Do you want to know one more of the Northern Portugal riches, the one that requires a lot of delicacy and detail, that involves gold or silver in fantastic contours and results in beautiful pieces of jewellery?
Start in Porto. The Historic Center - World Heritage with its lively traditional trade, boats that take you on a tour on Douro river, the Port wine cellars, the buildings architecture, the fashion, the Casa da Música (House of Music), the Museu de Serralves museum, the gardens and monuments are some of the attractions that enrich your visit, also guided by the flavours of the region. You are in the "Invicta" city, where you can enjoy a full day, before heading to the amazing "ateliers".
There is so much to see!
Today we propose you the art of working the noble metals - the filigree. It requires special detail and delicacy, demands technique and offers great beauty to anyone who wears it in a necklace on the chest or in a ring, bracelet or earrings. In a lacy heart shape that does not go unnoticed, it continues to be produced in the several workshops in Gondomar or in Póvoa de Lanhoso (Alto Minho), with all the grace and detail.
Tradition and Modernity
From Porto to the city of Gondomar are twenty minutes by car and up to Póvoa de Lanhoso (Braga) plus forty.
The best thing is to rent a car and to set off to explore these two destinations where the traditional art of working the noble metals is more pronounced. A manual art that twists and threshes the gold, silver or bronze threads, causes them to soften and become ready to be shaped by the artisans. All handmade.
The minutia of this jewellery work, which nowadays is supported by a single machine - the cylinder, as well as the heat of the fire that heats the threads and connects them, result in different types of ornamental pieces or sacred art, such as shrines, caravels, boxes as well become pieces of personal use such as rings, earrings, medallions and crosses.
These pieces have gained international recognition since the actress Sharon Stone, the godmother of one of the cruise ships that rides on the Douro River, showed off her gold-filigree heart pendant while she strolled the streets of Los Angeles. Mr. António Cardoso is the craftsman-goldsmith who created it, from the AC Filigranas workshop.
By car through the “ateliers” - Filigree Route
Besides the workshop/atelier that became internationally known and is located in Gondomar, there are another seven on this Route. Want to visit? Come by car, discover this charming world, but before leaving make your reservation three days in advance.
During the visit, you can enjoy a chiselling workshop (ancestral technique of this art) and/or visit the Loja Interativa de Turismo de Gondomar (Interactive Tourism Shop of Gondomar), to attend the exhibition "Alquimia da Filigrana" (Alchemy of Filigree), which has a beautiful collection.
You will also have access to special prices when purchasing these luxury items. Get to know the largest factories and jewellery open to visitors, one of them awarded and participating in renowned events such as Portugal Fashion, the António Marinho, the ARPA that works national and international brands, the contemporary productions of Conceição Neves, as well as the country's only professional training center in the jewellery and watchmaking sector, among others.
Minho: art, gastronomy and Vinho Verde wine
Let's take a break for lunch? In Minho you will find the Vinho Verde Demarcated Region, where white wines are produced, the perfect accompaniment to a typical dish such as the “Bacalhau à Lagareiro”, “Cabrito Assado” or the “Arroz de Pato à Minhota”, which reinforce your energies before going on.
In Travassos (Póvoa de Lanhoso), visit the famous Museu do Ouro museum, where guided tours are promoted for each visitor to get to know this “minhota” art that complements the costumes of the North. Not only the wedding dresses, but also the women's costumes of the folkloric ranches use the filigree as an ornament. And the latter can be admired in the religious pilgrimage that takes place in Viana do Castelo, in the month of August, in homage to Nossa Senhora d´Agonia.
The family's possessions and the woman's pride make her show off the many pieces of filigree jewellery around her neck, on this festive day. In addition to the festivities, Viana do Castelo is between the Atlantic and the mountains and has a pleasant historic center along the Lima river to appreciate in detail. Just as on the first day when you left Porto to discover the filigree, return now to the capital of the North to visit and prove what was missing.
All the visits and customized programs that you would like to do, we always have it at your disposal, just contact us.