuscripts of correspondence between Camilo, Ana Plácido and Freitas Fortuna and numerous Camillian objects are found in the Order of Lapa, such as the revolver with which he committed suicide, a silver snuff box, with the last note he used, the spyglass , the quill and the quill pen that served him recently, a book by Droz that Camilo began to translate in Cadeia da Relação, a conch that served Camilo as paperweights and his favorite inkwell.

Golf in Porto and North
25 September, 2020 / , , ,

Golf in Portugal also has a history and it is exactly from the beginning that we will start this article.

It all started in 1890, with the opening of the Oporto Golfe Club. By the hand of English aristocrats, linked to the Industry, who lived in the Douro.

Northern Portugal is a region with many diversities and with every reason to believe that it only has qualities. Rain, normally abundant in this region of the country, is an essential characteristic for the creation and maintenance of golf courses.

Without forgetting the warmth of its people and the strong and diverse gastronomy, combining secular traditions and the ‘twist’ of new trends, the North has the production of some of the best wines in the world, of which we cannot fail to highlight the unique and exclusive Port Wine.

The golf has been added to all this, with unique design courses that are combined with beaches and mountains in perfect harmony.

Any golfer from any corner of the world, who has already had the experience of playing on one of these wonderful courses, knows well that it is worth returning.

Writers’ route through Porto ( Júlio Dinis )
21 September, 2020 / , ,

Júlio Dinis (1839-1871), was born and baptized in Porto, in the parish of S. Nicolau.

He studied in Miragaia where he wrote the first literary texts, and studied medicine at the University of Porto. In 1852 and 1853, he lived in the village of Noêda, in the parish of Campanhã. In 1874 the writer moved in with his cousin’s family to Rua de Costa Cabral, in the parish of Paranhos, where he would later die of tuberculosis – he was 32 years old.

When he attended the first year of the Polytechnic Academy, he became acquainted and maintained an intimate friendship with the poet Soares de Passos, and from this circumstance he intensified his love of beautiful letters. He also participated in theater groups, and collaborated with Jornal do Porto.

In his books “Os Fidalgos da Casa Mourisca”, “A Morgadinha dos Canaviais” and “Uma Família Inglesa” we can find many references to the city where he was born, lived and died.

A sculptural ensemble, with a female figure who places a wreath near the poet’s bust, in low relief. He was buried in the cemetery of Cedofeita, together with his brother.

(Português) O Sol Voltou ao Porto – As Praias do Porto
4 August, 2020 / , ,

The sunny days and heat encourage you to go to the beach and in Porto you do not have to go far to find a quiet place by the sea to sunbathe, stroll, savour a delicious meal or a cool drink.

Being in a city by the beach is an easy dream to fulfil for those who are in Porto. Visit the nine Blue Flag beaches where you can enjoy the summer without giving up the city life.

PRAIA DAS PASTORAS
(SHEPHERDESS BEACH)
The beach is delimited by two piers, which protects it from the wind. It is here that the Douro River flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
It has this name because it was customary for the shepherdesses to bring their sheep here to graze on the herbs and smell the seaside.

PRAIA DO OURIGO
The bathing tradition dates back to the 16th century, when it was said that these waters healed diseases.

PRAIA DO HOMEM DO LEME
(HELM MAN BEACH)
It’s ideal for those who have children, since it has two playgrounds. It is a rocky beach, with an area of 374 sq
meters. The name comes from the bronze statue, placed on Avenida de Montevideu, which pays homage to the fishermen.

PRAIA DO CARNEIRO
(RAM BEACH)
It has an extensive beach and has been very popular since the 19th century. Some centuries ago it was agrazing area. A folk tale tells that it was here that one of those sheep strayed from its fold. The image of the
sheep was eternalized on top of the Chalé Suíço (a kiosk that still exists today in Rua do Passeio Alegre).

PRAIA DE GONDARÉM
A beach with 115 meters of extension. The name of this beach derives from the Latin and means something like “rest in the battle”. It has a stone wall that is covered because of high tides, making it safer for children.

PRAIA DOS INGLESES
(BEACH OF THE ENGLISH)
As the name implies, it was a beach preferred by the British community of Porto. An 86 sq meters sandbank, an area of very smooth slopes and fine sand.

PRAIA DA LUZ
A small beach framed by rocks and a garden area on Avenida do Brasil. When the tide is low you can see two pontoons supporting the baths of the 19th century.

PRAIA DO MOLHE
(QUAY BEACH)
It has an extension of 168 meters and it is named after the coastal structure, similar to a pontoon that advances into the sea and limits the bathing zone. The landscape is embellished by the Pérgola da Foz, a cement balustrade built in the 1930s that functions as a privileged gazebo over the sea. The staircase and the surrounding area make it one of the most beautiful beaches in Porto.

PRAIA CASTELO DO QUEIJO
Located next to Castelo do Queijo. It is a rocky area, much sought after by fishermen and people seeking to take advantage of the medicinal properties of rocks.

The Coliseu do Porto or the thousand and one lives of a classic
5 March, 2020 / ,

In Porto’s imaginary, the Coliseu do Porto occupies a very special place and is, without detriment to the others, the first showroom in the city, perhaps because it has been regularly and from the beginning involved in controversies.

 

Whoever is in the city center and crosses Praça D João I, on the east side sees Rua Passos Manuel. Going up on the left side, you come across a modernist building whose exterior does not reveal the singularity of its interior. This is the Coliseu do Porto.

 

For decades this area of ​​the city has been the center of entertainment and nightlife in Porto. In the neighborhood, there was, and coexisted, most of the city’s concert halls: From the sadly celebrated Bachet theater on the street of Sto António, which on 20 March 1888 burned in a dreadful fire during a rite with more than one hundred fatalities ; The later theater of Sá da Bandeira, rebuilt in the same place as Bachet and which still has its doors open; The theater of S. João à Batalha, also victim of another fire, this time empty, in 1909, and later rebuilt with the risk of the architect Marques da Silva; and also the curious Jardim Passos Manuel lounge, opened in 1908 and built just below the Coliseu, on the street of the same name and which had an ephemeral life for three decades.

 

The idea of ​​building a large concert hall in Porto dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, but it was not until the early 1930s that a group of notables from the city encouraged the administration of Companhia de Seguros Garantia to design and materialize the Coliseu.

 

About the dismantling of Jardim Passos Manuel in 1938, the Coliseu was built. The first architectural studies are by José Porto. Artist without academic training but with eclectic knowledge of construction. The risk of the main room is yours. Then came the collaboration of Yan Wills, Dutch and belonging to the modernist movement De Stijl. Although he elaborated several studies, none was carried out on site.

Initial hesitations in the program and a lead from the Aesthetics Committee of the Porto City Council led to the removal of the third designer – Arch Júlio de Brito- who had replaced colleagues José Porto and Yan Wills, who had already been consumed in the maelstrom of changes to the project and variations of language.

 

In 1939, the insurance company Garantia hired the services of Arqº Cassiano Branco (1897-1970), then a rising star in the Portuguese architecture world of the 1930s. In the short space of two years, Cassiano finished the work, although in I disagree with the prosecutor, who dismissed him by letter on October 10, 1940, for “very serious errors and deficiencies in the works”. Without prejudice, it was Cassiano who most marked the general image and above all the exterior image of the Coliseum. His performance for the whole of the work was decisive to the point of being able to attribute the authorship of the building that is there.

 

Meanwhile, at the invitation of Cassiano Branco, Frenchman Charles Siclis also collaborated by introducing some changes to the interior of the building, namely the design of doors and lamps.

 

The last architect to work at the Coliseu was Mário de Abreu. That made changes to several elements, namely the alteration of the tower designed by Cassiano, which initially envisaged the assembly of colored neon lighting elements and which he removed.

 

Finally, on December 19, 1941, just two years after the beginning of the work, Joaquim José de Carvalho, chairman of the board of directors of the insurance company Garantia, solemnly inaugurated the Coliseu, with the recital of a concert by the Orchestra of the Issuer National directed by maestro Pedro de Freitas Branco. Then there was a ball in the Atrium. About the date, the writer at O ​​Comércio do Porto wrote: “the modern, comfortable, elegant and well-succeeded tendency of the building”. And yet “the facade to which Cassiano leaves his name attached contributes to making the Coliseum a big box of surprises”.

The building plan shows affinities with the organization of the famous Teatro Total by Walter Gropius. There are also formal affinities with the post-World War I German and European functional movement. The room has a capacity of 3000 seats. In addition, it has a large bar next to the audience on the ground floor, a complementary room, with capacity for three hundred people and dedicated to medium-sized events, and on the top floor, a restaurant with a terrace with a good view of the city.

 

The interior of the Coliseu is magnificent in its fluid forms and organic circulation. The seduction of the circular room is difficult to describe in words, but evident to those who visit it. The friezes and cabins follow each other on several floors, ending at the upper level, involving the circular audience on the ground floor vertically.

 

Among so many artists who performed there, the following stand out: Fado singer Amália, pianist Sviatoslav Richer; the best clown in the world Popov; Rudolf Nureyev; the father of Portuguese rock Rui Veloso; Miles Davis or diva Claudia Schiffer.

 

In 1991, the Sala celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with a large tribute concert, in which the inaugural concert was replicated. He was a soloist, pianist and teacher Helena de Sá e Costa, accompanied by Pedro Burmester and conductor Jan Koenig, conducting the Porto Regie-symphony Orchestra.

 

In the mid-90s, the owner of Coliseu do Porto was Empresa Artística SA / Aliança group -UAP. There is a need for improvement works, as well as to face increasing current running costs of maintaining such a large building. In this context, news of the eventual sale of the Coliseum to IURD, commonly known as Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, with roots in Brazil, which had recently bought the emblematic Império cinema in Lisbon, to convert it into a cathedral, in the general passivity of from Lisbon.

Anonymous Portuenses and the city’s artistic agents came together spontaneously and, in a single gesture, they took to the street one morning in August, speaking out loudly against the deal and the closing of the Room, shouting “Coliseu is ours”. In the collective memory was the image of the singer Pedro Abrunhosa handcuffed to the bars of the Coliseu, surrounded by a small crowd who was shouting at the refusal of the deal. Everyone was not too much to continue the Coliseum.

 

Riding the wave of solidarity that was generated, the owners dropped the IURD business. In turn, on November 17, 1995, the Associação Amigos do Coliseu do Porto was set up, chaired by Mr Eng José António Barros, representing the owners, adding to the new association numerous institutions and anonymous citizens of the City.

 

In the meantime, the deed of purchase and sale became the property of the association Amigos do Coliseu do Porto. A few days later, after a Portugal Fashion show, a fire broke out on the stage, destroying it completely. A new wave of solidarity is generated, with ample monetary contributions from institutions and individuals, which allowed the Coliseum to reopen in the same year.

 

Meanwhile, new maintenance works were carried out introducing some technical improvements to the stage infrastructures. Thus, on November 24, 1998 the Porto Coliseum was reopened, giving a recital of the opera Carmen, by Georges Bizet.

 

With this history of almost eighty years, it is certain that the Coliseum will remain in the future as the great theater of Porto. Hopefully away from controversy, as has happened in the past. It will certainly last in the heart of the people of Porto.

 

Christmas Nativity
23 December, 2019 / , ,

Joaquim Machado de Castro (Coimbra, 1731 – 1822) was one of the most important and renowned Portuguese sculptors, having also been one of the
most influential in Europe in the 18th and early 19th centuries. He produced several Christmas Nativity Scenes, so much so that the oldest Nativity scene in the city of Porto, which dates back to the 18th century, is his own, and it is possible to visit it in the Church of São José das Taipas. But, also, in the Church of Corpo Santo de Massarelos it is possible to see one more of his beautiful Christnas Nativity Scenes. His work isspread throughout the country.

São Gonçalo de Amarante
16 December, 2019 / , ,

The Church, the Convent and the São Gonçalo Bridge, are the “ex libris” of the city of Amarante, inseparable from the figure that gives them the name. The myriad of legends and beliefs that gravitate around this place blur the reality at a crossroads of such cloudiness that throws us into the impossibility of accurately discerning where they end and the other begins. “Gonçalo was a saint, and an admirable saint, in the early age of a boy; holy and admirable in the second of the youth; holy, and admirable in the third of men; holy, and admirable in the quarter of old; and finally holy, and admirable, on the fifth after death ”(excerpt from a sermon by Father António Vieira in Brazil.

São Gonçalo de Amarante was born around 1190, in the parish of S. Salvador de Tagilde, in the municipality of Vizela, in a noble family (the Pereiras). Under the protection of the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Braga, Gonçalo attended ecclesiastical disciplines at the Cathedral School of the Archiepiscopal See, becoming ordained priest and appointed parish priest of the parish of S. Paio (or S. Pelagius) of Riba-Vizela. He first went on pilgrimage to Rome from where he went to Jerusalem, where he took 14 years, leaving the parishioners in the care of a nephew priest. Returning to Portugal, he is chased away by the same that through a plot would have been named like parish priest. Resigned, he leaves S. Paio de Riba-Vizela, joins the conventual life of the Order of Preachers, recently founded by S. Domingos, building a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, on the banks of the River Tâmega. where today stands the São Gonçalo Church and Convent in Amarante. The process of beatification was promulgated on September 16, 1561. Devotion to the most popular saint of the Portuguese saints, after Saint Anthony of Lisbon, spread throughout Portugal and Brazil. In 1540 John III of Portugal and D. Catarina of Austria decided to build a new Dominican temple and convent on the site, under the invocation of Gonçalo de Amarante. The works began in 1543, extending to the eighteenth century, with interventions in the twentieth century.

São Gonçalo, in the sec. XIII, begins the construction of a crossing between the two banks (it is during this period that an immensity of legends appears). The bridge collapsed in the 18th century due to flooding and was later recovered. The famous defence of the Amarante Bridge took place in 1809 and was one of the most remarkable moments of the second French invasions. The heroic defence of the bridge, as the episode became known, came after French troops occupied the Church of São Gonçalo and were prevented from crossing the Tamega. More than 200 years have passed, but cannonball and musket marks still linger on the building’s facade.

Campanhã Railway Station
7 November, 2019 / ,

“El silbido de los trenes, su traqueteo sobre el puente más allá del monte fronterizo, le decía las horas, le delataba la dirección del viento y el tiempo previsto para mañana”. Es así como nuestra Agustina se refiere a ese pulsante ruido cuando el tren rasga la ciudad. Es la paz pobre que se vivía en el fin de siglo. Estancadas las heridas de la nación, degradada por sucesivas guerras civiles, la modernización era el designio y el ferrocarril uno de sus principales símbolos.

La Estação de Campanhã se inauguró el 5 de Noviembre de 1877, junto con el Puente María Pía. Era el resultado de una serie de obras donde había estado la antigua Quinta do Pinheiro. Fue uno de los motores del éxodo rural, con el foco en Campanhã, de una enorme cantidad de gente proveniente del interior del país y que iría a poblar el municipio.

Del tren al autobús, del autobús al metro, la Estação de Campanhã encuentra el futuro de la intermodalidad en un Oporto que se va transformando en una ciudad inteligente. De diseño neoclásico, sujeto a cambios a lo largo del siglo XX, culminando en la terminal actual, que supera en mucho la superficie de la vieja estación, en esta tranquila convivencia entre lo nuevo y lo viejo, marca cada vez más firme de la ciudad invicta.  Y aquí nos encontramos reviviendo las palabras de Ramalho: “finalmente nos bajamos en la Estación de Campaña”.

Church of São Francisco de Assis
7 October, 2019 / , ,

The construction of the Church of São Francisco de Assis (St. Francis of Assisi) began in the 14th century, during the reign of king Dom Fernando (Ferdinand I of Portugal), in the place where a modest temple belonging to the Franciscan Order already existed, which had been established in the city of Porto in 1223.

With a structure that obeys to the rules of the mendicant Gothic style, i.e., a church with three naves, a protruding transept and a tripartite headboard, with the main chapel on a deeper level, the Church of São Francisco de Assis is the main Gothic style temple in the city of Porto.

In the 16th century, João de Castilho designed the Chapel of São João Baptista (St. John the Baptist), but it was during the 17th century that this temple acquired the baroque splendour, a style that is preserved until today through its interior covered in gold.

The exuberance of gold made the Count of Raczyński refer to the Church of São Francisco de Assis as “The Golden Church”. It is believed that the three naves of the church are covered with about 300 kilograms of gold dust. This abundance of gold even caused the church to be closed to worship, because it was too ostentatious to the poverty that surrounded it.

In the altarpiece of the main chapel, you can find one of the main attractions of this temple: the Tree of Jesse, a polychrome wood sculpture, which is considered one of the best of its kind in the world.

Another of the great attractions of the Church of São Francisco de Assis is the Catacumbal Cemetery, where the graves of brothers of the Franciscan Order, as well as some of the city’s noble families, are located.

In addition to the graves, it is also possible to see an ossuary with thousands of human bones through a glass placed on the ground.

The Church of São Francisco de Assis has been classified as a National Monument since 1910 and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.