Ever since I moved to Portugal, I visit Serralves Foundation in Porto at least once per year. This year, it is going to be this weekend! Annually, on the last weekend of May or the first one of June, Serralves opens its doors for a beautiful 50 hours long "party" that mixes contemporary art and outdoor activities in its lush gardens in the city of Porto. It's an event loved by the locals, but increasingly popular within tourists as well. In otherwise hectic city, the Serralves gardens, besides artworks and culture offer an incredibly peaceful environment, a permanent "soundtrack" of birds singing, secluded meditation spots, and cozy picnic opportunities. This edition of "Serralves em Festa" is its 16th. It will last for 3 days, it's completely free of charge and includes music, circus, literature, performances, workshops and activities for families. Even if not during "Serralves em Festa", I suggest you visit this impressive place anyway, while discovering Porto, especially if you like modern art.
Serralves foundation was established in 1989, and is one of the most important cultural institutions in Portugal. Serralves gardens, a green park that extends over 18 hectares is a home to the Museum of contemporary art, designed by the awarded architect Álvaro Siza Vieira (Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1992) and the Villa (known as "Casa de Serralves"), which is a beautiful example of Art Deco architecture. As in many other Siza Vieira's buildings, he also designed the interior of it. The Park itself won the “Henry Ford Prize for the Preservation of the Environment” in 1997. Along with the City park of Porto, this one offers a rare chance to come into contact with nature in the heart of the city.
The villa once was a private residence, built by the second Count of Vizela and a textile manufacturer, Carlos Alberto Cabral, between 1925 and 1944. The story says that in 1957 he sold this house to prevent his heirs of inheriting it. After the property changed a few owners, the state of Portugal bought it in 1986 and the Serralves Foundation was established soon after. Today, the Foundation supports artistic creation, awareness-raising, environmental issues, critical reflection on contemporary society and the creative Industries, and all its program is related to these 5 areas.
If not for "Serralves em Festa", there's another great moment to visit the Foundation - during its "Festa do Outono" in late September. This festivity celebrates the harvest season and offers many workshops linked to the rural traditions,
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