An entire postcard, two exhibitions and a gathering. Portimão will celebrate, from the 30th of July, the 100th anniversary of Railway Bridge that allowed to take the train to this city – and also to Lagos.
The program of celebrations, prepared by the Municipality of Portimão in partnership with CTT – Correios de Portugal, begins at 15:00 pm on Saturday, July 30, at the Parish Center of Nossa Senhora do Amparo, with the inauguration of the exhibition “Filatelia Ferroviária” , in charge of AFAL – Associação Filatélica do Algarve, which will be open until 4 August.
In this place, still about this exhibition, it is planned to launch a commemorative stamp, in a public act that will take place at 16:00 pm on the 4th.
The July 30 program continues at 16 pm at the Portimão Museum, where the exhibition “00 years – Portimão Railway Bridge” will be inaugurated and the entire postage stamp commemorating the anniversary will be launched, with a circulation of 100 copies and a fee of N3.000g, corresponding to the face value of 20 euros, in a ceremony in which Pedro Mota, representative of the CTT Post – Gil Eanes, will be present.
The Inteiro Postal is made up of a graphic composition with elements from the past that highlights the history of this access route over the last 10 decades. On the back of the postcard, the Commemorative Stamp of the 100 years of the Railway Bridge is printed.
It will be followed, in the same cultural space, from 17:00, the gathering “The railway bridge of Portimão is 100 years old!”, promoted by the Group of Friends of the Museum of Portimão and presented by José Gameiro, scientific director of this museum, culminating in the sharing of the XNUMXth birthday cake.
The meeting will address the events that preceded and made possible the long-awaited railway bridge of the then Vila Nova de Portimão and its role at different levels during this already long period, also providing an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the railway in the current context, given to the challenges of sustainable mobility.
The commemorations of the first centenary of the railway bridge are intended to recall, above all, the long period of limited and difficult access roads between the Algarve, Portimão and the rest of the country, as the former President of the Republic and writer from Portimão Manuel Teixeira Gomes came to realize. .
In the 1909 edition of his book “Gente Singular”, the statesman referred to the painful odyssey and the authentic ordeal that this journey represented, before the train arrived in the Algarve region: “Duríssima crossing! The railway line barely reached Beja, where the painful Mértola stagecoach was taken, which, in turn, overflowed the travelers in a tricky little steamer on which the Guadiana descended to its mouth, and from there, in the Pombaline Vila Real de Santo António, another diligence was winnowing our already disjointed bones during the many hours necessary to reach Faro".
66 years after the inauguration of the first railway line in Portugal, between Lisbon and Carregado, in 1856, it would be thanks to the completion of the railway bridge over the Arade river that the people of Portimão were able to have a station in their own land. .
«This made it possible for them to no longer need to cross the road bridge to go, in the old vans, to catch the train on the left bank of the river, at the “Ferragudo-Parchal” station, which previously, between 1903 and 1922, was called “Portimão” , and designated as the terminus of the then “Tunes-Portimão” branch», recalls the Portimão City Council.
In 1915, work began on what would be the longest railway crossing in the Algarve, with its 303 meters, structured in six sections of metal beams based on ashlar pillars.
The bridge was eventually opened on July 30, 1922.