Casa da Calçada

Casa da Calçada - história

As many Portuguese manors, Casa da Calçada started as rural construction as many others that fill in the landscape. With its rectangular 17,80m by 6,62m plan, it was made in stone and its entire region’s vernacular architecture features: granite walls containing small unmolded spans, simply and remarkably trimmed by also in granite cornices. The roof has a wooden structure covered with roman tile.

Later, in the 18th century, the building went through an enlargement that basically granted the nowadays kernel shape.

Meanwhile, already in the possession of Monsenhor António Pinto d’Abreu, the building went through its final greatest transformation. Owner, at the time, of the old Vasco da Gama private school in Lisbon, Monsenhor Pinto d’Abreu wished to create the right conditions to turn the Casa da Calçada into a holiday resort. Therefore, the students and some teachers would travel to Oliveira do Douro during the summer holidays with the purpose to enjoy the magnificent fresh air and the region’s pleasures. To reach all the comfort aspects demanded by that time, it was necessary to proceed to several adaptations and modifications of what previously existed. Beside electric light, tapped water and support for the students’ bedrooms in the attic, and teachers’, on the first floor, it has been decided to appeal for the exquisite abilities of the family architect and friend, Mr. António Couto d’Abreu who planned not only structure’s updates but also the creation of a chapel and its access veranda/path. Added to the manor’s east wing it simultaneously became its new entry.

All the labour developed in the Casa da Calçada, is a mark of an unsettled epoch, essential for the understanding of some specific historical facts that set the beginning of our modern era and its relevance in the Douro region and in, particularly, the Cinfães council.

It is, without a doubt, due to its complexity and quality intervention, a unique building in the area.

Beyond the unmatched building features, it amazes us the fact of all the magnificent stonework has been executed exclusively by hand, using the region’s techniques and materials, surprisingly as the concrete or the cut stone. Nowadays, with infinite proud, many locals still recall their own or their close family intervention in such remarkable work.

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