Uncovering the secrets of Alfama

Wed, 19.12.2018

Alfama: a small village inside Lisbon

On the 19th of December our Portuguese language school organized the last walking tour of the year.

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, guided us through the historic streets of Alfama. Alfama derives from the Arabic name al-hamma which mean fountains or baths.

The first stop of this tour was the painting mural called Fado Vadio. This example of  Street Art has several symbols of Alfama’s traditions, such as Saint Antony, who was born in this neighbourhood. Beyond the figure of the saint we could find the representation of Severa, a fadista of the second half of the 19th century.

In Saint Antony’s church we visited the krypt where he was born and lived. The church didn’t survive to the earthquake of 1755, however the krypt remained intact. Indira told us that there is a dispute between portuguese and italian believers about the nationality of the Saint. We know that he was definitively Portuguese.

Then, we went inside the of Lisbon. it’s a fancy name in Portuguese to name a cathedral. It was built after the Christian conquest of Lisbon led by D. Afonso Henriques in 1147. The towers of the cathedral collapsed after the earthquake of 1755. According to a legend, D. Afonso Henriques after conquer Lisbon ordered the translation of the body of Saint Vicent from Sagres to Lisbon. The remains of the saint were saved in the .

During the walking tour we realized that Alfama its an uncommon neighbourhood. In some streets people keep their doors open, they all know each other, children play outside and there is no traffic noise. It seems that we are in the village inside an european capital!

After the tour we went to a nice esplanade in Largo José Saramago.

Take a look at our photos:


Knowing the traditions of a typical neighbourhood in Lisbon

Probably most of you have visited or have curiosity to visit one of the most typical neighbourhoods in Lisbon. Alfama has many stories to tell that make part of the tradition of Lisbon. Our Portuguese language school will end perfectly this year with a special walking tour in Alfama. Prepare ourselves for the 19th of December!

Our history teacher, Indira Leão will guide us during this tour. The History of Alfama is known since 711 when Lisbon was under the Muslin control. By the way, Alfama derives from Arabic al-hamma which means baths and fountains. We’ll testify that the muslin origin and past of Alfama influenced the neighbourhood until nowadays.

We’ll have the chance to visit the mural painting called Fado Vadio which is very representative about Alfama’s traditions. It was made by a collective of artists to honor the Fado music which was considered Intangible World Heritage of Humanity. We’ll learn more about the flourishing of Fado music in this neighbourhood.

Then, we’ll visit the Saint Antony’s church. The crypt of this church survived to the earthquake of 1755 and Saint Antony was born and lived here in the 13th century. Saint Antony it’s the popular saint in Lisbon. The 13th of June it’s a holiday in Lisbon in honor of him. The people in Lisbon celebrate with drinks and sardines from the night of the 12th to the 13th of June.

We’ll also see the oldest defensive wall in Lisbon known as Cerca Moura built in the late roman period.

We’ll end this tour in the marvelous belvedere of Santa Luzia. It’ll be the perfect opportunity to know each other better.

Join us in this tour and keep posted on the School Events section in our website.