DESTINATIONThrough well seasoned paths we discover pieces of history at every step
This month you'll discover…
Writers' Houses Route
With this theme we'll visit great Portuguese writers at their homes. They can be reclusive places, inspiring, away from the bustle of cities or even right at the city centre. In these House-Museums and Foundations the memory of those who have left their mark on Portuguese culture in the form of a verse or prose is preserved. We went from the north to the capital, we saw the sea and the mountains just to bring you the 17 Most Inspiring Writers' Houses. Come with us to discover the words hidden behind these walls.
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Eça de Queiroz
Teixeira de Pascoaes
Camilo de Castelo Branco
Antero de Quental
Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen
Ferreira de Castro
Afonso Lopes Vieira
Eça de Queiroz
The landscapes of the Douro's vineyards embrace us. In the vineyards, growing in terraces, ripen the grapes for another harvest season. We are at the town of Santa Cruz do Douro, county of Baião.
Behind us, is the arch that gives access to the granite courtyard of the Tormes' House. The house is closely linked to Eça de Queiroz. It is the setting of the book "The city and the mountains". The house was inherited by the writer's wife, when they were in Paris. When he returned to Portugal, apparently, he did not liked what he saw because of the house's state of ruin. This state of mind is clear on the letters he sent to his wife describing what he had found.
Contrary to what one might think, Eça did not lived in this house. He came here occasionally to spend some time. However, one can say that this is his most iconic address. The museum, which holds many things belonging to the author such as furniture and personal belongings, are methodically placed around the house: entrance hall, library, trophy room, living room, bedroom, kitchen, chapel and balcony.
The housekeeper's chambers turned into tourist housing if someone wants to spend the night.
Do you smell broad beans with rice? Maybe you don't, but it is possible to recreate the dishes described on the book "The City and the Mountains" in a lunch served at the property. And speaking of "The City and the Mountains": take this opportunity to walk the "Jacinto and Zé Fernandes" route, two of the characters in the book, made from the train station (Arejos) to the estate. The magnificent Douro landscapes are the perfect setting for a stroll.
Useful information Address: Road of Tormes, 351, 7 – Santa Cruz do Douro E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.feq.pt
Teixeira de Pascoaes
We began this visit to Teixeira Pascoaes' home by the end, his last address, his tomb in front of the Church of St. John the Baptist of Gatão, which belongs to the Romanesque Route. We stood silently listening to the sound of the wind howling through the Tâmega valley.
From here we went to the Pascoaes' Estate, built in the 17th century. The house, near the river Tâmega and overlooking the Marão Mountain, belonged to the grandfather of Teixeira de Pascoaes and was almost completely destroyed when the French army, who tried to invade Portugal at the time of the Napoleonic war, set fire to property. In the following years the house was rebuilt keeping the previous features.
Joaquim Pereira Teixeira de Vasconcelos, the real name of the poet Teixeira de Pascoaes, lived most of his life with his family, in tune with nature. he certainly walked among the farm and the surrounding vineyards. Teixeira Pascoaes built his fortress in the Estate of Gatão. The House still preserves the poet's objects, the library is filled with books, the desk has his writing materials, the chair where he sat and created the poems that remain in the national literature history.
When we ended the tour, we get down to the courtyard through the stone stairs. If you want this can be a good opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Amarante.
Useful information: Address: EN 210 (Amarante – Arco de Baúlhe), intersection with secondary road in the Village. of Pascoaes, Gatão, Amarante. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.casadepascoaes.org
Picture by: Romanesque Route
Camilo de Castelo Branco
Camilo de Castelo Branco was born in Lisbon in 1825. It did not have an easy childhood because he lost both his parents at 10 years old. He went to live with an aunt along with his sister, but the love and affection weren't there.
The teenager's years were also not that good. He married with 16 years old with a peasant from the village of Friúme with which he had a daughter. After the deaths of both wife and daughter in 1847 and 1848, Camilo got himself in a row of less proper connections. He had a daughter from the first woman, the second was a nun from the convent of Hail Mary and the third was Ana Plácido, a married woman who leaves her husband and flees with Camilo to Lisbon. At this point Camilo's life gives many twists and turns, including being jailed in Oporto due to the accusation of adultery, however, after the death of Ana Plácido's husband, they went to live, at last, in this house in São Miguel de Seide, Vila Nova de Famalicão. The house that was left by Ana Plácido's husband to his supposed son, Manuel Plácido, but who, apparently, could have been Camilo Castelo Branco's son.
Life never seized to be tricky. Of his three sons (Manuel was from Ana Plácido's first marriage), Manuel got into a bohemian life of excesses and died in 1877, Nuno followed his brother's footsteps and not even the marriage arranged by his father with Maria Da Costa Macedo (nicknamed "Black Diamond" because of her family's fortune acquired in Africa) calmed down the lad. By then already Camilo's son Jorge started giving signs of mental illness.
The house no longer have many of the features of the first house built in 1830, however, it was decorated with the family's belonging which gives the look that the house is still inhabited by the writer and Ana Plácido. We highlight the room with Ana Plácido's piano, the wall clock, the portraits of his sons and ... the chair where Camilo Castelo Branco sat on that fateful day, 1 st of June 1890 and ended his life. Camilo was tormented by disease and, got blind at the end. A deep sadness and pessimism got to him.
We leave the room towards the office which holds a heavy table where two people could work simultaneously. Ana Plácido helped the writer in many of his creations. She was a key element of his life. Across the corridor the bedroom maintains two separate beds. Camilo often wrote through the dark night.
Before we finish the tour we passed by the kitchen of northern features, but whose dimensions might suggest that a wealthy family lived there (such was not the case, however). The museum shop is located in the old stables. The writer's objects, manuscripts, notes, letters and some of his books are feature there.
Camilo Castelo Branco is one of the most esteemed authors of Portuguese literature. His life was filled with bitterness and pessimism. But his writing is full of irony, sarcasm and brilliant style. This is a mandatory visit and so is this author.
Useful information: Address: Avenida de S. Miguel, 758 – São Miguel de Seide E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.camilocastelobranco.org
Antero de Quental
His name was Antero Tarquínio de Quental, born in Ponta Delgada, Island of São Miguel, in the Azores, on 185 of April, 1842. Poet and philosopher, possessor of a complex personality, he led the Realism current in Portugal, and got involved in a brawl with the followers of Romanticism, as the one that gave origin of the public letter entitled "Common sense and good taste" addressed to António Feliciano de Castilho.
The house was acquired by the municipality of Vila do Conde and opened in 2013. The goal is to study and disseminate, not only Antero's work, but also the context of the cultural generation of 1870. From Generation of the 70 were part Antero de Quental, Eça de Queirós and Oliveira Martins and, secondarily, Ramalho Ortigão, Teófilo Braga, Gomes Leal, Guerra Junqueiro, Jaime Batalha Reis, Guilherme de Azevedo, Alberto Sampaio, Adolfo Coelho or Augusto Soromenho.
It was here that Antero de Quental lived for 10 years old, between 1881 and 1891. It was his last residence on the mainland. The calm, bucolic and inspiring surroundings of Vila do Conde allowed him to make a substantial part of his work within these walls. Antero is considered by many as one of the best Portuguese poets.
After this period he returned to Ponta Delgada, and like many writers, poets and other artists, Antero was hit by a deep depression. The end result was the suicide on 11 of September 1891, in his homeland.
Useful information: Address: Largo Antero de Quental – Vila do Conde E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.cm-viladoconde.pt
Also in Vila do Conde, in one of the city's main roads, is the house of José Régio. It is a low two storey building, yellowish. This was in fact the home of his aunt later remodelled by José Régio for his retirement.
José Régio is the pseudonym of José Maria dos Reis Pereira, born in 17 of November of 1901, in Vila do Conde and died on 22 of December of 1969 in the same city. After high school, he went to Coimbra where he graduated in Letters. He founded the magazine Presença with João Gaspar Simões and Branquinho da Fonseca. For 30 years he taught in Portalegre's high school.
The visit of the house starts by the museum of modern features where the writer's work is displayed. It not only writing work, there are paintings and objects acquired by him also. After, we returned to the street only to enter the José Régio's house itself.
On the ground floor there are works offered to José Régio by friends and family and a dark room with sacred art and old furniture acquired in antique stores. This is, by the way, one of the interesting aspects of this home, throughout his life José Régio bought a vast collection of religious art, mainly representations of Christ and the Virgin Mary with the Jesus in her arms (image that reminded him of his own mother) because he intended to turn the house into a museum after his death, since Vila do Conde didn't had none. Upstairs you can go through the rooms which kept the same decoration. In all of them, or nearly all, there are images of Christ and Mary and plenty of antique furniture, some of them quite eaten away by time.
We emphasize the dark and heavy colour office, with the desk at one end and bookshelves all around. José Régio ordered customized shelves so they could fit perfectly in the space available. An inn bell on top of the desk called our attention. It was explain to us that after suffering a heart attack, José Régio kept a bell with him to call for help, if necessary. The building is connected to the neighbour, belonging to the family. Next to the office there's a narrow corridor for the bedrooms. The first one is José Régo's and where the writer died.
The visit to this museum house ends in the cosy garden, protected by a high wall that isolates it from the outside world. The flowers change from summer to winter, therefore, so the garden is a surprise every year. In the left corner stands a tower where he saw refuge, in the safety of words. Today the noise of the cars is much higher, but, even so, there's a great desire to forget about the hours in this place.
Useful information: Address: Casa Museu José Régio, Av. José Régio – Vila do Conde E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.cm-viladoconde.pt
The stone says "House where was born on 4 of February of 1799 João Batista da Silva Leitão Almeida Garrett ". It's the confirmation that we are in the right place, in this narrow street of Oporto. The town hall of Oporto ordered the placement of this sign as a tribute to this writer. Truth be told there isn't a lack of tributes to him in this city. And rightly so.
Almeida Garrett was born in this building into a bourgeois family linked to trade, at the old downtown. The house was built in the second half of the 18th century, during the reform of the Almadas, particularly by João de Almada e Melo. It is a four-storey house with many windows and two balconies on the upper floors. The walls of the building must have been fully covered by green tiles as seen in the area surrounding the sign.
Almeida Garrett was often in exile, the first of which when he was very new, due to the French Invasions, when he and his family left for the Azores. There he received training from his uncle returning to the mainland later. Almeida Garrett was always been linked to the political world, defending liberal ideas, and he was present at the siege of Oporto as part of the liberal army, he was one of the nation's deputy, was Minister five times, and was made a Viscount, opened several newspapers, but it is as a writer that we remember him now. The words were his life, he a key part in the evolution of theater in Portugal, he is, without a doubt, the epitome of Portuguese Romantic Literature, influenced by Byron and Walter Scott when he was exiled in England.
The Viscount Almeida de Garrett passed away in Lisbon, due to cancer, however he left an eternal mark on political history and national literature.
Useful information: Address: Rua Dr. Barbosa de Castro, 37, Oporto Visits: The house is closed to the public
Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen
The House Andresen is one of the touristic poles of Oporto. It is located inside the botanical garden and, until 2008, was part of the Faculty of Sciences of Oporto.
Previously the House Andresen was called Campo Alegre's Estate. Passed into the hands of the Andresen family in 1895 when Sophia's grandfather acquired it from a Brazilian. From there Joana and João Henrique Andresen Junior started to work to turn it to its deserved splendour. It was they who finished the renovation of the house and gardens.
In 1919, when the writer was born, the villa was much larger than it is today. It became smaller when gave way to build the access to Arrábida's Bridge.
Sophia was born and raised here, playing freely in the gardens with her cousin, also writer, Ruben A. The influence of the house can be seen in many of her works. She described it like this “Everything in the house was incredibly big from the bedrooms where the children rode bicycles to the huge atrium (...)".
The reddish colour is the result of a restoration intervention that wanted to capture the original features of the house. It is hard to remain indifferent to its splendour. We went around until we reached a huge staircase going to the first floor. On the right side (facing the house) it's the Bronze Boy Garden, one of Sophia de Mello Breyner's best known works. Following the stairs is the Garden of the Rose Garden and right next to it the Garden of "Js" that invokes the memory of João Henrique and Joana Andresen.
Sophia joined the Classical Philology course, which she did not finish. Definitively moving to Lisbon after her marriage, dividing her time between poetry and political intervention against the Salazar's regime. Sophia is considered one of the most important Portuguese writers of the 20th century. She received the Camões prize in 1999 as well as the Pessoa Prize. She died on the 2 nd of July 2004 and she's buried in the National Pantheon, proof that her mark remains in the history of Portuguese literature.
Useful information: Address: Rua do Campo Alegre, 1191 – Oporto Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: invasaodacasaandresen.up.pt
Near Oporto's Cathedral, on a narrow street called D. Hugo, stands a noble house of Baroque features, built in the second half of the 18th century. In 1996, was refurbished by Alcino Soares giving it temporary exhibition rooms and a cafeteria.
One will enter by the garden through a huge iron gate and is soon in front of the grandeur of the facade, especially the five top floor windows which stand out from the white walls. Behind us there's a sculpture of the poet Guerra Junqueiro observing our steps towards his home.
Guerra Junqueiro was born on 17 of September 1850 in Freixo de Espada à Cinta. He took a Law Degree, in Coimbra (after being for two years in Theology). He was a public servant and a deputy, connected to the Republicans. After the establishment of the Republic he was appointed minister of Portugal in Bern, Switzerland, a position he held until 1914. Guerra Junqueiro died on 7 nd of July 1923. He was considered by many as the greatest Portuguese social poet of the century, having been praised by such notable names as Camilo Castelo Branco, Eça de Queirós or Fernando Pessoa, among others.
The house-museum was created in 1942, by the daughter of Guerra Junqueiro, Maria Isabel Guerra Junqueiro, with her and her mother's belongings, among other contributions and acquisitions by the Municipality of Oporto. The museum has a vast collection which goes from furniture, jewellery, textiles, pottery, glass which covers a period from the 15th century to the 19th century. It is curious to see that many objects came from very distant countries such as China or India.
Useful information: Address: Rua de Dom Hugo, 32 – Oporto E-mail: email@example.com Website: balcaovirtual.cm-porto.pt
Domingos Monteiro was born in this house on 6 of November of 1903, in Mesão Frio. He graduated in Law at the University of Lisbon, but he was also, journalist, editor and, of course, writer. By the way, Domingos Monteiro wrote his first book with 16 years old, Oração do Crepúsculo (1919) with foreword by Teixeira de Pascoaes, whose house is also included in this guide. He led a life dedicated to writing, but also to the opposition of the political regime of the time.
The House-Museum, Quinta das Quintans is impossible to go unnoticed due to its distinctive colour. Its three floors - cellar, ground floor and attic - some rooms were turned into exhibition spaces about Domingos Monteiro and other rooms were kept in their original form. Is it possible, for example, to see the office used by Domingos Monteiro.
Outside, the garden offers an inspiring atmosphere that invites one to a tour by the cave and the bridges over the lakes. Nearby, the vineyard drinks the hot rays of the sun and further down, the beautiful Douro River runs calmly.
Useful information: Address: Quinta das Quintans – Mesão Frio E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: m.facebook.com/cmuseuqquintans Picture by: escritoresanorte.pt
Disease was always an evil companion for Júlio Dinis and for the rest of his family. Born in Oporto on 14 of November of 1839 under the name Joaquim Guilherme Gomes Coelho. He lost his mother to tuberculosis, the same disease that took his eight brothers and later himself.
As the disease plagued him, he sought refuge and healing at the countryside. Among other places, he stayed in Funchal and Ovar, house where we are now and where Julio Dinis came, in 1863, when he start feeling the first signs of tuberculosis.
The Country House, as it became known, It is a typical summer house, low and white. The entrance to the museum is at the side, to the store and reception area. To the early house was added a modern space, with a place for temporary exhibitions and conferences.
The house is decorated in a way that takes us to the daily life of Julio Dinis. The kitchen detail level is particularly successful, with exposed kitchen tools and a iron pot on an open fireplace. Following the corridor one reaches the room where to receive visitors. At the shop windows are displayed copies of Júlio Dinis books, some from the first edition. Adjacent to the living room is the bedroom where the writer certainly imagined many of the scenes included in the pages that he wrote.
It was in Ovar that Dinis wrote most of his works "As Pupilas do Senhor Reitor" and "A Morgadinha dos Canaviais".
Júlio Dinis died early on 12 of September 1871, in Oporto, his homeland, victim of tuberculosis.
Useful information: Address: Rua Júlio Dinis, n. 81 – Ovar E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.cm-ovar.pt
Ferreira de Castro
Ferreira de Castro was one of the most popular Portuguese authors of the twentieth century. As soon as we decided to include it in the Travel Guide it left us with a doubt: which houses to include? Yes, there are two museum-houses of the author. Ferreira de Castro went to Lisbon early in his life, after having returned from Brazil. It was in Sintra where he wrote much of his work. It was to this Council that Ferreira de Castro donated his personal objects in 1973, just before leaving this world. His desire was to be buried in Sintra's mountain, location that inspired him greatly. “I wanted to stay there forever” (...) “where the plants lived freely”.
But we decided for his birthplace, perhaps not as visited as the Sintra house, not so big, but offer an unparalleled genuineness.
The Salgueiros village, parish of Ossela, Oliveira de Azeméis saw the birth of Ferreira de Castro 1898, son of peasants. The house is a show of their social status. It is a small house, with two floors, that keeps a backyard (as requested by the author) and the green of the pine trees behind it.
This building has had various uses such as the People's House. Only in 1965 it went back to Ferreira de Castro's family. Then he decided to turn the house into a museum by giving it the look of his old home.
On the ground floor we found the wine cellar and various kinds of agricultural tools such as wine barrels and a winepress. On the first floor we can walk by small rooms: the kitchen, the living room, his mother's room and Ferreira de Castro's. There we find the suitcase and the shoes that he took for his trip around the world.
Ferreira de Castro is an esteemed person in his homeland. In addition to a visit to the House Museum, schedule your time to go on the Paths of Ferreira de Castro. You will learn more about the amazing life of this author while walking through the beautiful scenery described in "The Emigrants" (1928) and in Ferreira de Castro's memory books.
Useful information: Address: Lugar de Salgueiros, Ossela – Oliveira de Azeméis E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: esan.web.ua.pt/FerreiradeCastro/
Coimbra holds the house that was, once, of one the greatest Portuguese writers: Miguel Torga. In dead end street, ironically named Fernando Pessoa (was Miguel Torga's favorite author), stands the one floor house.
A small garden leads us to the hidden entrance under the arches. Inside, the dark environment foresees the belongings of a lifetime. The small room where Miguel Torga (or Adolfo Correia da Rocha) received great names from politics and arts is on the right side. Further on, the kitchen where were made the dishes he so much appreciated. Through the windows one can glimpse the garden which mimics the Douro and Trás-os-Montes' landscape.
Upstairs stands out the office complete with a bed which he used to call "my sarcophagus". The hours spent in this space required comfort and inspiring environment. The evidence is the fireplace, the only in the house.
It is worth a visit to this house filled with a collection of documents, photos, first editions, furniture purchased in antique shops, pottery, paintings and sculptures. Here one breathes the heather and the air of Trás-os-Montes.
Other of the "houses of Miguel Torga" is the one that saw the birth of the writer and where he spent his entire childhood in São Martinho de Anta, county of Sabrosa. This will be turned soon into a museum and be opened to the public. Another place to visit in the same location is the space Miguel Torga, entirely dedicated to life and work of the poet.
Useful information: HOUSE MUSEUM MIGUEL TORGA Address: Praceta Fernando Pessoa – Coimbra Phone: +351 239 781 345 CASA MIGUEL TORGA Address: Rua Miguel Torga – São Martinho de Anta Phone: +351 259 330 770 SPACE MIGUEL TORGA Address: Rua Miguel Torga – São Martinho de Anta Phone: +351 259 330 770
In the city centre of Condeixa-a-Nova, we found a white house bearing on the facade the name of this important Portuguese writer. It's a simple house, with only two floors, still surrounded by shops, and reopened in 1990 under City Hall's supervision.
The house belonged to the parents of Fernando Namora and it seems difficult to conceive how three people could live in such a small space, since the ground floor was used as retail fabric store. The writer's paintings are all around us. On a countertop, the dark stone bust keeps eternal vigilance.
We are led to the top floor by a narrow staircase. Medals, commendations and awards received over a lifetime lie inside showcases. His vast library is displayed everywhere, as well as the manuscripts collection, original notes and print tests. His office was moved from his house in Lisbon to here trying to keep it as similar to its former place as possible. The detail of existing frames with pictures of his friends and family takes us to a more intimate environment, which is said to be very friendly.
Fernando Namora was born in Condeixa-a-Nova, to 15 of April, 1919 and remained in this house until 10 years old. Because of his mother's demand, he he graduated in medicine at the University of Coimbra. Fernando Namora would have chosen Arts, but he ended up following his mother's advice and even became fond of the course and of the profession. Later on he opened a doctor's office in Condeixa, but soon the paths of life led him to the Beira Interior region, Alentejo and Lisbon. The places he went, by the way, are displayed in his work, both in painting and in writing.
The first floor door opens to the street showing a small space flooded with sunlight. Almost makes you want to sit in the balcony and write a little, but we think its best not to offend the legacy left by the brilliant Fernando Namora.
Useful information: Address: Largo Artur Barreto, n. 9 – Condeixa-a-Nova E-mail: email@example.com Website: cm-condeixa.pt
In the village of Soutosa, municipality of Moimenta da Beira, It stands the imposing 19th century building where Aquilino Ribeiro moved into, with 10 years old, in the company of his parents. The estate belonged to his grandfather and he eventually inherits it after the death of his father.
The visit is divided between the House-Museum, the Library and the House of the Villager. The writer's belongings, such as books, personal objects, postcards and photographs are in the House-Museum. In the library we can walk through bookshelves that store a collection of around 8000 volumes. The House of the Villager is a reproduction of traditional house of the Aquilino's time.
Aquilino Ribeiro was born in Sernancelhe in 13 of September 1885. He was closely linked to the republican movement having to go into exile for more than one time during his lifetime. The extensive work of this Portuguese writer covers a wide range styles from romance to novels, and also tales, memoirs, ethnographic and historical studies, biographies or even children's literature. It is, in fact, an author who you must discover.
Useful information: Address: Rua Juiz Conselheiro Aníbal Aquilino Ribeiro, Soutosa, Moimenta da Beira Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.aquilinoribeiro.pt Picture by: escritoresanorte.pt
Afonso Lopes Vieira
São Pedro de Moel, in the municipality of Marinha Grande, under a near cloud free sky and sprinkled by the sea air, we found a white and yellow house, once inhabited by Afonso Lopes Vieira.
Afonso Lopes Vieira was born in Leiria on the 26 th of January 1878. Soon he moved to Lisbon with his family. He graduated in law at the University of Coimbra, and came to be a lawyer and was also a drafter in the House of Deputies, but eventually he devoted himself exclusively to writing.
It was here where he wrote much of his work, in this house offered by his father as a wedding gift. The poet divided his time between Lisbon and São Pedro de Moel. Usually he spent his summer days here and then returned to Lisbon in the winter. He often received visits from his artist friends, in this house which he called "Ship House".
On the first floor is the house-museum, which stores a number of personal items, books and other author's belongings. The house was decorated as closely as possible to how Afonso Lopes Vieira left it.
On the ground floor works part of the Summer Camp Afonso Lopes Vieira. The writer donated the house, in his will, to the Municipality of Marinha Grande so they could create a summer camp for the children of workers in the glass industry (very important for the city's economy), of the fire fighters and of the forest workers. Furthermore, he donated his books to the city of Leiria. It was with this collection that the city's library was started and then given his name to it. By the way, the office and Afonso Lopes Vieira's library were transferred to Leiria's library. The space was arranged to mimic the house in Lisbon. We suggest you go visit it, because it is a good addition to this trip through Afonso Lopes Vieira's words and memories.
Useful information: Address: Rua Dr. Adolfo Leitão, n. 4 , São Pedro de Moel Phone: +351 244 573 377 Website: www.cm-mgrande.pt Pictures by 1 and 2: Municipality of Marinha Grande
In the neighbourhood of Campo de Ourique in Lisbon, namely in Coelho Rocha Street, it's located the Fernando Pessoa's House. It is unmistakable, not only because of the signs, but also due to the quotes covering the façade.
The poet and writer spent the last fifteen years of his life here, from 1920 to 1935. It was the home of Fernando Pessoa and his many heteronyms, the house where the books and handwritten sheets were left in the bedroom trunk. The room is, by the way, a representation of his daily life and where we can see the original desk and personal objects. The detail of the ashtray with cigarette butts takes us to the last years when Fernando Pessoa smoked compulsively. The walls display his school diplomas. Pessoa was a brilliant student, but he preferred to study on his own at the National Library. His genius could not be confined to a classroom.
Outside his room is the typewriter and other items. The showcase in front shows Pessoa's family in small pictures. After the death of her second husband, Fernando Pessoa's mother returned to Portugal coming from South Africa. Pessoa then rents a storey in this building for his mother, a stepsister and two stepbrothers. Later the stepbrothers left for England.
Pessoa rarely left the city as an adult and when he did it was, often, due to someone's invitation so this house has witnessed many of his works and also his human decline.
Today, the building (not only the storey) is a museum dedicated to Pessoa which is considered, for many, the best Portuguese author of all times. There is an interactive space called "Dreamer", among many other things, we can also go through Pessoa's library in digital format. On the ground floor an exhibition room tells the story of Pessoa's literary time.
Fernando Pessoa left a work and an invaluable contribution to the Portuguese cultural life. The least we can do is try to know a little more about his life.
Useful information: Address: Rua Coelho da Rocha, 16, Campo de Ourique, Lisboa E-mail: email@example.com Website: casafernandopessoa.cm-lisboa.pt
The Casa dos Bicos, one of the most iconic and most recognizable buildings in Lisbon turned into the home of José Saramago Foundation. The foundation was established by the writer himself and created in 2007 in order to spread the literature, the defence of human rights and the environment.
José Saramago was born in the village of Azinhaga, Ribatejo, in 1922, within a peasant family. His parents decided to go to Lisbon when he was less than two years old. He began his high school studies, but due his family's economic constraints could not pursue his academic training. Therefore, he began his professional life as a factory worker, and went through several other professions before ending up as an editor and journalist.
On the ground floor one can see the ruins of a previous Lisbon: Olissipo, was its name. The old town wall, used to defend the core of the city, now welcomes visitors. In another area, further on you will see the old tanks for preserved fish which were then exported throughout the Roman Empire.
But we came here in search of José Saramago, more specifically of his legacy. On the first floor the permanent exhibition "The seed and the fruit" unfolds his life, the personal and professional growth, his literary work among books and translations, the numerous awards and personal notes made by his own hand. The highlight is the Literature Nobel Prize Medal received in 1998. Around the corner one can peek through two openings in the wall and see a reproduction of his first office. We imagine José Saramago pressing the keys of the old typewriter. What marvels came from that machine!
Going up the stairs to the fourth floor you'll go into the library / auditorium. It is a beautifully decorated space, with pictures from the movie "Blindness", directed by Fernando Meirelles and based on the work of José Saramago. The dark atmosphere leads our eyes to the book spines. A TV expels a male voice in the direction of a half-dozen chairs. The background music and the words trapped us to the ground making us unable to escape the strength of the video "Letter to My Grandparents" by André Raposo from Saramago's chronicle "Letter to Josefa, my grandmother". It's a nice way to end the visit.
Returning to the street we headed up the sidewalk to an olive tree. The ashes of the only Portuguese Nobel Prize for Literature lie next to the roots of this tree from the village of Azinhaga and covered with earth from Lanzarote's Island. On the right, only one sentence: "But it not went up to the stars because it belonged to the ground".
Useful information: Address: Rua dos Bacalhoeiros, 10 – Lisboa Website: www.josesaramago.org