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Porto Sunday Sessions
22 August, 2017 / ,

Music on a Sunday afternoon

Porto Sunday Sessions is already a summer tradition in Porto. To stop by the City Park on a Sunday afternoon is a must to crown the weekend in a pleasant way.

Music, a relaxing atmosphere and closeness to nature are a perfect combination to finish the weekend. The scenery of the City Park, a large green space close to the sea, is ideal for a perfect late afternoon with friends and family.  Every Sunday until September 17, it will also be a place to listen to music.

DJs performances create the perfect soundtrack for get-togethers among people of all ages, enjoying good weather and fresh air.

Information:

Porto City Park (Parque da Cidade)

6, 13, 20 and 27 August

September 10 and 17

Between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Free admission

Rua Senhora da Luz
10 July, 2017 /

The true spirit of Foz

The name of this street originates from an old hermitage, dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Luz (Our Lady of Light). It is one of the most traditional streets of Foz, with shops that have existed for decades and that have passed between generations of the same family.

The area of ​​Foz had been isolated from the urban centre of the city for many centuries. It started out as a fishing zone and at the beginning of the 19th century it only had about 3000 inhabitants. In 1834 it even became an independent county, a situation that lasted little more than a year. In fact, until the appearance of the horse drawn trams, the route between Porto and Foz was made on foot or in a cart drawn by oxen that could last for about eight hours.

The change of habits and the fashion of sea bathing as a leisure activity, beneficial to health, caused this area of ​​the city to develop, gaining new access and receiving more and more visitors. In 1866, the area of Foz began in Sobreiras and ended exactly on Rua da Senhora da Luz. It was then that the construction of a road by the sea began, which made the connection to Matosinhos.

New avenues were slowly but surely built in Foz, but this street has always maintained its more traditional character, bringing together, in a few hundred meters, a great variety of commercial establishments and maintaining a neighbourly spirit.

The Lighthouse  

It was built by order of the Marquis of Pombal in 1758, in an elevated place, next to the Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Luz. The location was chosen so that the lighthouse could be easily seen from the sea. It was modernized at the beginning of the 20th century (1913), but with the construction of the jetty of Felgueira in 1945, it lost its utility. It was the only construction in that place, for a long time, since the dwellings only appeared much later.

The primitive hermitage no longer exists, but the image of Nossa Senhora da Luz was transferred to the parish church of Foz do Douro, where it is still venerated today.

The current chapel of Our Lady of Light of Gondarém was until the mid-twentieth century, the starting point of a very important procession.

Manoel de Oliveira (1908-2015)
8 May, 2017 /

A life dedicated to the cinema

He lived 106 years and most of these years were dedicated to filmmaking, with dozens of films that earned him international recognition. His long filmmaking career began in the 1930s and finished only with his demise in 2015.

Manoel de Oliveira was born in Porto in December 1908, to a family related to the industry. His father was the first electric bulb manufacturer in Portugal and was an unconditional fan of the seventh art, taking his son to see the films of Charles Chaplin and Max Linder.

The young Manoel was soon not only interested in cinema but also in sports, having practiced motor racing, athletics and gymnastics, standing out in all these modalities. At the age of 20 he enrolled in the School of Actors of Cinema, founded by Rino Lupo and made his debut as an extra in “Fátima Milagrosa” (1928).

The career of actor and heart- throb marked his acme in the film “The Song of Lisbon” (1933), but it would be as a director that he would stand out and hold a peerless position in the history of the Portuguese cinema.

While studying, he bought a camera and, with the help of an amateur photographer, he began shooting his first film. “Douro, faina fluvial (fluvial work)” premiered in 1931, but this portrait (silent movie) of the life of the inhabitants of Ribeira do Porto was not well received in Portugal. At the time many criticized the duration of the plots and the slowness in which the action unfolded. This would become the brand image of Oliveira, often misunderstood in Portugal, but highly praised by his international counterparts.

The fishing communities would be protagonists of his following works, all with documentary features. Simultaneously, Manoel de Oliveira was improving his knowledge by training in German companies linked to the cinema. In 1942 he made his first fiction film. “AnikiBóbó” had Ribeira do Porto as its setting and, although it did not arouse great enthusiasm from critics at the time, it is now considered a reference work by the filmmaker.

Disheartened with the lack of recognition, he devoted himself to the family business, but in the 1970s he would return with more commitment and in the late 80’s he had the most prolific phase of his career, making one film per year. Besides working with great Portuguese actors, he directed actors like Catherine Deneuve, John Malkovich and Marcello Mastroianni. When he died in April 2015, he was the oldest working director.

The origins of Batalha Cinema
8 May, 2017 /

Inaugurated in 1947, Cinema Batalha has already had several phases. It will reopen in 2018 as Casa do Cinema. Get acquainted with its history.

In the place where the Batalha Cinema currently stands, there was up to the 1940s the HighLife, which would be demolished to make room for a more modern building. The inauguration happened on July 3, 1948, with a program dedicated to the French cinema.

The frescoes by Júlio Pomar were from that phase, depicting the Feast of Saint John, the works were immediately covered, since the mayor considered them as an expression of communist ideas. Other aspects of the decoration of the cinema were also “censored”, since Portugal was living under a dictatorial government and the painter was even arrested by the political police. The frescoes should be restored, by the time the space is reopened.

The Batalha cinema lived a golden age between the 50’s and 70’s, when Porto downtown (Baixa) had several cinemas with constant programming. Commercial films were exhibited on their screens, while the studio Sala Bebé a smaller room received a cinephile audience. In the late 1990s, the cinema lost public audience and eventually was closed. It reopened in the first decade of this century, as a show room, but eventually closed its doors again.

Source: O Tripeiro, Series 7, Year XXV Number 2

Avenida Rodrigues de Freitas
8 May, 2017 /

A stroll through the history of Porto

A broad avenue full of history and historic buildings, it is also one of the most exciting places and new dynamics of the city. It is worthwhile to stroll along this avenue and explore a thoroughfare where tradition and innovation blend harmoniously.

If the starting point is Rua de Entreparedes, you will notice right away how old buildings were converted into pleasant places for a snack or chill out. On the left, the Jardim de São Lázaro, the first public garden in the city, which is also a venue to enjoy views of sculpture works and centenary trees. Across the street, the building of Colégio de Nossa Senhora da Boa Esperança stands out for its architectural features. Built in 1724 it housed an orphanage for girls, and later, in the second half of the twentieth century it was transformed into a private school. There is a church next to it in which the design is attributed to Nicholas Nasoni and built on a site of a hospital which cared for people infected with leprosy (Hansen’s disease).

A little further ahead there is the Municipal Library building, housed in the old Hospital do Convento de Santo António da Cidade, an 18th-century building. In addition to its rich bibliographical and documentary collection, it has a high architectural interest where the cloisters and tiles removed from several convents and monasteries stand out.

Along this avenue you will also find traditional shops and some marble mason shops; The proximity of this avenue to the Cemeterio (Cemetery) do Prado do Repouso led to the establishment of several businesses where tombstones and sculptures that adorn the graves.

On this tour one will also notice the building of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Porto University, which was established in the first half of the twentieth century in an old mansion that belonged to a trader who made a fortune in Brazil. Inside it are works by some of the university students, such as Soares dos Reis. The existence of this university has created a certain bohemian atmosphere in this area of ​​the city as students frequent the cafes and shops of this neighborhood.

The Visconde da Gândara mansion is another example of the importance that this street had in past times. The architecture of the houses deserves detailed attention: there are houses with several floors, with imposing interior staircases and skylights; many of which have landscaped areas with fountains, lakes and greenhouses at the back. The houses numbered 192, 194, 200 and 204 are classified as buildings of public interest (listed buildings).

The avenue ends at Largo Soares dos Reis, which also has two points of interest: in addition to the historic Cemetery do Prado do Repouso, stands the Military Museum, which previously housed a prison for political prisoners.

Santo Tirso – Capital of contemporary sculpture
23 April, 2017 /

A mere 15 minutes from the city of Porto, the municipality of Santo Tirso has one of the largest museums of contemporary sculpture in Europe: 54 works of art by world sculptors.

Sculptures in the gardens, sculptures in parks, sculptures in squares. Santo Tirso calls itself the European Capital of Contemporary Sculpture in Portugal. The project of the renowned architects Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura made the creation of the headquarters of the International Museum of Contemporary Sculpture possible, inaugurated in May of 2016, a work of worldwide reference.

Santo Tirso, the city known for its delicious Jesuit tarts, is now the Portuguese Municipality with the largest contemporary art museum in the open. In total, 54 sculptures scattered throughout the city can be visited freely, with map and audio guides, or through a smartphone application.

Santo Tirso is a city to discover and feel. With a privileged location, it is an open-door town with unforgettable secular heritage and tradition. The São Bento Monastery of National Heritage, the Abade Pedrosa Municipal Museum, with its magnificent collection of archaeology, or the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Assumption, an example of art of Roman-Gothic inspiration, are places of an obligatory stopover

Rosa Mota – The Portuguese Athletics queen
23 April, 2017 /

It was in the streets of Foz that she ran the first races that led her to the worldwide consecration in athletics tracks around the world. The women’s marathon gold medal she won at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 was the highest moment of a life dedicated to sport.

Short, slim and with a distinct  smile, Rosa Mota is one of the most popular Portuguese athletes, combining an impressive career in athletics with  her congeniality and humble demeanor that prevails, even after all her achievements.

She was born in Foz do Douro, Oporto, on June 26, 1958 and it is said that she began to run around the streets of Foz not because she enjoyed it, but because she was afraid of the dark. When in high school, she dedicated herself   to sports earnestly, having practiced swimming and cycling. However, she chose athletics, because such a modality was less expensive. The national records in 300 and 1500 meters were her first steps of a career that later developed into the most demanding physical race: the marathon.

Her first club was Futebol Clube da Foz, where she remained for three years. In 1978 she moved to FC Porto, but a health problem forced her to leave the club two years later. She then met Dr. José Pedrosa, who would later became her coach and husband.

In 1982 she began a new stage in her career; she began to compete for Porto Athletics Club. Between 1981 and 1991 (when she finished her career) she had participated in 21 marathons, having won 14. She was bronze medalist in the marathon of the Los Angeles Olympics (1984) and four years later in Seoul, she conquered the top of the podium in the marathon.

Despite having finished her sports career, Rosa Mota continues linked to athletics, has sponsored several events, running for solidarity causes or participating in initiatives that aim to promote sport and healthy living.

In addition to receiving several awards from the Portuguese Government and being still very much cherished by the Portuguese people, Rosa Mota will remain forever linked to the History of the city of Oporto, since in 1991 her name was assigned to the pavilion previously designated as Pavilion of Sports.

Her international prestige is equally immense. In 2012 Rosa Mota was distinguished by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and in 2004 the Portuguese athlete carried the Olympic flame through the streets of Athens before the Olympic Games. In the Olympic Games of Rio (2016), she participated in the Olympic torch relay.

 

Rosa Mota’s 14 wins in marathons

12/9/82 – Athens, 2 h 36.04 s (European Champion);

9/4/83 – Rotterdam, 2 h 32.27 s;

10/16/83 – Chicago, 2 h 31.12 sec;

10/21/84 – Chicago, 2 h 26.01 s;

26/8/86 – Stuttgart, 2 h 28.38 s (European Champion);

11/16/86 – Tokyo, 2 h 27.15 s;

4/20/87 – Boston, 2 h 25:21 s;

20/8/87 – Rome, 2 h 25.17 s (World Champion);

4/18/88 – Boston, 2:24 a.m.

9/23/88 – Seoul, 2 h 25.28 s (Olympic Champion);

28/1/90 – Osaka, 2 h 27.47 s;

4/4/90 – Boston, 2 h 25.24 s;

27/8/90 – Split, 2 h 31.27 s, (European Champion);

21/4/91 – London, 2 h 26.14 s (World Cup).

Cedofeita: a street with many lives
23 April, 2017 / , ,

It was one of the marks of urban revitalization in the eighteenth century and one of the starting points for the rebirth of Baixa in the 21st century. A large part of this street is used for pedestrians only, which makes it perfect for shopping, sightseeing and for a quiet meal.

The origins of Cedofeita seem to go back to the sixth century and the Church of São Martinho in Cedofeita. However, being away from the medieval walls and the riverine area, it only fully developed in the eighteenth century. At that time, and in view of the economic and demographic growth of the city, it became important to make the connection between the port and the high zone. Rua de Cedofeita was then known as Rua da Estrada and was one of the pillars of the urbanization plans that were then outlined.

Then the houses that still exist today began to be built: buildings with two to four stories, with balconies on the upper floors and shop windows facing the street. The electric tram used to pass in this street, famous for the shops, like the extinct Bazaar of the Three Vinténs (the sign still exists).

Despite being “forgotten” for some time, Cedofeita has become, in recent years, one of the central points of new life of the Port of Porto, taking advantage of the proximity to places such as Rua Miguel Bombarda or Praça Carlos Alberto.

Curiosities:

On Cedofeita street number 395 King D. Pedro used to live, during the siege of Oporto, where the liberal troops, led by D. Pedro, were surrounded by the supporters of his brother, Miguel.

Carolina Michaelis inhabited at number 159; she was an illustrious literary critic and writer, who was the first woman to teach at a Portuguese university

Rua de Cedofeita is 840 meters long: it starts at Carlos Alberto Square and ends at Rua da Boavista.

The Portuguese writer Agustina Bessa-Luís said that Rua de Cedofeita was “the most beautiful” of Porto.

In the first decade of this century, there was a project to cover the Street of Cedofeita with a glass roof canopy.