History

Did you know? Portuguese cinema was born in Porto.
23 March, 2018 / , ,

“A Saída do Pessoal Operário da Fábrica Confiança”, made in 1896, may have been the first film made in Portugal.

The birth of Portuguese cinema is connected to the city of Porto and a man who had photography as a hobby and commerce as his main activity.

Aurélio da Paz dos Reis was an image enthusiast and, in addition to fl owers and seeds, he also used to sell films, typewriters and automobiles. He pursued with interest all the innovations that were emerging at that time and he tried to buy a cinematograph from the Lumière brothers. Not succeeding, he acquired from his brother in law a chronophotograph device.

It was with this equipment that in 1896 he made what would be considered the first Portuguese film: “ A Saída do Pessoal Operário da Fábrica Confiança.”

This shirt factory, located on Rua de Santa Catarina, No. 181, was the chosen location, maybe influenced by the Lumière brothers fi lm (1894/1895), La Sortie de l’usine Lumière à Lyon.

The first movie theatre of the city, Salão Highlife, was inaugurated in 1906.

The tragedy of the House of Mermaids
9 March, 2018 / ,

Also known as the Palácio da Bandeirinha, the Casa das Sereias (named after the two images that flank the main door) was built in the mid-18th century by the Portocarrero family.

The building, an imposing palace that still distinguishes itself in the landscape of the city, was built on the site of the Cemetery of the Hebrews and the old Jewish quarter. The family, despite its wealth and prestige, did not escape some tragic episodes. The owner of the estate died in a boat accident in the Douro and, since he had no children, the palace passed on to his brother.

In 1809, during the French Invasions, a group of people, convinced that one of the elements of the family was conniving with the French, slaughtered him in the courtyard of the house. The Portocarrero, who in the mean time lost other members of the family in a tragic way, left the palace and did not return. The building was closed until 1995. It was sold to the Institute of the Instituto das Filhas da Caridade who installed a college there that is still in operation.

 

 

 

 

The Tripeiro 7th series Year XXXIII, Number 3 March 2014

João Queiroz – Baixa’s architect
7 February, 2018 / , ,

Café Majestic is perhaps his most emblematic work. João Queiroz always worked alone in a small workshop in the Baixa do Porto, and helped define the aesthetics of one of the most famed areas of the city.

He was born in Porto in 1892, and lived all of his youth in a house in Rua de Santa Catarina in front of where Café Majestic currently stands. At the time, those grounds were filled with mulberry trees which were essential for the production of silk. They would come to be occupied by buildings that would become essential to the story of the city, many of them with the architect’s mark.

He did his Preparatory Course of Drawing at the Escola de Belas Artes do Porto and, in 1926, after having worked at the General Board of Buildings and Monuments of the North, received his architect diploma. He would go back to studying at age 52, enrolling in the course of Urbanology which had been created that same year. As his academic and professional lives were influenced by two world wars, he also developed a strong military career and getting to the position of Captain. He was, in fact, known as Capitão (Captain) Queiroz.

His first project was of a rationalist building he created for his father, located at the Rua de Santa Catarina, in Porto. It was there where he established the workshop he always worked from.

His most famed building was unquestionably the Café Majestic, which was initially called Café Elite. When the owners of the café decided to create a window in the back for the sale of newspapers, they resorted to the architect’s services once again. Both the Cine Teatro Olímpia and the Cinema Trindade are likewise his creations; he was also the author of a project for the Coliseu do Porto which ended not being carried out.

Amongst his creations were also private housing and stores. One of the most innovative ones, number 54 at Rua de Santa Catarina, had a circular window display which at the time did not please the most conservative critics. As for housing, number 65 at Rua António Aroso and number 315 at Rua António Patrício are the most conspicuous.

He died at the age of 90, on the 25th February 1982.

 

Romanesque Church of Cedofeita
10 January, 2018 / , ,

It is the oldest church in Porto, with origins dating back to the sixth century and a king desperate to save a sick son.

Classified as a National Monument and located next to another larger and more modern church, the Church of São Martinho de Cedofeita, commonly known as the Romanesque Church of Cedofeita, stands out for its simplicity and antiquity.

The present church is not, however, the original building, since the temple dates back to the sixth century and the Suebi Dynasty, undergoing several changes over the years. The earliest remains were from the end of the ninth century, therefore predating the very formation of Portugal, which only occurred in the twelfth century. It may have been after 868 (year of the re-conquest of the city from the Moors) that a temple was built, whose capitals still resist. These elements were built in limestone, probably originating from the region of Coimbra, while the remaining building was made in granite. The lower parts of the chancel would have been built later, dating back to about 1087.

Nevertheless, the Romanesque phase of this important work only appeared later, during the period of the reign of D. Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese king. In addition to its antiquity, this church has unique architectural and decorative features in this region of the country: particularly important is the tympanum in the North Portal, where one can see an Agnus Dei (a mystical lamb symbolizing Christ in the Apocalypse), quite similar to one that exists currently at the Machado de Castro National Museum in Coimbra. The influences of this region can be explained by the fact that Soeiro Anes worked on this project, which was also connected to the Sé Velha of Coimbra.

The legend:

The Suebi king Theodomiro, desperate to save his sick son, made a promise to Saint Martin of Tours, sending to Tours gold and silver in weight equal to that of his son. When returning, a bishop brought a relic of the saint, and when it was shown, the sick son healed. Feeling extremely grateful, the king converted all his people to Catholicism and had a church built in honor of the saint. The church was quickly built, becoming known as Cito Facta, which means Made Early. From this expression the present name of that zone: Cedofeita is derived.

Information:

Largo do Priorado, Porto

Opening Hours: Tuesday through Friday: 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The day the king visited Oporto
13 October, 2017 / ,

In November and December 1908 D. Manuel II, who would  become the last king of Portugal, made a long journey to the north of the country  and spent several days in Oporto.

On one of these days, and after his mother, Queen Amélia, having shopped in a large store in the city, the people gathered at Campo da Regeneração (currently Praça da República) for a military parade. The newspapers of the time headlined that many people went up to the rooftops to watch the parade, however, cars, trams that headed to the place had to turn back due to the concentration of people.

The Royal cortege toured several streets of the Baixa and on Rua de Santa Catarina, they were received with a shower of flowers. At the end of the day a gala dinner was held at Palácio dos Carrancas. Dona Amelia had a full day, having visited the atelier of the sculptor Teixeira Lopes.

After having traveled several localities of the north, D. Manuel II returned to Oporto, having participated in a soirée at Ateneu Comercial of Porto. In another tribute to the king, the baths of Praia do Ourigo were named after the King. In October of 1910 the Republic was implanted and the designation was forever forgotten.

Source: The Tripeiro 7th grade Year XVI Number 1 and 2 February 1997

Synagogues of Porto
23 April, 2017 / ,

The Jewish presence in Porto predates the very existence of the city, but the earliest records date back to the 12th century, when many Jewish merchants had settled in Ribeira.

The first known synagogue has appeared on the hill of the Cathedral. Later on, in the 14th century, there was another prayer house in the current Rua do Comércio do Porto, near the Palácio da Bolsa.  Judiaria de Monchique (Monchique Jewish quarter), is part of the city where, even today, the Jewish presence is visible in the name of the place. There also used to be a synagogue of great importance. The sign commemorating its inauguration is in permanent exhibition at Museu do Carmo in Lisbon. The Jewish cemetery would be near the place where Passeio das Virtudes is located.

In the same century, the Judiaria do Olival (Olival Jewish quarter) was  built, which also had a majestic  synagogue that  later on gave way to the Mosteiro São Bento da Vitória (Monastery of St. Benedict of Victory). The Inquisition and the forced conversion of many Jews left their mark in Porto as well. In the seventeenth century many Jews left the city.

In the twentieth century, the Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue (at Guerra Junqueiro Street, 340) was built, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula.

Club of “weird jerseys”
11 March, 2017 /

Portuguese champion in 2000/01, Boavista has over 100 years of history. Established by the British, it stood out in the 90’s. The checkered jerseys led it to become known in Italy as “the club of weird jerseys.”

The British, which due to the business of Port Wine had a large community in the city, introduced football in Porto. The Boavista Footballers was set up in 1903, but few years later, due to a disagreement concerning the days when the matches should be held – the Portuguese preferred to play on Sundays whereas the British wanted to play on Saturdays – resulted in the subjects of His Majesty walking out on the club.

As Boavista  Futebol Clube, it had a strong growth over the following decades. The main feature was winning the Portuguese Championship in 2000/01, but participation in European competition had been going on for some years. And it was in 1991/92 during a UEFA Cup qualifying match against Inter Milan, came up the nickname “club of weird jerseys,” an allusion to the black  and white checkered jerseys.

The Bessa Stadium, renovated for Euro 2004, has a museum with the history of the club, a walk of fame and two sculptures by José Rodrigues in which the panther, the club symbol , is highlighted.

Commercial Association of Porto – 181 years of history
6 March, 2017 /

Despite the fact that it was officially founded in December 1834, the Commercial Association of Porto which dates back to the twelfth century, when trade and tradesmen, especially in coastal areas, were gaining more power.

Over the centuries, owing to its strategic location and the entrepreneurial spirit of its people, the city of Porto acquired great importance, becoming an important financial center in Europe and the world. It was at this stage that a shared “Trust fund” was established, created by merchants to cover risks and shipment losses of their commodities. This fund was recognized in 1295 by King Dinis and in 1402 by King John I.

However, until 1834 there was no organization of traders with legal status and competent to meet the needs of local entrepreneurs. At this point, meetings, the exchange of information, business and auctions were held in the “Juntina”, located at the then Rua dos Ingleses. After the Liberal Revolution of 1822 and the enactment of the Commercial Code, the Juntina was the basis of the founding of the Porto Commercial Association, which is currently the second oldest Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Portugal mainland.

 

January 31, 1891 – A revolution that ended in bloodshed
3 March, 2017 / ,

On January 31, 1891, the first attempt to establish the Republic took place in Porto. Discontented with the economic crisis and a British-launched Ultimatum, which called into question the Portuguese presence in Africa, a group of influential northern men led dozens of soldiers toward the center of the city with the intention of taking the Post Office and Telegraphs and proclaim the Republic. They were eventually blocked by the municipal guard, faithful to the Monarchy and placed on the steps of the Church of Santo Ildefonso.

The Republic came to be proclaimed on the balcony of the City Hall, which would be the last stronghold of the rebels. Those who did not die in the battle would eventually be taken to ships stationed at Leixões. Others managed to escape abroad. The Republic would only be proclaimed in 1910.

The memory of this date still remains today in the toponymy of the city, with Rua 31 de Janeiro, in downtown Porto, as well as in the streets that have the names of the authors of this frustrated revolution: Alves da Veiga, Rodrigues de Freitas or Alferes Malheiro.

Source: O Tripeiro (New Series) Year X number 1