Cafés Literários na Baixa

Tue, 07.01.2020

Let’s start the year with Cafés Literários na Baixa!

After the break for Christmas and New Year, our Portuguese language school is back with the cultural events. We’ll start the year 2020 perfectly with a walking tour about Cafés Literários in Baixa, on January 7th.

Cafés Literários is the Portuguese sentence for Literary coffee shops. Along the 18th and 20th century, Baixa and Chiado were probably the most cultural neighbourhoods of Lisboa. Many intellectuals used to gather in several coffee shops to talk about Literature or Politics. They turned these spaces into centres of knowledge and culture, in authentic cafés literários.

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, will guide us through a Lisbon of old times. At a time that the only place to talk freely about culture was the coffee shop.

We’ll start at Café A Brasileira, the most famous and emblematic of Lisbon – it opened its doors in 1905. The 1908 refurbishment makes the ground floor a coffee room and then, they started to sell coffee in a cup. It was such a unique habit that Adriano Telles, the owner, decided to offer the drink. Fernando Pessoa was a regular customer and because of that, in 1980 they inaugurated a statue to his memory.

After, we’ll go to Café Nicola, one of the first coffee shops in Lisbon. It is known to have been the second home of the Portuguese poet Bocage.

We’ll end in Martinho da Arcada. Since 1778, it was the Ice Coffee shop, which provided drinks and ice cream for the court. During the 20th century, Fernando Pessoa used to go to Martinho, to drink his coffee and his bagasse.

After the walking tour through Cafés Literários, we’ll drink a delicious hot chocolate in Confeitaria Nacional!

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