Os miradouros de Graça

Wed, 11.07.2018

A journey back in time to the ancient worker’s villages

In the last tour we went with our students to visit the neighbourhood of Graça. We walked until the belvedere of Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen known as miradouro da Graça. The name was in honour to this well-known Portuguese poetess that died in 2004. She, like many of us that day, was inspired by the breathless view of the spot to write her poetry.

A few meters away from the belvedere, our history teacher Indira lead us to Villa Sousa, an old worker’s village. This kind of construction appeared in the transition of the 19th to the 20th century when the city demographically increased until 120%. Many people went to Lisbon searching for jobs in the factories and better conditions of life. The city wasn´t prepared for this situation, so many of this people didn’t have a place to stay. In order to change this situation many industrial men built a place where they could live. Villa Sousa was converted to a worker’s village in 1889 by an industrial man João Luís de Sousa & Filho. His employees lived there while they were working in his factory settled in Xabregas.

After that, Indira took us to another worker´s village: Villa Berta. It was created in 1900 by a Brazilian industrial man Joaquim Francisco do Tojal that gave the name of his daughter Berta. Part of the village is still from Tojal’s family. His great grandson with 60 years old lives there.

We ended up perfectly in the belvedere of Nossa Senhora do Monte that has an astounding view to Lisbon! According to the legend, Saint Gens, the first bishop of Lisbon, was martyred there. We had the chance to drink something and talk about our new discoveries of the day!

Here you can see some of the photos taken during the event.

A walk through the old model villages and the wonderful belvederes

The characteristic structure of Lisbon offers the possibility to admire the city from different viewpoints called “miradouros”. On the 11th of July, our school is going to organize a tour to discover the neighborhood of Graça. This district is in one of Lisbon’s hills, very close to the castle. Due to its position, we can appreciate some of the most beautiful views of the capital. Together, we will discover its history and its importance in the XXI century, during the expansion of industry in Lisbon.

From Praça do Rossio, we will reach the Belvedere of Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen. It is still known as Miradouro da Graça, but its name was changed with the inauguration of the statue of the poetess Sophia.

Then, we will walk through some typical and old model villages of Graça. They were created in the XIX century, during the Industrial Revolution. The model villages were communities made by the industrialists and landowners to house their workers.

The last step of the tour will be the Belvedere of Nossa Senhora do Monte. It is considered by many people as the most beautiful miradouro in the city. From there, it’s possible to admire the Castle, the river Tejo, Bairro Alto, Monsanto Park and much more. Indira will explain us the history of this belvedere located in front of the Capela de Nossa Senhora do Monte.

And this is the perfect location to enjoy a drink and to socialize in a multicultural environment.

By participating in this tour, you’ll learn more about the history of Lisbon and you’ll practice your Portuguese. As usual, our history teacher, Indira Leão, will speak both in Portuguese and English.

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