Monday, 25 May 2015

The reopening of Museu Nacional dos Coches

The new Museu Nacional dos Coches in Belém, opened to the public last Saturday, with a free admission program that included a parade by G.N.R. “Charanga a Cavalo” and a display of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art.

The date was set to mark the 110th anniversary of the inauguration of the original museum in 1905, an initiative of Queen Amelia, wife of King Carlos I.

From today, the entries in the new museum cost six euros and later on, when the museum's building project is complete, it will cost eight euros.

In the old building of Museu dos Coches, the Picadeiro Real, will remain open to the public and the entries will cost four euros, two euros less than it was charged so far.

The new Museu dos Coches arises in Belém as a cultural center but also as a public place. In the words of the architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha "the museum has no door and it faces all sides." More than a museum, the project works as an urban infrastructure that offers “public space” to the city.

This is the most visited museum in the country and on this project two concerns converged, on one hand the imperative need to increase the museum’s exhibition area as well as its technical support infrastructure and, on the other hand, the need to build new areas.

The new Museum includes spaces for permanent and temporary exhibitions, areas for conservation and restoration workshops that will contribute to the development of such heritage.

A library, an auditorium and an archive will allow to accomplish a set of cultural activities that will enrich the museum’s cultural offer. The Museum also features dining outlets, a Souvenir Store and a Tourism Office.

The surrounding areas of the new building were all renovated and feature a new Museum Square with free access. This is a perfect new spot for leisure and family recreation.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Lisbon, City of the Sea

Video, lights and sound are back to Terreiro do Paço. A new Video Mapping show entitled “Lisbon, City of Sea” will be on view from May 22nd to 31st.

“Lisbon, City of Sea” is a multimedia spectacle which shows the close links between Lisbon and the Sea.

Relive the age of the Discoveries and remember the sailing competitions of nowadays, you will hear the calls of the fishwives to the fishing boats going to the sea, take a closer look to the architecture and leisure activities and you’ll see that the city’s pace of life is tangled with the waves that lap upon its shores.

Let yourself be guided by compass needle that revolves around the cardinal points, in a dizzying journey that transports you to different historical and contemporary eras, representative of this intimate connection Lisbon shares with the Sea.

Friday, 15 May 2015


The origin of fado is controversial, and there are those who relate it to the chanting of the muslims who remained in Lisbon after the 12th century’s Christian reconquest and those who associate it to the songs of the sailors involved in the portuguese discoveries that started in the 14th century.

However, the most likely hypothesis is that fado, with an urban matrix resultant of the different cultures existing in Lisbon, was born and imposed itself in the mid-19th century, from the fusion of a kind of popular songs ("modinhas") with others of afro-brazilian origin ("lundum").

Initially associated with the populace and with those who frequented the alleys, taverns and brothels of the capital’s old historical neighborhoods, fado was fast accepted by the higher socio-economic classes and even by the nobles, who introduced it in aristocratic salons, making it more melodic, literary and artistic.

Despite the impulse given by the radio broadcast, theatre, cinema and by the "casas de fado” (fado houses) born in the meantime, it was only in the 50s of the last century that fado surpassed boundaries and was projected worldwide, thanks to the greatest fado singer ever: Amália Rodrigues.

It is, in general, a sad song that expresses the nostalgia, melancholy and saudade (longing, missing) of the Portuguese people. It speaks of love, jealousy, pain and of the misfortunes of fate, and it may also be sometimes associated with bullfighting, religious themes, bucolic themes, etc.. Nowadays, it is almost always sung at night, by a man or a woman, the latter standing out in black clothing and with the traditional shawl. It is accompanied by Portuguese guitar (a 12 string instrument, with a pear-shaped box) and viola.

Classified by UNESCO, in 2011, as World Intangible Cultural Heritage, fado is the greatest Portuguese musical symbol, and, especially, the song of the city of Lisbon.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

International Museum Day

There’s no excuse not to visit any of the Portuguese Museums this week: on the 16th during the night and on the 18th during the day, the majority of the museums and palaces will be open, free of charge, as it is the Night of the Museums and the International Museum Day.

The International Museum Day, is celebrated each year on May 18th, with several activities under the theme “Museums for a Sustainable Society”.

The European Night of the Museums, created by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, will take place on May 16th.

About 70 museums across the country will join this year’s edition, contributing with over 400 different activities.

The Night of the Museums itself will organize over 140 activities, providing attractive and out of the ordinary experiences enabling the public to experience the sites in a different perspective, participating in activities organized purposely for this atmosphere and specific time.

As mentioned, on these days, in the Museums and Palaces managed by DGPC, the admission is free.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Belém Art Fest 2105

Between May 15th and 16th, the music will be present in some of the most emblematic sites in Lisbon, such as Mosteiro dos Jerónimos or the garden of Praça do Império.

The Belém Art Fest represents the many artistic aspects of the national culture, with a wide program in a unique scenic background provided by the Museums. It is certainly an appealing and different cultural experience.

On this fourth edition, the Belém Art Fest, also known as the Festival dos Museus à Noite will feature exclusively Portuguese singers, including Antonio Zambujo or Dead Combo.

On the first day, António Zambujo will play in the Montepio stage, set in the cloisters of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, to present "Rua da Emenda", his sixth album of originals. On the next day at the same location, it will be up to Dead Combo to perform their latest album, "A Bunch of Meninos" published in 2014.

In the Famous Grouse stage, in Museu da Arqueologia, artists such as Lotus Fever, Golden Slumbers, Joana Espadinha and MA, will make their appearance. Close by, at Museu Coleção Berardo, the performers will be MIMICAT, Rafael Fraga, WACK and Gospell Colletive.

One of this year’s innovation is that the festival is broaden out to the “Praça do Império”. For two days, the gardens of this mythic square will host DJs and dance exhibitions, by the Jazzy Dance Studios associated with the festival, for the second year in a row.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Music at the Palace

The Avenida Palace May Music Program

01 – Jazz duet

02 – Piano recital

05 – European Music Day

08 – Piano recital – João Romeiras

09 – Piano – Improvising

15 – Fado - “Fados e Guitarradas”

16 – Piano recital

22 – Piano – Improvising

23 – Piano recital – João Romeiras

29 – Program to be announced

30 – Soprano voice and piano recital

At the Palace Lounge, free entrance, 7 p.m.

Hour, date and program subject to confirmation

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Festival Internacional da Máscara Ibérica/ International Iberian Mask Festival

For 4 days Lisbon will be the center of the Iberian culture. From May 7th to 10th, the International Iberian Mask Festival, the largest exhibition of regional tourism, returns to Lisbon.

From Thursday to Sunday, the downtown area, specially the Rossio, will be the stage for the celebration of the Iberian culture.”Mostra das Regiões”, concerts, animation and the 10th Iberian Mask Parade are some of the events not to be missed.

As mentioned, Praça do Rossio will be the epicenter of this celebration, the festival will count with the traditional Iberian Mask Parade, with more than 690 participants divided into 30 regions. This festival continues to surprise and excite those who gather around the street to see it.

The parade will take place on Saturday at 4.30pm, departing from Praça do Município, through Rua do Ouro and finishing in Rossio. The North and Centre of Portugal, Galicia, Zamora, León, Cáceres,
Asturias, Navarra, Cantabria, Andalucía among others, are the regions that will also be a part of the parade.

Beyond the parade the program, as usual, is diverse: the Iberian Gastronomy, with showcookings and workshops, and also the Iberian wines will be present. On the “Mostra das Regiões”, that will take place every day from 11am, in Praça do Rossio,  you can discover and acquire some of the most traditional Iberian delicacies – “fumeiro” and traditional desserts - and national and Spanish craft items spread over 30 sites.

The “Palco Ibérico” features traditional European folk music concerts with elements of a fusion between traditional folk and ska-rock on Friday and Saturday nights and on Sunday afternoon.