21
Jun
2015

aveiro: architecture

Since I work as a tour guide, when I go somewhere new I adopt a very different philosophy from most travelers: minimal research before arrival, explore on foot once there, then investigate online at night. This method works well since I’m often several days in a single spot. My kind of travel. So as I walked from the train station to my hotel along the main avenue, the architecture of Aveiro turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

After photographing hundreds of azulejos, I started paying attention to the buildings they decorate. Tiles often cover residences, which makes sense in a city so close to the ocean & with salt flats nearby. The closer to the canals, the more houses were built… simple structures that need to be protected from the elements. In today’s sustainable-living world, I found these miniature houses full of potential:

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture

Let’s continue chronologically. Not as much Baroque in Aveiro compared to other Portuguese cities of similar size. But the former Mosteiro de Jesus boasts the most spectacular tomb I’ve seen in a long time… Santa Joana Princesa, daughter of King Afonso V. Today the former monastery functions as the Museu de Aveiro, filled with all kinds of religious art:

Portugal, Aveiro, Museu de Aveiro, Baroque

Portugal, Aveiro, Museu de Aveiro, Baroque

Portugal, Aveiro, Museu de Aveiro, Baroque

Next up, Art Nouveau. There are quite a few, so the city opened a special museum dedicated just to this period. I didn’t go to the museum (shame on me!) but appreciated that buildings were marked as part of a walking route:

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Nouveau

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Nouveau

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Nouveau

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Nouveau

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Nouveau

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Nouveau

A surprising amount of Art Deco could be found on the main avenue but many buildings are in poor condition. They need some TLC!

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Deco

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Deco

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Deco

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Deco

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Deco

A few brilliant examples of Racionalista/Modernist style dot the city. Like Art Deco buildings, these vary from disrepair to completely restored… the three-story building in the last two photos of this section looks like it hasn’t been modified much at ground level (a miracle) & the upper floors are for sale. I want the entire building!!!

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Racionalismo, Modernist

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Racionalismo, Modernist

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Racionalismo, Modernist

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Racionalismo, Modernist

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Racionalismo, Modernist

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Racionalismo, Modernist

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Racionalismo, Modernist

Then there’s my favorite offshoot of Modernism: Português Suave. The smaller building is nice enough (first photo below) & I poked around inside one day, but it’s difficult to ignore the Cine-Teatro Avenida by Raul Rodrigues Lima. A master of volumes, Lima also built the Cinearte theater in Lisboa & the Palácio da Justiça in Porto… among many others. Thrilled to see another work from this era still standing:

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Português Suave

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Português Suave

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Português Suave

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Português Suave

A 1944 housing project known as the Bairro da Misericórdia sits near the university. I found little other info online, so if you know more about these houses please get in touch!

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, housing project?

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, housing project?

Don’t think Aveiro remains in the past; lots of modern architecture can be found. I didn’t have time to check out the university campus which boasts many famous structures recently built. But evidence of the city’s continuing growth could be found everywhere. And no, I didn’t take photos of the big shopping mall. Some locals are proud of it, but I see that monster & think 1980s USA. Why anyone would want to revisit that style of architecture is beyond me ;-)

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, modern

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, modern

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, modern

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, modern

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, modern

Although Aveiro is known for its moliceiros, salt flats & abundant tile work, the city’s architecture should be promoted as a highlight too. There’s something for everyone & a wonderful mix of many periods. Can’t wait to return to see even more!

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