Artist Carlos Fernandez was born and raised in Mouraria, a historic (old Moorish) down town area in Lisbon. Together with Alfama, the Mouraria area is a muddle of very narrow streets and small squares, which gives the visitor a glimpse of a forgotten age.
Mouraria, Lisbon: nostalgic drawing by Carlos Fernandez
Carlos Fernandez earns his bread as a tattoo artist (tattoos are very popular in the neighborhood), and besides he loves it to create nostalgic drawings about the typical characteristics, traditions, history and culture about the 900 years neighborhood Mouraria in Lisbon, such as the Fado guitar and Fado singers.
Legendary Fado singer Maria Severa
Maria Severa, the first Fadista , who died at age 26 in1846, either from suicide or tuberculosis, was born in this area. A very sad story! Famous performer of Fado Amália Rodrigues (”Lady of Lisbon”) the ‘queen of Fado’ , was born near Mouraria , Rua Martim Faz. No neighborhood in Lisbon is praised more in Fado music than Mouraria.
Historical area Mouraria exists 900 years, and together with Alfama Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods of great historical value.
Carlos Fernandez: “In the past there were many fights between the two areas: the sailors who lived in Alfama and the gangs of Mouraria were fighting against each other. My drawings are about ‘nostalgia’, and they are my interpretation of the neighborhood, such as prostitution (putas), drugs, bullfighting, card playing, fishermen and fishwives (pescadores e varinhas) and selling newspapers on the street”.
Mouraria in June, (Feast Days of the Popular Saints)
Carlos: ” And of course football (Benfica/Sporting), chestnuts (castanhas, in yellow papers), the vintage yellow trams in Lisbon (eléctrico), Feira da Ladra (litt. thieves market), the 25 April revolution, pickpocketing, cheap wine like bull’s blood (Sangue de touro), hanging laundry, cats on the roofs, birds in cages and traditions like Santo Antonio in June and eating sardines (sardinhas)”.
‘Old tram 28’ (eléctrico), nowadays a very popular tourist attraction, drawing by Carlos Fernandez
The legendary tram 28 is a tourist attraction in itself. It goes all around town. You can hop on and hop off. A ride with ‘eléctrico’ tram 28 will bring you to most historical attractions in Lisbon. Besides: tram 28 is increasingly as popular with pickpockets as it is with tourists.
Drawing Carlos Fernandez: ‘Mouraria’
In June, the month of the Festas dos Santos Populares (Feast Days of the Popular Saints), the Lisbon nights are filled with lively festivities, parades and live music that take over the city’s historical center, and of course it’s party time in Mouraria!.
Santo Antonio, the Saint of true love… This beautiful one is made from recycled material
The main Saints’ days are for Anthony (Santo Antonio June 12-13), John (June 23-24) and Peter (June 28-29). Traditionally millions of big and tasty sardines (sardinhas), accompanied by traditional bread, are grilled in the month of June, high season for this delicious silvery fish. Even the yellow trams are decorated with sardines!
Mouraria in June: Fado performances in old yellow trams decorated with sardines.
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Lisbon’s craziest night is June 12, eve of Saint Anthony day , Lisbon turns into one big party. People are dancing in the streets on Pimba music – a term used for a variety of popular Portuguese folk solo singers and bands whose songs are frequently driven by metaphors with sexual meaning.
Exposition Carlos Fernandez, Santa Luzia, Lisbon. The municipality of Lisbon owns this building
An exposition was held in this beautiful small building near the Tagus River: ‘Fado, Knives and Blood’ (‘Fado, Navalhas e Sangue’).
If you are interested to see more of Carlos’ work (and prices), you can send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tourists are interested to see the exposition, Santa Luzia
Besides: Santa Luzia is a very popular and historical viewpoint (miradouro) in Lisbon, next to viewpoint Portas do Sol. Amazing views overlooking the Alfama rooftops and the river Tagus!