Monument

Abel Salazar house museum
13 November, 2020 / , ,

Located in S. Mamede Infesta, it is a construction from the end of the XIX century. An 17th century chapel is attached, which served as a workshop for the patron. It was in this house that the last years of existence of the Portuguese scientist and professor passed.
In the permanent exhibition of the house, in addition to the collection of paintings, drawings and prints, there are utensils and scientific writings by Abel Salazar, as well as original pieces of furniture from the house.

The Casa-Museu restores part of the patron’s family atmosphere, through personal objects and portraits, as well as testimonies of the activity of the researcher, pedagogue and disseminator of civic interventions, through letters, manuscripts, typographic proofs, newspapers and magazines where he collaborated.
The doctor’s library and the Alberto Saavedra library are also located in the house, with a specialized documentary background on the life and work of Abel Salazar.

In the garden, there is the Calouste Gulbenkian Pavilion, with a regular program of exhibitions with contemporary artists.
It was Abel Salazar’s friends and admirers who, after his death, thought that the greatest tribute they could pay him was to transform his home into a foundation.
Several initiatives were undertaken to raise funds in the task of defending and publicizing the Work of Abel Salazar, including the purchase of the house for transformation into a museum. But it was only almost 11 years later that the “Sociedade Divulgadora da Casa-Museu Abel Salazar de S. Mamede Infesta” was created.
However, the difficulties continued and the Sociedade Divulgadora appealed to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, which acquired, in 1965, all artistic, literary and scientific work and the property and l

and attached to the Casa-Museu.
During the period that belonged to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the house was closed to the public for restoration works, construction of the guardhouse and the pavilion for periodic exhibitions.
In 1975, the Foundation was no longer able to assume the responsibilities of the House and raises the question of the Casa-Museu being donated to the University of Porto, which was superiorly authorized to accept the donation.

The Abel Salazar House-Museum, under the supervision of the University of Porto, is run with the support of a Sociedade Divulgadora, a cultural entity and considered to be of Public Utility. Centered on the human, social and artistic value of the patron, the Casa-Museu aims to stimulate interest in the work of Abel Salazar in the different branches he cultivated, to activate the publication of studies around the different skills of the scientist, to foster collaboration with schools and cultural and recreational organizations, to complete the work of inventorying and investigating the literary estate both published and unpublished, assuming itself as an irreplaceable information and research center for the artist and scientist Abel Salazar.

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.

King Carlos Alberto Chapel
22 September, 2020 / , , ,

Carlos Alberto of Sardinia was born in Turin, Italy, in 1798. He was King of Sardinia from 1831 and was one of the fathers of the unification of Italy, a country that was divided into several political entities, all more or less controlled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Carlos Alberto wanted to unify all Italy under his scepter, but he had to take refuge in Porto in 1849, after being defeated by the Austrians in the Battle of Novara.

Upon arrival, the dethroned monarch stayed at the Hospedaria do Peixe, operating in the majestic Palace of the Viscounts of Balsemão, in the then Praça dos Ferradores, today Praça Carlos Alberto. There he stayed, until he was offered a place to live. He later moved to Quinta da Macieirinha, where today the Solar do Vinho do Porto and the Romantic Museum are located. There he died.

His body was transferred to the Pantheon of Savoy, in Italy, but the half-sister had a chapel built on the grounds of the farm currently incorporated in the gardens of the Crystal Palace.

The Eagle and the Lion
21 November, 2019 / , ,

A few years ago, walking along Avenida da Boavista accompanied by my two older nephews…

― Kids, who knows what is that up there?!

— It’s the Eagle and the Lion in Rotunda da Boavista (Boavista Roundabout)!

I smiled while thinking of how right – and also how wrong – the answer was.

The Monument to the Heroes of the Peninsular War was designed by architect Marques da Silva and sculptor Alves de Sousa. Its construction, under the responsibility of the Cooperativa dos Pedreiros, began in 1909, but the monument was only to be inaugurated in 1952, after the premature death of Alves de Sousa, so its completion was the responsibility of sculptors Henrique Moreira and José Sousa Caldas.

The monument is intended to honour the heroes of the Peninsular War, fought in the context of the French invasions, which opposed Portugal – helped by their ally England – to the French armies of Napoleon Bonaparte, in the period from 1808 to 1814.

My nephews didn’t know this part, but as their tender age did not recommend “wars”, I ended up explaining to them that there was a bit of a bad Frenchman who wanted only cheese to be eaten in Portugal! So, we asked our English friends for help and sent the French “to hell” with their cheese! At the time, I couldn’t think of any better nonsense explanation, but they retained the correct basic idea. I hope…

Composed of a pedestal 45 metres high and surrounded by sculptural groups that represent artillery scenes, the monument features a woman – Vitória – in front of the people, holding the national flag in her left hand and a sword in her right hand. At the top, a high column topped by a lion (symbol of the flag of England) over an eagle (symbol of Napoleon’s empire), elements that gave it the popular name for which it is known.

 

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.

Bust of Homage to Guilherme Gomes Fernandes
13 August, 2019 / , ,

By the author Bento Cândido da Silva, the bust of the Commander of the Firemen of Porto, Guilherme Gomes Fernandes, was inaugurated in 1915 in the square that has since adorned the name of this illustrious personage.

Guilherme Gomes Fernandes was born in Bahia on February 6, 1850. At the age of three he went to live in Porto and at thirteen he left for England with the intention of attending high school.

At the age of 19, Gomes Fernandes settled in the city of Porto. Years later, he helped found the Associação Humanitária dos Bombeiros Voluntários (1874-75) and the Corpo de Salvação Pública. He was appointed Commander of the Fire Department in 1877 and Inspector of Fire of Porto in 1885. He then transferred to Companhia de Incêndios, assuming the position of commander. He also developed business activity in the area of journalism, having created and directed the newspaper “O Bombeiro Voluntário”, published between 1877 and 1890.

Guilherme Gomes Fernandes was also notable, among other actions, in the fight against the tragic fire of the Baquet Theater in 1888.

His contribution to the progress of the firefighters in Porto and in the country earned him the title of “Master”, as well as prestigious national and international decorations.

Guilherme Gomes Fernandes died in Lisbon, Hospital of S. José, on October 31, 1902.

 

Luís I Bridge: a sanitation issue
11 August, 2019 / ,

The Luís I bridge, one of the most emblematic structures of the city of Porto, was built in the 19th century and is now considered a World Heritage Site. However, in the mid-twentieth century, the bridge began to show disturbing signs of corrosion due, in particular, to the passage of the tram in the upper board of the bridge.

But there was another corrosion problem. At night, many of the men who frequented bars, both in Porto and Ribeira, used the end of the bridge board to pee.

In 1954, Edgar Cardoso was in charge of the recovery works of the bridge and arranged a brilliant solution to end the corrosion and the nauseating smell. The engineer, taking advantage of the color of the bridge, put metal plates with a slight fold at the end of the bridge tray. Which means that at night, anyone who sought to satisfy their needs in that same place would end up with the “pee”, directly, to their pants.

Discreet but effective, still to this day.

Duque da Ribeira – Symbol and meaning, witness and protagonist of the life of Ribeira
9 August, 2019 / , ,

If you stroll through the Ribeira area, which you will have to do if you come to Porto, it is very likely that you will cross the statue in honor of Deocleciano Monteiro (exact location is at Rua Cimo
do Muro, 12, next to Ponte D . Luís).
If the name tells you absolutely nothing, don’t worry! The same will happen to most people from Porto! But almost everyone will be able to tell you who the “Duque da Ribeira” was, a name by which he has always been and become known. In fact, it is the tradition that it was the mother herself who, in view of the difficulty in pronouncing the name Deocleciano, treated him as “Duke”.
Born in Porto on March 24, 1902 and died on November 9, 1996, the Duke was born and always lived in Ribeira, until his death, being an inseparable and absolutely charismatic figure throughout the twentieth century.

At only 11 years old, he saved a person from drowning in the river. Since then, this heroic brand has never left him, despite his modesty and extreme humility.
The Duke grew up in the river, where all his life there was a boatman. He knew the Douro, its waters, its currents, its life, like no one else! This, coupled with his courage and physical agility and the fact that he is an excellent swimmer, has allowed him throughout his life to save many people from drowning in the sometimes treacherous waters of the river and in other cases from rescue the bodies of those who lost their lives there. Hundreds of people owe their lives – literally – to Duque da Ribeira!
He was also responsible for teaching many children from Ribeira to swim!
Docker, sailor and even actor !, the Duke’s popularity was immense, and it is no wonder that his autograph book contains the signatures of several presidents of the republic and even Queen Elizabeth II of England!

For all this, and finally, a warning: if you venture into the waters of the Douro, do so carefully! We no longer have our Duke guarding the river! He who, according to Mestre José Rodrigues’ bust that would forever perpetuate on the banks of the Douro his memory and the tribute of the city, was “symbol and meaning, witness and protagonist of Ribeira life”.

Church “Dos Grilos” – MUSEUM OF SACRED ART AND ARCHEOLOGY
4 February, 2019 / , , ,

Church of S.Lourenço also known as The Church of the Crickets, a visit not to be missed, with a panoramic view of the river Douro, Invicta and the Margin of Gaia

A walking tour through the city center to the Porto Cathedral is a common itinerary for tourists visiting this proud unconquered city. Discovering downtown is an adventure. As we walk through the narrow streets of the ancient city we discover its secrets and its curiosities.

Today we invite the tourist to venture into Bairro da Sé. The imposing Sé is the starting point of our adventure. Just a few meters away, in an alley that seems to have no exit we encounter the Church of S. Lourenço, better known as the Church of the Grilos, which, together with the Homonymous College, is classified as a National Monument.

It began to be built by the Jesuits in the sixteenth century and was only completed in the eighteenth century. If most of the churches have a wealth and opulence often exaggerated, the Church of the Crickets surprises by its simple, bare and unadorned walls.

In the Church stand out the beautiful altar of Our Lady of Purification, the fantastic organ with 1500 tubes that, according to  records was built at the end of the century. XVIII and the crib, a unique construction, dating from the XVIII century and whose authorship is attributed to Machado de Castro. At Christmas time, along with the tradition of many other churches in the city, it is possible to appreciate this very rare crib composed of large dozens of figures placed right at the entrance of the monument.

The Church of the Crickets, although correctly denominated by Church of S. Lourenço, was initially the Church and the College of the Jesuits. With the extinction and expulsion of the Jesuits by the Marquis of Pombal in the eighteenth century, the Church was donated to the University of Coimbra and later bought by the Barefoot Friars of St. Augustine who, due to having their main residence in Lisbon, were commonly known as The Cricket Fathers. And hence the Church became commonly known as the Church of the Crickets although they no longer reside there.

The Museum of Sacred Art and Archeology of Porto – with access by a contiguous door to the left of the Church – displays a collection of interesting pieces from the statuary of saints, religious jewelery and other liturgical pieces. It is also here in the Museum that, from the magnificent balcony, one can have an unparalleled view of Porto and Gaia and the Douro River. A breathtaking view you can not miss!

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.