São Brás already has its House of Memory on the EN2 where there is no shortage of stories

Space was born in the building of the former 8th Section of Conservation of roads in the district of Faro, near Largo de São Sebastião

In the early 80s, the door was closed and, on top of the desk, were left that day's newspaper, shields and documents. Decades passed, but this Saturday, August 22nd, the door opened again to show treasures from bygone times. The Memory House of Estrada Nacional (EN) 2 has already been inaugurated, in São Brás de Alportel, and is a true dive into the history of a road that connects Chaves to Faro, over 738 kilometers. 

The day was a party at kilometer 722. It is there, right in the center of the town of São Brás, that the new Casa Memória on the EN2 is located, built in the former 8th Conservation Section of the roads in the district of Faro.

It was from this building that the corner workers came out, with the mission of ensuring the maintenance of the road, the quality of the floor and the cleanliness of the edges. They also gave, if necessary, traffic assistance.



Therefore, at Casa Memória, there is no lack of utensils and tools used by corner workers, such as their uniforms and brooms. There are also documents – many documents – some of them quite curious.

“We have reports of votes of praise from people who found objects lost on the road and returned them. These are stories that represent our people and our people», said Vítor Guerreiro, mayor of São Brás de Alportel, to the Sul Informação.

Basically, this Casa da Memória comes «to tell those stories that highlight the importance that this road had – and still has».

«The space revives the history of our population and the Portuguese. EN2 is part of the history of our population. Not many decades ago, all commerce and tourists had to pass here through São Brás de Alportel, which was even, in a way, a relief because the curves of Serra do Caldeirão ended,” added the mayor, laughing.

The building was purchased by the City Council, in 2014, which saw a perspective of creating something different “and differentiating” for the municipality.

«Here, the traveler can stop for a while, rest, drink the traveller's tea, with herbs from the Serra do Caldeirão, and take a souvenir of kilometer 722 where we are. It's just that São Brás has a lot to show and this can be a gateway to discover the wonders of our municipality», explained Vítor Guerreiro.


Mr. Alvaro

The inauguration this Saturday was, moreover, a moment of strong emotions. Symbolically, Álvaro Rodrigues, son of the former street corner José Rodrigues, went up to the balcony of Casa Memória to hoist the EN2 Route flag in the new Casa da Memória. As a child, he spent a lot of time there, with his father.

Downstairs, watching, was José Mendes, Secretary of State for Planning who is the godfather of this new museum space. It's because? Because he himself traveled the EN2 by bicycle, not long ago, passing and stopping in São Brás.

«When I passed here on the 31st of July, on my return, I was very happy. I won't forget São Brás de Alportel any more because, from here, the ascents are over. And for those who come by bicycle…», he said, in a joking tone.

More seriously, the government official said that this new space is important because we have "to know how to add value" to a heritage that is already "beautiful in itself".



The opinion was shared by João Fernandes, president of the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA), who stressed the need to «counter the tendency to focus only on the coast», trying to make tourism «spread throughout the territory».

Francisco Serra, president of the Algarve's Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR), considered, in turn, that the new Casa da Memória is a «very relevant project in local, regional and national life».

The investment, by the municipality, was around 100 euros, also supported by European funds.

Casa da Memória will open this Monday morning, but the opening hours have not yet been fully defined. It is certain that you can now go to the site and get lost among utensils, tools and stories about stonemasons and flower beds.

"Come and visit, it's worth it, I promise you'll take from here very good emotions, unforgettable experiences and leave with the desire to come here", concluded Vítor Guerreiro.

And, at the end, don't forget to put a photo on the “Cabide de Memórias” and write “Visitor's Notebook” at the Casa da Memória on EN2.


Photos: Flávio Costa | Sul Informação




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