The revamped Lota (old fish market) is now an event venue
The revamped Lota (old fish market) is now an event venue

Portimão’s revamped fish market reopens on ‘Freedom Day’

Renovated building to become multifaceted venue for events

The official inauguration of Portimão’s revamped fish market, commonly referred to as the ‘Lota’, will be the highlight of the town’s ‘Freedom Day’ celebrations on Monday, April 25.

The ceremony is scheduled for 10.30am at the building, which will be open to visits from the public all day.

The €960,000 renovation work carried out last year aimed to transform the building into a “dynamic and versatile space, prepared to host cultural projects, festivities, commemorations and events linked to local and regional traditions”.

Although the original traits of the building were preserved, the roof was replaced and its walls were strengthened. The revamped ground floor will be used as a multipurpose room, capable of hosting a variety of cultural events, while the back of the building was expanded with the construction of a cafeteria.

Improvements were also carried out to the building’s water, electricity and telecommunication networks, and several support rooms were also built on the ground floor and first floor, as well as restrooms.

The ‘Lota’ is located near the town’s old bridge over the Arade River, just a stone’s throw away from Portimão’s many riverside fish restaurants.

Built in 1916 to house the town’s first power station, the building was reconverted in the 50s and turned into a fish market. By the end of the 1980s, it was used to house sardine restaurants until it was finally abandoned.

Now, with its renovation work finally completed, it is expected to become an important part of the town’s riverside charm.

In fact, the building will be put to use on the very day it will be inaugurated with the signing of contracts granting around €1.2 million-worth of council support to 105 local entities, from associations to sports clubs. The signing of the contracts will begin at 2pm.

But these are far from the only events that Portimão will host to celebrate ’25 de Abril’ – the date that a military coup was carried out in 1974, overthrowing Portugal’s authoritarian ‘Estado Novo’ regime.

Festivities will begin at Praça 1º de Maio in front of the town hall at 9am with the hoisting of the Portuguese flag followed by a performance of the national anthem by the Banda da Sociedade Filarmónica Portimonense and Fanfarra dos Bombeiros Voluntários de Portimão.

At 9.30am, a mural depicting this year’s ’25 de Abril’ celebrations in Portimão will be unveiled on Rua Teófilo Braga by local artist Jéssica Martins.

Two days before the national holiday, an exhibition of paintings entitled ‘Raízes’ by artist Margarida Tengarrinha will be unveiled at 5pm at Portimão Museum, where it will remain on display until June 26.

Meanwhile, Portuguese singer Janita Salomé will perform a free concert on April 24 at the town’s riverside, at 9.30pm.

Portimão will also host its usual ‘Corrida da Liberdade’ (Freedom Run) on April 25 at 10am along the riverside. Those interested in signing up should contact the Algarve Athletics Association (+351 289 824 946 | aaalgarve@mail.telepac.pt).

By Michael Bruxo
michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com