In 2014, the Route of the Coffee Houses with a bit of History was launched as a way to promote and preserve the undisputable value of these spaces. At present, the route has been transcribed into a book, mentioning more than 23 historical coffee places situated North and South of the country.
There are cafés where one could breath and listen to the stories, talks and ideas being exchanged, cafés that ended up dictating the culture, literature and politics of the years. Places where prominent and unforgettable figures of the history went to, people that were part of the intellectual life of that time.
In 2014, the Route of the Coffee Houses with a bit of History was launched having the objective of revealing some of these spaces, not only from big cities such as Lisbon and Porto, but from other smaller cities spread across the entire country. Vítor Marques, director of the Santa Cruz café, was the project’s main supporter and he wanted, above all, to present as much as possible the history of all the cafés, beyond the ones that were most known in the cities. To achieve this, he travelled from the North to the South of the country. And, in 2014, the café de Santa Cruz route was officially made public. His main objective was more than anything to highlight the role of the cafés in the cultural and social life of the city, and show that caféas are a place to visit as well. As Vítor Marques says ´promote the life of cafés when you go to the city´.
There are 23 cafés, in 12 cities of the country, that appear now in the book. 16 were left out because of geographical limitations and include spaces in the Açores and Madeira archipelagos. The book, edited by Caleidoscópio and signed by Nuno F. Santos, was translated in English too. The CTT liked the idea and launched a collection of 6 stamps, and followed the release of a future edition of a book that bases its covers on the same 23 cafés. These are some of the cafés with a bit of history, part of the route. Images are by Jorge Simões.
Café ”A Brasileira”, since 1907, Braga.
Café ”Piolho”, since 1909, Porto
Café ”Santa Cruz”, since 1923, Coimbra.
Pastelaria Benard, desde 1868, Lisboa.
Café ”Arcada” since 1942, Évora
Café ”Calcinha”, since 1928, Loulé.
Translation by Ioana Bota