By: ELOISE WALTON
UNDERSTANDING AND appreciating Portuguese culture and archaeological history is the passion of local resident, Paulo Heitlinger, a multifaceted character working as a freelance graphic designer in the Algarve.
Born in Lisbon to German parents, Paulo Heitlinger grew up in Portugal, studying at the German School in Lisbon until the age of 17, after which he moved to Germany to study nuclear physics at the University of Karlsruhe.
“After graduating in nuclear physics, I realised it was not for me and so I took a job in journalism and photography,” said Paulo Heitlinger. “After spending several years in Germany, I returned to Portugal to work as a freelance graphic designer in the Algarve.”
Paulo’s interest in Iberian archaeology and Portuguese culture began when he was a boy living in Portugal. “I cannot remember when my fascination began, but I renewed my interest of archaeology upon my return to Portugal many years later, when I met an American anthropologist who was studying the meaning of schist plaques in Portuguese Megalithic sites.”
Paulo soon began reading archaeological books and researching more about the history and archaeological sites in Iberia, which he now teaches other enthusiasts through guided tours in English, German and Portuguese, and excursions.
“I am developing these guided tours because I find these sites fascinating and I think that others who are interested will find it a more interactive way of learning,” said Paulo. “I am also in the process of publishing a series of books, written in simple language, with lots of photographs about various topics including the Romans in Iberia and Portuguese trees, among others.”
Although the books will first be printed in Portuguese, Paulo said that he is considering translating them into English because of the large community of English speaking people in Portugal who are interested the country’s history and culture.
“It is a shame that the Portuguese are not more inquisitive and allow old buildings and archaeological sites to degrade. What I am trying to do is add a small contribution to change this attitude and attract residents and local people alike creating a bridge between different cultures,” said Paulo.
As well as these activities, Paulo also offered his services to the University of the Algarve as a lecturer. “I lecture for one semester a year at the University for students studying design and communication, on the subject of typography and the history of type faces,” said Paulo. “I have published a book on this topic because it was so rarely taught despite being an essential subject for student designers.”
For more information about Paulo Heitlinger’s guided tours and excursions, please email him at