A minha Lista de blogues

sábado, 31 de março de 2012

Sintra no tempo de Eça de Queirós


E, nas serras da Lua conhecidas
Sojuga a fria Sintra o duro braço;
Sintra, onde as Naiades, escondidas
Nas fontes vão fugindo ao doce laço
Onde Amor as enreda brandamente,
Nas águas acendendo fogo ardente.
Luís de Camões. Os Lusíadas, III, 1572
 Sintra sempre foi uma referência no imaginário português e a literatura reflete esse sentimento, como este poema de Camões. No entanto, foi sobretudo no século XIX com o Romantismo e as profundas intervenções na paisagem de D. Fernando II, marido de D. Maria II, que Sintra ganhou o destaque como local paradisíaco e único, que chegou aos dias de hoje. De entre os vários escritores que consagram essa imagem de Sintra, Eça de Queirós assume especial relevância, pois Sintra surge quase como personagem ou cenário imprescindível em várias das suas obras, principalmente no seu maior romance de referência, Os Maias.
“O quê!, o maestro não conhecia Sintra?...Então era necessário ficarem lá, fazer as peregrinações clássicas, subir à Pena, ir beber água à Fonte dos Amores, barquejar na Várzea…”; e Cruges desvenda o seu mais vivo desejo: “- A mim o que me está a apetecer muito é Seteais; e a manteiga fresca”
(in Os Maias pag 220)
Ramalhão

D. Carlota Joaquina adquiriu o palácio do Ramalhão depois de se ter recusado a jurar a Constituição de 1822 e aqui viveu desterrada. Em 1941 o Palácio foi adquirido pelas Irmãs Dominicanas, que o transformaram num colégio, que se mantém ainda em atividade.
Mas a estrada entrava entre dois altos muros paralelos, donde soluçavam ramagens murmurosas. Era o Ramalhão. O ar parecia mais fino, como refrescado da abundância das águas. Sentia-se uma vaga serenidade de parques e arvoredos. Alguma coisa de suave e de elegante circulava. Havia o silêncio dos repousos delicados e das existências ocultas. Era o Ramalhão”
“ Vi-a numa noite doce,
Em que o rouxinol cantava:
E todo o céu se estrelava,
Luminoso pavilhão:
Era Sintra! Sinto ainda
O doce correr das fontes,
E a sombra nas nossas frontes
Das árvores do Ramalhão.
(in A Tragédia da Rua das Flores pag 134)
 O Paço Real

Apesar de já haver referências a este Palácio, quando D. Afonso Henriques reconquistou Lisboa em 1147, sofreu, posteriormente, muitas modificações. D. João I mandou construir as cozinhas com as enormes chaminés, que se tornaram o símbolo da vila e D. Manuel I acrescentou a ala Manuelina e redecorou o interior com azulejos, que são exemplares únicos do estilo Mudejar.
Só ao avistar o Paço descerrou os lábios:
- Sim, senhor, tem cachet!
E foi o que mais lhe agradou - este maciço e silencioso palácio, sem florões e sem torres, patriarcalmente assentado entre o casario da vila, com as suas belas janelas manuelinas que lhe fazem um nobre semblante real, o vale aos pés, frondoso e fresco, e no alto as duas chaminés colossais, disformes, resumindo tudo, como se essa residência fosse toda ela uma cozinha talhada às proporções de uma gula de rei que cada dia come todo um reino…”
(in Os Maias pag 224)
O Palácio de Seteais

Em 1783, Daniel Gildmeester, cônsul holandês em Portugal, mandou construir o seu palacete em Seteais.

No final do século, a mansão foi vendida ao Marquês de Marialva, que fez obras de ampliação: é acrescentada uma nova ala e um arco triunfal, que passou a unir os dois corpos da casa e onde se colocou um medalhão com os bustos de D. João VI e D. Carlota Joaquina e uma inscrição em latim. Em 1946, a quinta foi vendida ao estado Português. Em 1955, o palácio abriu ao público, adaptado a um hotel de luxo. Diz a lenda que uma princesa moura cheia de saudades do seu amado, que partira para a guerra, foi largando suspiros e ao sétimo “ai” morreu. Contudo, parece que naquele espaço existiram campos de centeio ou de centeais, que se julga de onde veio o nome Seteais.
Quantos luares eu lá vi?
Que doces manhãs d ´Abril?
E os ais que soltei ali
Não foram sete mas mil!”
(in Os Maias pag 235)
Palácio da Pena

Implantado no cimo da serra é  fruto do génio artístico do rei D. Fernando II de Saxe Coburg-Gotha, o “rei artista”, casado com D. Maria II, que adquiriu as ruinas de um mosteiro, que se encontrava no mesmo local e mandou construir este palácio, incorporando várias influências arquitetónicas, ficando a constituir em Portugal o expoente máximo do romantismo.

 No vão do arco, como dentro de uma pesada moldura de pedra, brilhava, à luz rica da tarde, um quadro maravilhoso, de uma composição quase fantástica, como a ilustração de uma bela lenda de cavalaria e de amor. Era no primeiro plano o terreiro, deserto e verdejando, todo salpicado de botões amarelos; ao fundo, o renque cerrado de antigas árvores, com hera nos troncos, fazendo ao longo da grade uma muralha de folhagem reluzente, e, emergindo abruptamente dessa copada linha de bosque assoalhado, subia no pleno resplendor do dia, destacando-se vigorosamente num relevo nítido sobre o fundo do céu azul-claro, o cume airoso da serra, toda cor de violeta-escura, coroada pelo Palácio da Pena, romântico e solitário no alto, com o seu parque sombrio aos pés, a torre esbelta perdida no ar, e as cúpulas brilhando ao sol como se fossem feitas de ouro…”
(in Os Maias pag 241)
Lawrence´s Hotel

Em atividade desde 1780, o hotel Lawrence era a mais antiga unidade hoteleira da Península Ibérica. Depois de Lord Byron se ter hospedado ali em 1809, o hotel ganhou grande notoriedade, sobretudo durante a administração de Jane Lawrence, com a passagem pelos seus quartos de importantes figuras da elite intelectual da segunda metade do século, como o próprio Eça.
…”Via-se bem, á mesa da Lawrence, com os seus dois candeeiros de azeite, as duas janelas para o terraçozinho”

Outros hotéis são também referidos: O Nunes e Vítor.
O antigo hotel Nunes já não existe

enquanto vocês vão ao Nunes pagar a conta e dar ordens para o breque, eu vou-me entender lá abaixo à cozinha com a velha Lawrence e preparar-vos um bacalhau à Alencar, récipe meu… E vocês verão o que é um bacalhau! Porque lá isso, rapazes, versos os farão outros melhores; bacalhau não!” (in Os Maias pág. 247)

 Torre do Relógio e edificio da cadeia à direita. Ao fundo ficava o hotel Costa, hoje posto de turismo.
“Na praça, por defronte das lojas vazias e silenciosas, cães vadios dormiam ao sol: através das grades da cadeia, os presos pediam esmola. Crianças enxovalhadas e em farrapos, garotavam pelos cantos; e as melhores casas tinham ainda as janelas fechadas, continuando o seu sono de Inverno, entre as árvores já verdes”.
(in Os Maias pag 232)

“ os muros estavam cobertos de heras e de musgos: através da folhagem, faiscavam longas flechas de sol. Um ar subtil e aveludado circulava, rescendendo às verduras novas; aqui e além, nos ramos mais sombrios, pássaros chilreavam de leve; e naquele simples bocado de estrada, todo salpicado de manchas de sol, sentia-se já, sem se ver, a religiosa solenidade dos espessos arvoredos, a frescura distante das nascentes vivas, a tristeza que cai das penedias e o repouso fidalgo das quintas de Verão…”
(in Os Maias pag 223)
 As referências às queijadas de Sintra são do século XIII. De todas as marcas, a mais antiga é a Sapa, sendo no entanto muito conhecidas as Queijadas da Periquita, da Casa do Preto e do Gregório.
“Ega ia largar atarantadamente o embrulho, para apertar a mão que Maria Eduarda lhe estendia, corada e sorrindo. Mas o papel pardo, mal atado, desfez-se; e uma provisão fresca de queijadas de Sintra rolou, esmagando-se, sobre as flores do tapete. Então todo o embaraço findou através de uma risada alegre.”


Postal enviado por Eça em 13/5/1898

Tormes e Eça de Queirós

Referências:
Berrini, Beatriz. Comer e Beber com Eça de Queiroz. Index, 1995
Queiroz, Eça de. A Tragédia da Rua das Flores. Moraes Editores, 1980
Queiroz, Eça de. Os Maias. Episódios da Vida Romântica.Livros do Brasil, s/d
Gaspar, Nuno e Gaspar, M. Um Passeio de Sintra até ao Mar. Artlandia, 2011

Matos, A. Campos (org). Eça de Queiroz. Postais Ilustrados. Livros Horizonte, 2006
Ramalho, Margarida M. Escrever sobre Sintra. BytheBook, 2010
Rodil, João. Sintra na obra de Eça de Queirós.Sintra 2000


sexta-feira, 30 de março de 2012

Sintra … always



Sintra’s charms have long been celebrated. Once the summer residence of the kings of Portugal, today Sintra is a romantic getaway for people from all around the world. Both the town and its monuments were classified as Unesco World Heritage in 1995.

Sintra National Palace used to be the residence of the Moorish governors of Lisbon. When King Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, reconquered Lisbon in 1147, Sintra surrendered and the Palace became the property and residence of the Kings of Portugal.

In the 14th century King João I, who was married to Philippa of Lancaster (daughter of John of Gaunt), had the kitchens built with the huge conical chimneys that are the landmark of the palace's exterior. He also added a series of rooms around the central patio. He lived there with his wife and Palácio Nacional became the Palace of the House of Avis.

In the XVI century King Manuel I had the east wing built with the distinctive window decoration, called Manueline style. The interiors were redecorated with some of the oldest and most valuable tiles in Portugal, Mudejar style.

The Park and Palace of Pena are the finest examples of 19th century Portuguese Romanticism.
King Fernando II of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, the husband of the Portuguese Queen Maria II, purchased a monastery situated on the top of the hill, that was in ruins after the earthquake of 1755 and transformed its remains into a palace.
The Moorish Castle nearby was also restored. The work of reconstruction was given to the German architect Baron Von Eschwege.  The Palace of Pena and the surrounding park, with many different tree species from all around the world, were designed and constructed as a single entity. The Portuguese Royal Family used the Palace as a summer residence till 1910. Following the implantation of the republican regime  the Palace was converted into a museum.

The Chalet of the Countess of Edla opened recently to the public after a long process of recuperation. It was built by King Fernando II for his second wife, Elise Hensler, the Countess of Edla between 1864 and 1869 and it is influenced by Swiss chalets and the Romantic spirit of the time.



The Palace of Monserrate is situated in a botanical garden of exotic trees and tropical plants. The gardens were landscaped in the 18th century by William Beckford when he rented Monserrate between 1793 and 1799.






In 1856 Francis Cook, an English textile millionaire bought the property and built the magnificent Victorian mansion inspired by the Royal Pavilion in Brighton with an exotic and extravagant architecture. Cook also transformed the gardens with trees from all over the world. In 1949 the property was acquired by the Portuguese state and quite recently the Palace was subject of an intense recovery program.




Renowned foreign visitors of Sintra

Arthur William Costigan was born in Scotland in 1734. He left a book about Portugal: Sketches of Society and Manners in Portugal (1778-1779).

James Murphy (1760-1816) was born in Ireland. He visited the Monastery of Batalha and published a book about it in 1795. In the same year he published Travels in Portugal and later A General View of the state of Portugal.

Carl Israel Ruders was born in Stockholm in 1761. In 1798 he came to live in Portugal and learned to speak Portuguese. He sent many letters to his family and friends that were compiled in 1803 in the book Observações sobre Portugal.

William Beckford (1769-1844) was known as “the wealthiest young Englishman of his time”. He was a talented person with many interests: music,  (he had piano lessons with Mozart) languages (he learned to speak Portuguese quickly on his first visit) and literature. He was also a writer and author of the Gothic novel Vathek. According to tradition he built in Monserrate a stone arch called Vathek’s arch, a waterfall and a cromlech.
Robert Southey (1774-1843) was born in England. He was one of the Lake Poets who published Letters Written during a short residence in Spain and Portugal with some account of Spain and Portuguese poetry: "I never beheld a view that so effectively checked the wish of wandering. Had I been born at Cintra, methinks no inducement could have tempted me to leave its delightful springs and shades, and cross the dreary wilderness that insulates them". He considered Sintra to be “the most blessed spot on the whole inhabitable globe”. In 1960 Journals of a residence in Portugal 1800-1801 was published for the first time.

Lord Byron (1788-1824) is considered one of the best poets in the English Romantic movement. He came to Sintra in 1809 and stayed at Lawrence´s hotel.
                                                   Byron´s suite at Lawrence´s

 He deliberately visited Monserrate to see the place where his friend William Beckford had lived. He referred to Sintra in his correspondence: “… the village of Cintra, in Estremadura, is the most beautiful perhaps in the world.” Sintra is immortalised in Byron’s work in the poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, as an Eden, a paradise. The publication of this poem led to the romantic reputation of the place and as a consequence many English visitors came to Sintra.

James Edward Alexander (1803-1885) was a Scottish military who travelled to many countries. He was the author of the book about Portugal: Sketches in Portugal during the Civil War of 1834  where he shows his geographer side and presents detailed descriptions of Portugal at the time.

Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875) was a Danish writer who visited Sintra in 1866 and wrote: “The whole mountain road is a garden, a wonderful combination of nature and art, the most beautiful walk you can imagine.” Monserrate is “a true vignette of the Thousand and One Nights, a fairy-tale vision”. In short, “unrivalled Sintra, the most beautiful and lauded part of Portugal”.

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) was born in England. He is considered the greatest English poet of the 19th century.Tennyson visited Pena and Monserrate and left his impressions in letters to his wife, Emily Sellwood.



Lady Jackson (1824-1891) was married to a diplomat that was posted in Portugal. In 1874 she published the book Fair Lusitania about her stay in this country.
Richard Strauss (1864-1949) the German composer visited Sintra in 1909 and was very impressed with its beauty: “Today is the happiest day of my life. I know Italy, Sicily, Greece and Egypt, and I have never seen anything, anything, to match the Pena. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. This is the true Garden of Klingsor and there, up above, is the Castle of the Holy Grail”.
He describes Pena Palace as beating “all the records for extravagance. Built on a rock on the highest point of the Serra (mountains), the building, which seems to come straight out of a fairy-tale, looms out of the greenery with its vivid colours of scarlet and canary yellow”.


                                                                   The Moorish Fountain


 Sintra´s view by W. Burnett                                                         Sintra, 2012

Sintra is all this and much more...Go and discover for yourself!

References:

Ramalho, Margarida de Magalhães. Escrever sobre Sintra. Parques de Sintra, 2010.

Freitas, J. Sande on behalf of the Association of Friends of Monserrate. Palace and Gardens of Monserrate. Parques de Sintra, 2010.

http://www.sintraromantica.net/index.php/en/museus/43-figuras-romanticas consulted on 29th March 2012

William Burnett:oamigodecolares.blogspot.com

Cook Family:tweedlandthegentlemansclub.blogspot.pt/

Photographs: Maria Teresa Relva

terça-feira, 20 de março de 2012

Spring has sprung!


Spring is that beautiful season which comes with longer days and warmer temperatures. During this season you can finally hear birds chirp and see flowers bloom.


I was born in March, the month of spring and so it is another reason for me to love this season.







When I was a child and lived in the Island of Madeira we had a jasmine vine in our house that grew over and around our fences.


I still recall that wonderful scent and how pleasant it was to inhale that aroma just after waking up. It was a great start to my day!

Our school has a huge jasmine tree that is blooming now . It therefore gives us a warm welcome everyday!

Spring Song


The air was full of sun and birds,
The fresh air sparkled clearly.
Remembrance wakened in my heart
And I knew I loved her dearly.

The fallows and the leafless trees
And all my spirit tingled.
My earliest thought of love, and Spring's
First puff of perfume mingled.

In my still heart the thoughts awoke,
Came lone by lone together -
Say, birds and Sun and Spring, is Love
A mere affair of weather?

Robert Louis Stevenson


Today, March 20th, is the first day of spring.




sábado, 17 de março de 2012

Mother´s Day Traditions


Three generations of Mothers: My grandmother, my mother and I

Mother´s Day is in May in many countries, but in Britain it is in March, three weeks before Easter. Children give cards and presents to their mothers. They say thanks for all the good things mothers do for them.

In the XIX century many young girls went away from home. They went to work as maids for rich people. They worked very hard and didn´t get very much free time off but Mothering Sunday was a holiday. The maids were allowed to go home to visit their mothers. They used to make a special cake to carry home. It was made of fruit and spices and it was decorated with twelve marzipan balls to represent Christ´s Apostles. In most cases, however only eleven balls feature because Judas Iscariot was not thought to deserve a place on such a cake: Simnel Cake.

This year Mother´s Day is on 18th March in Britain.

An old name for Mother´s Day is Mothering Sunday.

School year 2011/2012
References:
Birdsall, Melanie. Festivals and Special days in Britain. Scholastic, 2007

Art in Dublin

The National Gallery of Ireland is Ireland´s main art gallery and opened in 1864. It has a huge collection of paintings, drawings, watercolours, prints and decorative art.

Famous Irish Painters 

Nathaniel Hone ( 1718-1794) is best known for his skill at producing miniatures and enamels.


George Barret (1728-1784) is best known for being a landscape painter of the British countryside.


James Barry (1741-1806) is best known for his six part series of paintings The Progress of Human Culture.

Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808) is best known for his pastel oval portraits of royalty, politicians and celebrities.


Francis Danby (1793-1861) is best known for being a painter of the Romantic era.


Daniel Maclise (1806-1870) is best known for being an illustrator and an history painter.

Walter Frederick Osborne (1859-1903) is best known for being an impressionist landscape painter.


Roderic O´Connor ( 1860-1940) is best known for being influenced by post-impressionism painters .


William John Leech (1881-1968) is best known for leaving Dublin for Paris and falling in love for the French landscape.

John Butler Yeats (1839-1922) is best known for his portrait of John O´Leary, his masterpiece.


William Orpen (1878-1931) is best known for being a war artist.


Paul Henry (1876-1958) is best known for being the most important Irish landscape painter of the XX century.


Grace Henry (1868-1953) is best known for her eclectic style and her bright range of colours.

Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) is best known for being an Expressionist painter



References:

Keaveney, Raymond (dir). The National Gallery of Ireland. IIB Bank, 2002