The Memory

Here, visibility is given to the material and symbolic expressions of emigration from the origin to the places of destination, including what the return was like, in architecture, in the transit of ideas, in the development of economic, social and cultural initiatives visible in urban and rural spaces. , as well as the influences on the behavior of public and private life

Municipality of Origin

Travel Memories

 live abroad

Experiences on Return


Fafe concentrates in itself all the dimensions of analysis of what was the Industrial, commercial and cultural Revolution of the 19th century and the first decades of the century. XX. In particular, due to the emigration and successful return of the “Brazilian” to their land of origin, it allowed the design of a space of evidence of that time with more defined contours than in other places where the same phenomenon also occurred.

The diaspora in Portugal, as in other Mediterranean countries, has its main evidence in the return of some emigrants to the territory of origin and expresses diversities of influence and cultural marks in the national territory.

The 19th century and the first half of the 20th century were the time of the return of the enriched Portuguese emigrant to Brazil, observing, in Fafe, the synthesis of the elements necessary to understand that time, all of them especially visible in a time of regeneration and republican action. .

As a result of all the concerns and interventions related to the defense of this heritage and, particularly, the remarkable period of the Brasileiro de Torna-Viagem in Fafe , the idea of ​​a Museum of Emigration and Communities was born in this small town.

In fact, in Fafe, since 1858 , emigrants returning from Brazil are the builders of palaces, palatial houses, mansions and in their facades we find the representation of themselves, as a new social character. Inside, we can visit an elegant, urban and cultured life of the capitalist bourgeois, which includes pieces such as the piano, foreign magazines, imported jewelry and furniture made of wood from Brazil.

They designed a city, opening streets and squares, built the exotic romantic garden of Calvário or Passeio Público (1892), trying to imitate the metropolises, financed local music bands and sponsored the Volunteer Firefighters (1890).

The commitment to political life, reflected in the fierce battles between progressives, regenerators and republicans, witnessed in the numerous local press, are signs of a successful return and marks of new forms of social, cultural and symbolic capital, which make “Brazilians” the center of the social landscape, reflected in the experience of regulars at casinos, beaches, spas, cafes, theaters and hotels, as men who turned idleness into the expression of a new social status.

In almanacs (1909), in newspapers (since 1892) and in the cemetery (1855) we find the names, portraits and busts, which are the face of charitable philanthropy at the service of education, poverty and illness, as gestures of individual distinction. , of public service and link to the origins, as well as the principles of the Freemasons’ lodges, the spaces of their socialization, in the metropolises of Brazil, where they arrived when they were still children.

The principles of freedom, reason and mutual aid, learned there, and which marked the ideological meaning of their lives, led them to the construction of civic buildings: Hospital (1858), Asilos de Infância Desvalida (1877) and dos Inválidos (1906). ), Escolas Conde Ferreira (1866) and Deolinda Leite (1892), Igreja Nova de São José (1895) and the Confraternity of São José or Misericórdia that managed the Hospital (1863).

With the construction of the first industries, Steam – Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos de Fafe (1873), Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos do Bugio (1886), Empresa Têxtil do Rio Ferro (1931) and Fábrica Fafense de Sodas, Refrigerantes e Laranjadas Santo Ovídeo (1918) – draw what became the industrial fabric of Northern Portugal, configuring other social centers of people who settled in working-class neighborhoods of prolonged poverty.

At the same time, in the theaters they had built right in the center of the town (1875) and (1924), they showed their taste for the arts and the desire to promote themselves and culture, elements necessary for this new bourgeois (the bourgeoisie formed by emigrants successful) who discussed the latest arrivals from Europe at the club (1901).

The signs of successful return and the marks expressed in the new forms of social, cultural and symbolic capital, make it the center of the social landscape, promoting the arrival of the train to the village (1907), the installation of electricity (1913) and, finally, the telegraph that linked him to the world, witnessing a life of well-traveled and cultured men.

From failure and from those who were lost in the backlands of the diaspora, the silence of history endures, for being incapable of its construction or, simply, for the fear of tragedy