Culture of the Silver Coast
– a tradition of history and art
The Silver Coast is blessed with a rich culture of art and architecture, the history of which can be seen in the region’s extraordinary monuments and historic buildings.
The monasteries at Alcobaça and Batalha are stunning architectural masterpieces recognised by UNESCO for their importance, but in this region that is just the beginning of an exploration that takes in castles, churches and manor houses that date back centuries.
The historic buildings of the Silver Coast are in the main remarkably well preserved and provide a visible record of the various architectural influences that have shaped the region’s built environment. As well as the Moorish architecture in places such as the castle walls and keep of Óbidos, the Silver Coast region is rich with masterpieces from the Gothic, Manueline, Baroque and Renaissance periods.
Ceramics and visual arts
The visual arts are also very prominent here. Caldas da Rainha is a the national centre for ceramics, having been home to the famous workshops of Bordalo Pinheiro. Today the town has a design college and several important ceramic and sculpture museums.
Nearby Óbidos was the home of one of Portugal’s finest 17th century painters, Josefa de Óbidos, who is remarkable not just for the work she left behind but for being an eminent female artist at a time when it was almost unheard of.
On the Silver Coast the culture is not just all about history. The arts are rated highly here and every city and major town has a year-round programme of cultural events – music, theatre, dance and exhibitions, as well as the permanent displays housed in galleries and museums.