A well-kept secret in the East Side

A well-kept secret in the eastern part of the city of Porto, the Casa São Roque – Art Center.

Located next to the old road of São Roque da Lameira, in the place called Quintas de Campanhã, the Casa de São Roque was a simple sobrado (townhouse) construction, of discreet presence, solid and well dimensioned, as seen south of the Douro River.

Between José Marques da Silva, the architect, and António Ramos Pinto, the manager, there was the necessary complicity to integrate the skills of the craftsmen in the transformation of the house into an eclectic palace. They followed the bourgeois conception of the exterior appearance, without wasting the interior refinement or the japoneiras garden, an identifying mark of Porto.

The history of Casa São Roque (formerly Casa Ramos Pinto) dates back to 1759, when, as part of Quinta da Lameira, it functioned as a mansion and hunting lodge, as was typical of Porto’s bourgeoisie and noble families.

In the 19th century it belonged to the family of Maria Virgínia de Castro, who in 1888 married António Ramos Pinto, one of the best known producers and exporters of Port wine.

Shortly thereafter, between 1900 and 1911, he commissioned the architect José Marques da Silva to remodel and expand the house, while Jacinto de Matos designed the garden.

In 1979, the whole farm and the house were acquired by the Oporto City Hall from the last owner, António Eugénio de Castro Ramos Pinto Cálem, grandson of Maria Virgínia and António. The furniture and the most important objects of the house were preserved and are still in use today in the collection of Casa do Roseiral, while the remainder was acquired by the antiques dealer Aurora Rodrigues Martins.

The building today retains its original eclectic style, introduced with the remodeling by Marques da Silva, who was inspired by 19th century French historicism and Belgian art nouveau, and has recently been rehabilitated under the supervision of architect João Mendes Ribeiro.

The Casa São Roque is today a landmark building of the period houses in Porto, for its architectural and decorative features where its winter garden is a unique example.

Besides the contemporary art exhibitions inside, you can also enjoy a varied cultural program, such as jazz or bossa-nova concerts in the garden, among other events.

It’s worth your visit!

(Photos by Ricardo Almeida)

+info: https://www.casasroque.art/pt/


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