Casa da Cultura, Loulé
Casa da Cultura, Loulé

Loulé celebrates Carnation Revolution with new culture hub

New headquarters for Casa da Cultura inaugurated on Portugal’s ‘Freedom Day’

A new headquarters for the Casa da Cultura cultural association is due to be inaugurated in Loulé on Monday, April 25 in celebration of Portugal’s ‘Freedom Day’. The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for 5pm.

The new HQ is located in the former Atlético Sporting Club building on Rua 5 de Outubro (the so-called ‘Rua das Lojas’ shopping street). The building has undergone renovations to make it a new cultural hub for the town.

Casa da Cultura was created in 1979 by a group of teachers who felt the need to do something to stimulate the town’s cultural scene. The first iteration of the project was a cultural commission called Comissão Pró Casa da Cultura being before reshaped into an actual association named Associação Pró Casa da Cultura.

The association underwent a final name change to its current name Casa da Cultura in 1987, having become one of Loulé’s most prominent cultural entities. It boasts around 670 members and is led by a board of nine people, all of whom are volunteers. Only two secretaries are employed by the association.

In its early years, the association focused on promoting sports, traditional games and art among the municipality’s school community. Over time, it also focused on helping other local associations establish themselves.

Casa da Cultura now promotes a wide range of artistic and sports activities ranging from theatre and photography to gymnastics.

One of its best-known events is the Loulé Jazz Festival, which was launched in 1995 and has become a highlight of the town’s cultural programme.

Casa da Cultura, Loulé
Casa da Cultura, Loulé

Revolution ‘hero’

Loulé Council will also be marking the national holiday with several other events, such as a commemorative session of the Carnation Revolution at the Cineteatro Louletano at 10.30pm.

The event will be open to the public and will feature special guest and Loulé native Carlos Albino, a journalist who played a key role in the revolution, having been the person who read the first verse of ‘Grândola, Vila Morena’ – a song by the late Portuguese singer Zeca Afonso – on Rádio Renascença which signalled the start of the military coup to overthrown Portugal’s Estado Novo regime.

Also planned is a live performance led by contrabassist Bernardo Moreira at 9pm at the same venue. Entitled ‘Cantigas de Maio’, the show will pay tribute to the people who played key roles in the revolution, from Zeca Afonso to Fausto Bordalo Dias, Vitorino Salomé, Sérgio Godinho and José Mário Branco.

By Michael Bruxo
michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com