It was often a source of inspiration for Portugal’s acclaimed poet Sophia de Mello Breyner, who died in 2004, and is now on the market for a selling price of €1.4 million.
The house, called Casa da Meia Praia as it is located just metres away from the popular beach in Lagos, was a holiday destination for Sophia and her family “for decades.”
“This charming and welcoming villa has served as home and place of inspiration for the family of one of the greatest figures in Portuguese literature, who for decades used it as a vacation home and whose name was given to the street that leads to the property,” reads the description of the house on realty website Sotheby’s.
Jornal de Notícias explains that Sophia and her family would spend their holidays in Granja, Vila Nova de Gaia, until 1961 when she picked the Algarve to start spending her summers.
Lagos attracted her for being a “town that was meticulously clean and filled with honest people”. The local beaches, especially Meia Praia and Dona Ana, and the local market were her favourite locations.
However, her first years in the town weren’t always as pleasurable as they would later become, she said in a letter.
“(The house) didn’t have a fridge, there was only a cooler and a man who would come here every day on a cart to bring ice. I would often walk to Lagos to go shopping,” she said.
This route actually inspired one of her poems – ‘Caminho da Manhã’ (Morning Walk).
In an article written by Sophia’s grandson Pedro Sousa Tavares and published by Diário de Notícias last year, he said that when the northern winds would blow, she would stay up until the late hours of the night in her ‘office’, a mezzanine that stood over the living room and which her grandchildren saw as her “private sanctuary”.
She would “light her slim cigarettes, which she would always forget about in the ashtray after her first drag, sip her tea, which seemed to last forever, and with the window open, spend hours listening to the wind blowing between the pine trees”.
Who was Sophia de Mello Breyner?
Sophia de Mello Breyner was born in Porto on November 6, 1919 and is widely regarded as one of the top figures of Portuguese literature.
An acclaimed storyteller and poet, Sophia became the first woman to receive the highest Portuguese award for poetry, the Prémio Camões, in 1999.
She was also only the second woman to receive the honour of being buried at the National Pantheon in Lisbon after Fado singer Amália Rodrigues.