A city break to Lisbon is not complete without a night with fado, the melancholy Portuguese music. Good fado has its home in historical areas Alfama or Mouraria, like in restaurant/bar ‘Maria da Mouraria‘, the former house of Lisbon’s first fadista: ‘Maria da Severa’ .
Lisbon, area Mouraria: Rua do Capelão
Fado is very traditional to Portugal. It is a song expressing sadness, longing, love, passion and life (saudade) The fado singer is often dressed in black, accompanied by a Portuguese guitarra and it is sung by men and women. You are expected to be quiet when the fado is sung in fado houses.
Usually the fado singing starts from 10pm.
Rosinha de Braga fadista Fado bar/restaurant ‘Maria da Mouraria’ Lisbon
The Portuguese blues
No district in Lisbon is more praised for fado music than Lisbon’s historic Mouraria area. It is said that the melancholic sounds of the music and singing of the Moorish people were at the base of fado (meaning fate) music, often described as the Portuguese blues.
Mouraria Lisbon, restaurant/bar & fado house ‘Maria da Mouraria’, Largo da Severa 2.
It is said that Maria da Severa was born in this house, that’s why this place was created (in 2013) to promote fado as a tribute to the legendary singer, considered by many as the first fadista. She died here, at the age of 26 years old, November 30, 1846.
Square Largo da Severa, Mouraria Lisbon, September 2018
Square Largo da Severa has been renovated in recent years. Quiet atmosphere, because no cars can come here. Picture: Henk van de Weerd
Who was Maria da Severa?
Teatro da Revista (a sort of vaudeville theatre) Lisbon: Revue about Maria da Severa’s life
Maria is said to have been a tall and gracious prostitute, and would sing the fado in taverns, were she encounters a Count, Armando de Vimioso, bohemian, and a celebrated and aristocratic bullfighter. After Maria sings for Armando, a passionate romance begins. Armando’s mother, Constanca, forbids the romance, being a scandal in the family! The House of the Counts of Vimioso had also close links with the Portuguese royal family.
Casa ‘Maria da Mouraria’, Lisbon: talented fadista Tania Oleiro, accompanied by Ricardo Parreira and Marco Oliveira
People who like to gather here are musicians, actors, journalists and residents of surrounding neighborhoods. Fado house ‘Maria da Mouraria’, works as an extension to the Fado Museum. To better understand the history of Lisbon’s song, it is essential to visit the museum, located in the nearby area Alfama.
Fado house ‘Maria da Mouraria’, Lisbon & Saint Anthony’s feast days in June (2018)
You can have dinner, or just enjoy some snacks and a couple of drinks. We were surprised by fadista Tania Oleiro and the delights of a good dinner (from 20:00 pm). If you wish to dine here, make a reservation.
Casa ‘Maria da Mouraria’, Lisbon: dinner with friends Josephine Lucassen (tourist guide) and Jorge Torres
Dinner & fado music: € 35- 45 per person
Our dinner: Peixinhos da Horta (fried green beans), prato do dia (dish of the day: pork liver) € 13,90, bacalhau (cod fish) € 16,90, bife € 15,90, and 2 bottles of red wine € 21,80.
Maria da Mouraria fado restaurant & tapas menu for 3 persons 2016: 90 euro
YouTube movie about the area and people who live here , trying to sing fado
Rua do Capelão Mouraria Lisbon: famous fado singers & beautiful wall portraits in the streets: Amália Rodrigues, Fernanda Maria & Francisco Martinho
Retratos do Fado – Um tributo à Mouraria. (Portraits of Fado – A tribute to Mouraria). This is a permanent exhibition of fabulous photos printed on wood on the walls of the streets in a tribute to fadistas with a strong connection to the neighbourhood. A great idea! Created by British photographer Camilla Watson , who has been living in the area for 6 years.
Helder Moutinho (Portuguese fado singer & songwriter) & Maria da Mouraria
In summertime you can enjoy well-known fado performers in front of ‘Casa ‘Maria da Mouraria’, (YouTube). Film screenings, book readings and performers are the responsibility of Helder Moutinho.
Fado House ‘Maria da Mouraria’, Largo da Severa in Mouraria Lisbon.
In summertime the terrace is open for drinks and petiscos (‘tapas’).
Dining from 20:00 – 02:00. Open from Tuesdays to Sundays (incl. Fado). No creditcards. Largo da Severa Nº2/2B. Trams 15, 28 , metro square Martim Moniz.
10 minutes walk from this square: my 3 bedroom apartment & lovely patio (30 m2)