Fado, knives & blood (Fado, Navalhas e Sangue), artist Carlos Fernandez Lisbon & area Mouraria

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.

Carlos Fernandez artist Mouraria Lisbon 1

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.

fado-maria-severa-cafe Mouraria painting

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.

Carlos Fernandez artist Mouraria Lisbon 2

Carlos Fernandez

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 Santo Antonio guirlandes

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)”.

Carlos Fernandez artist Mouraria Lisbon 3 tram 28 electrico

‘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.

Carlos Fernandez artist Mouraria Lisbon 4

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!.

Carlos Fernandez artist Mouraria Lisbon exposition Santo Antonio recycled plastic

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 Lisbon old yellow tram santo antonio sardines

Mouraria in June: Fado performances in old yellow trams decorated with sardines.

Looking for a short time rental apartment in Lisbon? Please check the calendar of my Authentic apartment for rent in this 900 years old area of Lisbon

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.

Carlos Fernandez artist Mouraria Lisbon exposition viewpoint Santa Luzia

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: fadonavalhasesangue@gmail.com

Carlos Fernandez artist exposition Santa Luzia Lisbon

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!

Traditional fado Lisbon: taverna ‘Tasca do Jaime’ (Fado Vadio), close to famous fleamarket ‘Feira da Ladra’

Enjoy the real fado while munching on freshly-fried cod pastries in the late afternoon in Tasca do Jaime, one of the most intriguing of Lisbon’s ‘tavernas’. Traditionally, the Fado houses are popular and a meeting spot for families and friends. Close to Lisbon’s legendary flea market ‘Feira da Ladra’

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon: real fado music

You won’t always find the best fadistas, but don’t let that scare you off. This is real traditional fado, out of the tourist circle, where the fado singers can enter spontaneously and improvise.

tasca do jaime 1

‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon, Saturday afternoon

As soon as somebody gets up to sing the audience stops talking and all the attention is on the singer. The Portuguese have a lot of respect for the performers and it is of utmost importance that the singers can concentrate and express their emotions in their singing. When the song is about to finish the audience starts applauding and cheering.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon

Fado Vadio on Saturdays, Sundays and public Holidays from 16:00 to 20:00, Rua da Graça 91, Lisbon.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon

Fadistas, as fado singers are known, often wear a black shawl of mourning, as one of Maria Severa did after her heartbreak. Her story epitomizes fado’s connection with saudade, “a feeling of longing or nostalgia”.

UPDATE 2015

Alfama: old Moorisch quarter in Lisbon, narrow streets, Fado Museum & river viewpoint Portas do Sol

Alfama is certainly the most famous historic and oldest neighborhood in Lisbon, a narrowed maze of streets with many fado restaurants and pictoresque houses.

Alfama near Sao George Castle2

Lunch time in Alfama: Largo Contador Mor

Street close to the Castle of St George

Alfama Lisbon typical restaurant

Historical area Alfama, Lisbon

There are a lot of typical Portuguese restaurants.

The name Alfama originates from the Arabic El Hamma and means something like ‘fountains’ or ‘baths’. The area contains many important historical attractions.

Alfama Lisbon hanging laundry 20

Historical area Alfama, Lisbon

Typical Portuguese is the hanging laundry in the windows, drying in the wind

Lisbon Alfama from viewpoint Portas do Sol

Alfama Lisbon viewpoint (miradouro) Portas do Sol by night

The Belvedere Portas do Sol is a balcony space that all people of Lisbon are proud to have at their disposal. Magnificent view of Lisbon and the typical Alfama district that spans several narrow, winding streets to the river Tagus

Alfama near Rua dos Bacalhoeiros

Historic area Alfama Lisbon Largo do Chafariz do Dentro,

Beautiful azulejos (tiles), close to the Fado Museum (Museu do Fado) ‘a must do’ for those who love Fado music as well as those with an interest in Portuguese culture and history. Near this square you’ll find a lot of small fado restaurants.

Alfama Lisbon street 26

Historical area Alfama, Lisbon

It’s still like a kasbah, this labyrinth of lanes (becos) paved with pebbles, tiny alleys, steps, arches, courtyards and small squares. Houses, shouldering each other, with tiles (azulejos) and wrought iron balconies with lazy cats, birds in cages and sometimes a sleeping dog….more…

Alfama drawing wall sardines music

Historical area Alfama, Lisbon

Sardines and music in Lisbon:  Festas dos Santos Populares (Feast Days of the Popular Saints) in June & Santo Antonio (Saint Anthony)

Map of Alfama Lisbon

Apartments: Three bedroom apartment with lovely patio (30m2) in historic Lisbon, Mouraria & history

This old building in the heart of Mouraria, once home of Fado music and famous performer Amália Rodrigues (‘Lady of Lisbon’) is suitable for a long weekend trip with your friends to explore Lisbon’s nightlife, a romantic week with your beloved or a summer holiday with your family. The quiet patio of 30m2 (sunny from March till October) with plants and flowers makes this apartment a nice location for your summer holidays in the city. There’s easy access to public transport, and all major sight-seeing in the city center are within walking distance. For bookings, availability and prices, call 0031 653941845 or skype Julie Kruijs (skype: juliekr1956) in the Netherlands.

Website with all the info you need

Lisbon Mouraria apartment dinner patio September 2008

Mouraria, September 2008

BBQ in 2008 with some good friends: Maurits (from Holland, living in Lisbon), Aurelio (from Brazil, living in Lisbon), Sheila (Canadian, living in Lisbon), Rob (living in Lisbon) and his mother (from England), Jur and Hans (from Holland) and I (Julie, living in Amsterdam, sometimes in Lisbon). I’m the one who writes the articles on this blog.

Apartment Mouraria June 2016

The 30 m2 patio is what makes this apartment really nice. In summertime you can catch some sun (from March – October) and walk the to kitchen fridges to get yourself a cold beer or a freezin’ bottle of Vinho Verde. At night you can sit outside, cool of after a hot summers day and have barbeque. There’s a large wooden table with 6 (4 comfortable) chairs, 1 relax chair and 2 beautiful umbrellas

Facilities

The apartment, with a total surface of 100 square meters offers a lot of comfort.

Lisbon apartment Mouraria sleeping room

The sunny livingroom has antique wooden doors that open to a small french balcony overlooking ‘Rua do Terreirinho’, a narrow street with many old houses and typical bars, and small restaurants. There’s a couch (twoseater) and a large eatingtable with four comfortable chairs. WiFi is available, bring your own laptop and you’ll have unlimited acces to the internet. There is a smart satelite TV system with hundreds of international channels.

bedroom_apartment_lisbon_mourariaThe master bedroom (with a double bed) that lies next to the living room has it’s own balcony facing the street as well. (Double glass windows). Clean sheets (and a full cleaning of the house) are taken care of before you arrive. If you plan to stay for a langer period we can arrange for the house and the beds to be cleaned during your visit as well. 2 big antique wooden closets provides more then sufficient closet space for your luggage.

The house has two extra bedrooms (one with boxspring beds) and five/six people can sleep in all comfort. New duvets and luxury duvet-covers (Essenza). A Chicco babybed plus matrass ( 0-4 years) is available for free.

There’s a large bathroom, bathtub and shower, a washing machine and a dryer (you can use it for free). Plenty of towels are provided.

The kitchen has been renovated, there’s a small table for your breakfast, a fridge, microwave, 4-burner-electric-cooker, pans, coffee-maker (and a Nespresso), fruit juicer, (wine) glasses, plates, cutlery, kitchen-linen etc. Good heating system for the colder evenings in wintertime via a eco-heating system.

Mouraria neighborhood my apartment

Mouraria, home of fado Music

No neighborhood in Lisbon is praised more in Fado music then Mouraria. This ‘Bairro’ (neighborhood in Portuguese) is a maze of little, narrow streets, situated between Graça (beautiful city viewpoint), Alfama and Costa de Castelo  (Castle of Saint George) is nowadays a ‘multiculti’ area.

Mouraria neighborhood apartment December 2008

Mouraria was given it’s name by the first Portugese king, Dom Afonso Henriques after the ‘siege of Lisbon’, in which Lisbon was taken over again by the (Christian) Portugese army from the Moorish overlords. This siege put an end to the Islamic control in the Iberian peninsula. The Moors however kept on living in the city after the conquist and gathered in the Mouraria.

It is said that the melancholic sounds of the music and singing of the Moorish people was at the base of Fado music. Amália Rodrigues, Lady of Lisbon, the ‘queen of Fado’ was born near Mouraria on Rua Martim Faz. More

Mouraria close to the apartment Rua do Terreirinho

The little streets of Mouraria are full of typical grocery stores, old bars (taverna’s) and cheap traditional restaurants. (No nightlife, if you’re looking for bars and disco’s, go to the nearby Bairro Alto neighborhood).

At the corner of the street is a night bar: Flamingo open till 03:00  ….

Lisbon Mouraria apartment 3 bedrooms patio 30 m2

Mouraria apartment

Lovely pátio summer 2014 dinner with friends Rob and Felipe

Restaurant Mouraria Rua do Terreirinho Laurinda & Jose Marie March 15

Restaurant in the street

The restaurant of Jose Marie and his wife Laurinda is a perfect place for a real portugese lunch. Don’t expect international food in this tiny restaurant. Their specialities are dishes like Cozido a Portuguesa (different kinds of meats, sausages and vegetables cooked in the same water), Coelho a caçador (Rabbitstew, in red wine) and Favas com entrecosto (Beans with porc meat and sausages).

If you don’t feel like experimenting, try a ‘bitoque. It’s steak and fries, with a fried egg, garlic and rice. Prices are very fair ca. 8 euro for a meal. In the late hours when the shops are closed and you are on your way home, you can always stop at Jose’s and take some beers, wine, water and even food home.

Casa rosa Mouraira Nov 15 2

Libon, área Mouraria, Rua do Terreirinho, October 2015

Reservation & availability calendar