A peddy paper with the objective of discovering, in a different way, the religious heritage of Tavira, took place on the 16th of July, with the participation of trainees from the Religious Tourism course at the IEFP in Tavira. .
«An original version that is seldom seen from these sides», that is how Marco Lopes, trainer of the course, defined this event.
This training takes place within the scope of the Cooperation Agreement for the promotion of Religious Tourism in the Algarve, which unites several institutions, such as the Diocese of the Algarve (through its Pastoral do Turismo), the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training, the Region of Algarve Tourism, the Algarve Intermunicipal Community, the Algarve Regional Development and Coordination Commission and the Algarve Regional Directorate of Culture.
The activity was carried out on an itinerary that started at the church of Santiago and «that passed through more emblematic monuments of the city and which today are an important mark of tourism and culture in Tavira», highlights the Information Office of the Diocese of the Algarve (GIDALG) .
The participants, continues GIDALG, “were asked for good physical preparation and the ability to answer riddles and quizzes about history, as well as the art of buildings. They therefore had to identify questions about the old convent of Graça, the hermitage of São Roque, the castle, the Palácio da Galeria, the hermitage of Piedade, the Igreja da Misericórdia, the Porta de D. Manuel I and the chapel of Consolação» .
The peddy paper also revealed some details about the Church of Santa Maria, which recently Recognized by Tripadvisor as a 2022 Travelers' Choice Award Winner, for being among the 10% of the most attractive monuments in the world.
«The participating teams responded successfully and in a good mood», confirmed Marco Lopes, who is also director of the Municipal Museum of Faro, adding that «the group, dressed in clothes reminiscent of earlier times, contributed a lot to this humorous side, as would have happened in each of the monuments». The graduates were dressed as religious, monarchs, courtiers and commoners.
At the end, to regain strength, there was a moment of fraternization, with traditional drinks and dishes from the region.
«It was our objective that these trainees could develop their skills, applying knowledge developed in the classroom, namely linked to research work and information gathering on monuments, planning an activity that generates tourist interest and proximity of the community with their heritage and creation of content for interaction with visitors and this objective was achieved, as they conceived an activity that, although it had a very evident playful nature, allowed everyone to learn more about history, create greater proximity to the heritage and were made aware of the protection of monuments», highlighted Marco Lopes, noting that this was, «in addition, one of the noble purposes of this night journey, with the raising of funds for the restoration of the altarpiece of the Consolação chapel».
«The diocese of the Algarve was also strongly touched by the way in which this initiative took place», said Father Miguel Lopes Neto, director of the Pastoral do Turismo of this structure and, at the same time, parish priest of Tavira.
«Our objective – and I am referring to all partners of the Cooperation Agreement for the promotion of Religious Tourism in the Algarve – is that these trainees can become an asset in the parishes where, now, they carry out their training in work context. Opening churches, making the religious heritage available, offering a tourist product that is a wealth of our region and that needs to be dynamized and known, is something that concerns us and that mobilizes our wills», defends the priest.
The initiative was supported by the IEFP, Rádio Gilão, ARTgilão TAVIRA, the Parish of Tavira, the Municipalities of Faro and Tavira, the Union of Parishes of Santa Maria and Santiago, the Parish Council of Cachopo, Lavandaria and Ironing Lava e Limpa, Pousada Convento de Tavira Pestana and Typography Tavirense.