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  • Mário Rocha

Boavista: toponyms

Aerial image of Boavista's roundabout in 1964. Source: Monumentos Desaparecidos

Boavistas’ roundabout also known as Mouzinho de Albuquerque square, since its creation, was considered, and is today, a place of great importance for the population of the city of Porto. Regarding its toponym, it's possible to observe two distinct names. First, Mouzinho de Albuquerque. This is the name of a Portuguese Cavalry officer that became acknowledged for its proficiency as a leader during the Mozambique Peace Campaign of the Vátua Revolt in 1894. Under an overt distrust and slander that was felt in Portugal at that time, this officer with a small number of soldiers, detained Gungunhana, leader of the Reign of Gaza, at the time a clear objector to the Portuguese Colonialism. It is also important to acknowledge that Mouzinho was widely honored in Porto, the city that presented him with a sword of honor, currently located in the Lisbon Military Museum.

Secondly, the name Boavista comes from a farm situated in Campo de Santo Ovídio, known today as República square, since the XVIII century. In 1784, the City Hall acquired this property for free and decided to open a new road that begins in the northern part of República square and ends in “Águas Férreas”, presently known as Lapa’s metro station. To this new artery, the city hall gave the farm's name: Boavista Street. Later, an extension to the road was agreed, increasing its length south, that is, towards the sea. Consequently, to this whole area where Boavista’s roundabout is included, it was decided to concede the same name.

Cemetery of Agramonte. In the background, two emblematic buildings of the area. Source: GPSMyCity

Due to a clear city growth that happened during the XIX century, it was needed to build and develop new urban centers that attract social and economical activities. Since the end of the XIX century, Boavista has been a stopping point and equally a place of passage, for example, train travelers that resided outside of Porto.

Since the second half of the 19th century, the public cemetery of Agramonte has been located here.

With the introduction of liberalism and subsequent administrative reforms, and following the construction of the Prado cemetery, under an evident sanitary modernization, Porto turned to the western side. In 1855 this second public cemetery, currently located in the old Campo de Agramonte, was erected. It was part of an old farm that was owned by the Pinho e Sousa family, meanwhile devastated during the Siege of Porto.

In this cemetery, it is possible to identify tombs or mausoleums of different public figures such as Manoel de Oliveira or Conde Ferreira. At the same time, it is possible to find a monument to the victims of the fire at the Baquet theater in 1888.

It should also be noted that Porto is part of the Steering Committee of the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe due to these respective cemeterys.

House and farm of Bom Sucesso. Source: Porto de Antanho

Close-up shot of the fountain next to the Church of Bom Sucesso. Source: Porto de Antanho

Currently, where the Casa Agrícola restaurant-bar is located, was the site of the Bom Sucesso house and farm - the name of this place comes from the chapel next to the house - erected in the early 18th century by António de Almeida Saraiva.

Through the images available, the fountain leaning against the chapel stands out. It was built for public use. During the construction of the Bom Sucesso market, located a few meters away, this fountain was taken to the city of Barcelos to a farm where its previous owner lived - Oswaldo Rocha Ferreira - died in 2001.

Mercado do Bom sucesso a ser construído em frente às instalações da Fundição Bom Sucesso. Fonte: Porto de Antanho

It is also worth noting the industrial heritage of this area. An example is the Bom Sucesso Foundry created in 1895 by Manoel Tavares. This foundry, up until 1925, was located in a shed behind a yellow house in Largo do Bom Sucesso. Approximately from this date onwards, this factory was reallocated to a new land on Agramonte Street where it operated until its closure in the 90s of the 20th century.

Mário Rocha | Contentor


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