A journey through the churches and chapels of Portimão

On your next visit to the Algarve, come to Portimão, taste some local gastronomy, stroll along the streets, relax  in the riverside area and discover the city’s religious heritage. You’ll appreciate it!

With the Easter religious time still in mind, we decided to present to you a small itinerary that will take you to discover the churches and chapels of the beautiful city of Portimão, in the Algarve.

The religious heritage in Portimão, is not vast, but quite interesting and worth a visit.

Starting from Manuel Teixeira Gomes Square, with the city map in your hands, go towards the old bridge, attentive to the architectural details and look for the secular Chapel of St. Joseph. Then, get lost in the streets and alleys towards the Igreja Matriz, the main church of Portimão and end this part of the journey, in the Church of the College of the Jesuits.

Teixeira Gomes
Manuel Teixeira Gomes Square

From here, you can go to Rua do Comércio to see the latest fashion trends and to the Rua Direita to taste some regional products at Mercearia do Algarve, discover some tasteful typically Portuguese gifts at the Tradição Portuguesa shop, indulge yourself with a regional sweet at Casa da Isabel or a tidbit at  Maria do Mar. After this relaxing moments, it is time for a longer walk along the riverside, crossing the interior of the city, to discover the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo. 

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Portuguese gifts

Chapel of St. Joseph

This centenary chapel, located next to the old bridge of Portimão, was built in the 17th century. For several years, it was a place of worship for St. Joseph, patron of the naval carpenters who worked in the shipyards near to this place. Inside, some baroque traces. The tiled flooring enhances the gold-framed frame with the image of Christ crucified. The exterior is a little run down. It is closed to the public, opening only for Eucharistic celebrations, on Sundays at 5:00 p.m.

Capela Sao Jose
Chapel of St. Joseph

Main Church of Portimão

Dated from 15th century, the main church of Portimão is located in the highest part of the city, inside the old walls.

Igreja Matriz
Main Church of Portimão

The late-Gothic portal is inspired by the most imposing monument of the time, the Monastery of Batalha and in it are identified fine sculptures of musicians and women in frame. Various styles, such as Baroque, Rococo and Manueline styles, are the fruit of the various phases of reconstruction and artistic enrichment of the temple.

Interior
Interior of the Igreja Matriz de Portimão

Church of the College of the Jesuits 

Located in the Alameda da Praça da República the Church and the Jesuit College was built at the end of the 17th century by order of D. Diogo Gonçalves – whose mausoleum remains in the main chapel – as gratitude for having found in Portimão a good port of refuge, after a strong storm at sea.

Colegio
College of the Jesuits 

Unlike the Jesuit buildings, this building fully assumed the Baroque style. With the earthquake of 1755 the building suffered some damage, highlighting the vaults, which contributed for a refurbishment of the main facade.

The austerity and simplicity of the architecture of the Restoration are present within the Church-Hall.

Interior
Interior of the church of the College of the Jesuits

The Church of the College of the Jesuits was even chosen by the Marquês de Pombal to set up in the region of Portimão a new Algarve Cathedral (Diocese), a project that did not happen in the end.

Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo

This simple chapel, of Arab origin, was christianized and dedicated to Our Lady of Amparo, also known by Our Lady of the Milk, well represented in a screen behind the altar, breastfeeding her baby. Here the pregnant women went to receive their blessing. The chapel was built in the likeness of the ancient Islamic marabouts, having been restored 30 years ago.

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Church of Our Lady of the Milk

On your next visit to the Algarve, come to Portimão, taste some local gastronomy, stroll along Rua das Comércio and Rua Direita, relax  in the riverside area and discover the city’s religious heritage. You’ll appreciate it!

Top 5 places to listen to Fado in Lisbon

Next time you visit Lisbon, take some extra time to discover the pleasure of listening to the sound of the Portuguese soul live while you taste a pleasant meal. Here are five suggestions of fado houses that you might consider.

Fado is part of the identity of Portugal and is a symbol of the city of Lisbon. In 2011, it was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage, a recognition that we, Portuguese people, are very proud of.

So, when in Lisbon you must definitely discover the joy of listening to the sound of the Portuguese soul, live.

We leave you here five suggestions of places – some more touristic, others more traditional and typical. There are performances with professional singers and amateur fado singers, the so-called fado vadio; different styles, but all singing the Portuguese Saudade, the feeling and the love.

And if you have the opportunity, pass by Madragoa, where you can find the house where Amália Rodrigues lived, the most charismatic of the Portuguese fadistas, who took our Fado to the world. With great presence and natural charisma on the stage is to Amália – the so called Queen of Fado – that we owe the classic image of the black dress with shawl.

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Photo of Amália in 1954 SILVA NOGUEIRA/MUSEU DO TEATRO

Clube do Fado

Located in the immediate vicinity of the Sé, in the heart of Alfama, Clube de Fado  is more than a restaurant, it is a place where you can taste good delicacies of the Portuguese traditional cuisine, with fado and Portuguese guitar by company. A reference in the universe of the traditional fado houses of Lisbon, with a romantic atmosphere, sober and intimate decoration.

Clube do Fado

Sr. Vinho

Founded in 1975, Sr. Vinho is one of the most well known and traditional fado houses in Lisbon. With three floors and a contemporary decoration, it offers different environments to enjoy the fado, besides the excellent Portuguese gastronomy and an exquisite table service.

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Parreirinha de Alfama

Parreirinha de Alfama is a fado house with a cozy atmosphere where traditional Portuguese cuisine and fado combine perfectly. This is where the voices of Amália Rodrigues, Alfredo Marceneiro, Tristão da Silva, Maria da Fé, among many others have already passed.

Parreirinha de alfama

Adega Machado

Located in the Bairro Alto, Adega Machado is one of the best-known fado houses in Lisbon. Distributed over three floors is a place that seeks to cross the traditional with the contemporary, both in fado, as in the gastronomy. If you want to know contemporary interpretations of the Lisbon Fado that plunge into the roots of the urban song, Adega Machado is the right place to go.

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O Faia

Founded in 1947, O Faia remains to this day as a reference on Lisbon night. In more than half a century of existence, great names of the fado were habitual presence in this house, starting with the founder, Lucília do Carmo, herself an important figure in the History of Fado and continuing with her son, Carlos do Carmo. Here sang names like Alfredo Marceneiro, Tristão da Silva, Fernando Maurício, Ada de Castro, Beatriz da Conceição, Vasco Rafael, Camané, among others. At the table of the O Faia you can discover aromas and flavors in a creative and contemporary cuisine without forgetting the tradition and respect for the Portuguese cuisine.

O faia F

Find out a little more about Fado, music of the world, here.

 

Discover the genuine taste of an Algarve tradition

In search of the best insider tips and secrets to share with the world, we have found a small fish cannery craft in the Algarve that produces, with love and affection, delicious fillets of anchovy. BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

In search of the best insider tips and secrets to share with the world, we have found a small cannery craft in the Algarve that has behind it a moving family history and produces, with love and affection, delicious fillets of anchovy.

For those who do not know, the anchovy is a small bluish fish, from which you can make fillets, that when processed in an artisan way – based on a whole ancestral tradition and the enormous heritage that the canning industry left to those who worked there in the Algarve – turn into a delicious delicacy, ideal as an entrée or snack, seasoned with garlic and accompanied by a cold beer or a good fresh green wine.

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The story of the Filetes de Biqueirão Avô Luís is also the story of the canning industry in the Algarve and Carla, a woman of arms with a pleasant smile, who gives herself body and soul to all the projects she embraces and dedicates to them, all affection.

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Let her story be told in her own words… It’s up to us to present her in a small biographical note…

Carla Isabel de Jesus Serol was born on October 13, in 1976. She is the youngest of six siblings. Daughter of Deolinda Boiças and Luís Serol. She has been married for 18 years to Mario, who is her biggest support in this project. Mother of three boys 13, 9 and 4 years old, she is a native of Lagoa, in the Algarve where she works as an administrative assistant in the Social Action Unit of the Municipality. She has lived in Armação de Pêra for 18 years but her whole life revolves around the city of Lagoa, where she works, where the children study and go to the day care. She participates actively in the social and political life of her city, having assumed in October 2017 the position of President of the Assembly of the Union of Parishes of Lagoa and Carvoeiro. Currently, studying Social Sciences at the Open University, aims to be gradueted in Social Work.

“The anchovy was always something very present in my house. It was an acquired fact, something that appeared year after year at the hands of my parents, as a tradition.

My mother worked in the fish canning industry. In fact, she worked in almost all the fish canning factories that existed at the time in the municipality of Lagoa. And believe me, there were many! Also my paternal grandmother, who I never knew, worked in many of these same factories.

All the knowledge they had, not only about the preparation of the anchovy but also of many other processes of fish preservation, passed it on to my father. And it was in this way that the tradition of the preparation and stowage of anchovy remained in my family.

Driven by my father, who was a man who liked a good snack and anchovy in particular, my mother continued to prepare the fish my father brought. She did it almost in a contradictory way, a reflection of many years of factory work, of many hours of standing and working with employers who were not always pleasant, of years that were not at all removed from a fairy tale. But still, she did it as if she had never stopped doing it. She did it like nobody else!

And so it was for many years, until the sad date when we had to say goodbye to my mother.

In the following years, my father kept the tradition alone. The result was 20 to 30 bottles he distributed warmly to his children and some close friends. My father was an extraordinarily generous man.

With the departure of my mother, we talked many times that he could not leave us without sharing the testimony of the anchovy to someone. We agreed that next summer we would do it together, so that I, besides the theory, would learn all the practice of the process. But life turned us around, and “next summer” did not came to my father.

I promised him still in life that I would do it without him. And so I did it! The next summer I prepared my first batch of anchovy, with only my heart in mind. And the power of love is amazing … as if I was guided, I made the first 30 bottles of the Filetes de Biqueirão Avô Luís. With the success in sight and the search I had for more product, I decided to continue what began as a promise of love.

At this moment, the Filetes de Biqueirão Avô Luís have come to stay. We have a small business on the rise, to which I foresee much success and which already includes a small canning craft. “

The stew of the anchovy (treatment of the fish after the brine that will give rise to the delicious snack) is in fact a totally handcrafted process that involves a lot of time, work, patience and, above all, a lot of dedication.

biqueirao 6

This is the secret of the Filetes de Biqueirão Avô Luís – commitment in the ambition of keeping these traditional flavours alive, and a true example, that good traditional products require soul, dedication, and lots of love.

Biqueirao

If you wish to taste this delicacy, of limited production, you can for now, find it only through Facebook in Filetes de Biqueirão – Avô Luís.

Biqueirao 2

Bom apetite! (we do not need translation for this part!)

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Christmas time in Portugal: traditions that last

At Christmas time there is an atmosphere of celebration and the most important moments are those that revive the spirit of communion and sharing between family and friends. BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

At Christmas time in Portugal there is an atmosphere of celebration and the most important moments are those that revive the spirit of communion and sharing between family and friends, where being at the dinner table for the “Consoada” is one of the most remarkable moments.

As in other moments of celebration, the food, occupies in Christmas an important place. The delicious typical dishes and sweets for the Christmas night dinner change a little from region to region, from North to South of Portugal, but tend to be more and more similar.

Traditionally, families gather on the December 24th and at the dinner table is eaten cod fish or octopus, served with cooked egg, potato and Portuguese cabbage, although the turkey or the roast rooster and other meat dishes that were savored in the following days already begin to integrate the menus.

bacalhau-cozido-consoada-de-natal

For dessert, there is the Bolo-rei  filled with candied fruit or nuts (“King cake”), “filhoses”, “sonhos” (traditional deep fried sweet pastry sprinkled with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon) or “rabanadas” (type of French toast), sweet rice and sweet potato pastries, especially in the Algarve.

rabanada

At midnight, a Mass is celebrated, and in the churches as well as in the houses there is a special place for the nativity scene, the recreation of the stable where Jesus Christ was born, an idea of ​​St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century, very common in Portugal.

In the Algarve, the preparation of the traditional nativity scene begins on December the 8th, at the Feast of Our Lady of the Conception, where wheat, oats, barley, lentils, corn, and other seeds that are barely germinating will adorn an altar. The oranges, placed in the scene are not only for ornament but also for offering to special friends. Nine days before Christmas, the nativity scene is set up. On top of a dresser, a small throne is placed on a staircase, which imitates the main altar of the church. On the day of Kings, the germinated seeds are transplanted, with votes of good harvests for the coming New Year.

Presepio

In some regions such as in Bragança, Guarda or Castelo Branco, a wood is still burned during the night, in a large bonfire in the churchyard, that serves as a meeting point to gather friends and neighbors and wish a Merry Christmas.

queima do madeiro na aldeia de Sta Margarida

On the 8th of January, the Day of the Kings, the festivities ends with the “Janeiras”. In the street or in national monuments and churches, these traditional songs are heard to wish for a Happy New Year.

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By the way, what are the Christmas traditions of your region?