The Fado music in Lisbon

Tue, 03.09.2019

Experiencing the Fado music

On the last 3rd of September our Portuguese language school organized a walking tour about the Fado music.

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, guided us during the afternoon. We started in Escadinhas de São Cristóvão. Here we saw the mural painting called Fado Vadio. The socio-cultural association Amigos de São Cristóvão are the artists behind the project. They inaugurated it in 2008. The mural has many characteristic elements related to Alfama and the Portuguese culture. The bread and wine as catholic symbols of the Portuguese daily life, Saint Anthony, the fadistas Maria Severa and Fernando Maurício.

Then, we walked to Rua do Capelão in Mouraria. Here in the number 35-A Maria Severa lived and died. She was the first known fadista. According to the testimonies, she had an incredible voice. In that a time, an honourable woman couldn’t sing in public. Only the prostitutes, like Maria Severa were able to do that. Unfortunately, she died very young with only 26 years old in 1846.

After, we went to Alfama where we could visit the mural of the urban artist Vhils. It was made with cobblestones and honours the fadista Amália Rodrigues. Curiously, Amália was born 100 years after Severa, in 1920. With less than 20 years, she started her career. Her unique voice and way to perform the Fado music quickly made her famous. The Portuguese dictatorship Salazar took advantage of the Fado music in order to influence the Portuguese people. The conformism and refusal to change are patent in Fado and Salazar used them as weapons to manipulate Portuguese people.

We ended the walking tour in the tasca Fora de Moda, in Alfama. Here we drank and we watched beautiful performances of Fado. It was an amazing experience!

Below, you can check our photos:


A walking tour about the Fado music

The fado music is one of the main symbols of Lisbon. Do you know that it flourished in the typical neighbourhoods of Mouraria and Alfama? Are you aware that Fado music is the best that conveys the feeling of being Portuguese? To find out more about this important Portuguese symbol join us on the 3rd of September!

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, will accompany us during this walking tour. We’ll start at Escadinhas de São Cristóvão. Here, we’ll find the impressive mural Fado Vadio. It’s a tribute to Fado, the iconic music of Lisbon that is considered Intangible World Heritage of Humanity. The mural represents Maria Severa, the first known fadista and Fernando Maurício, a Portuguese fadista of the 20th century. In addition, we can find other symbols that represent the neighbourhood of Alfama.

Then, we’ll walk until Mouraria. During the second half of the 19th century, the Fado flourished here. Some musicologists as Rui Vieira Nery defend that the Fado has origins in the Brazilian Fado dance. It settled and spread in Lisbon by the Afro-Brazilian population that accompanied the nobles returning to Lisbon. Above all, Afro-Brazilian Population settled in the poor neighbourhoods of Alfama and Mouraria and there they spread the Fado dance.

After, we’ll go to Alfama. We’ll have the chance to visit the mural made with cobblestones called Amália. She is probably one of the most international Portuguese fadistas. With only 19 years old Amália started her career and introduced a different way of perform Fado. Vhils is the artist of the mural and is famous for their “Faces” carved into walls.

After the walking tour, nothing better than experiencing the Fado music in a typical tasca!

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