Site visit to Vila do Conde along the St. James Ways in Portugal

17 May 2021

On the 21 – 23 April rurAllure team conducted a site visit to Vila do Conde in Portugal – project’s partner and host of the upcoming General Meeting, scheduled on 8 – 9 September 2021.

Martín López Nores, the project coordinator and Susana Reboreda from the University of Vigo together with Uxío Novoneyra from the University of A Coruña and the Uxío Novoneyra Foundation attended the meeting organised by the Municipality of Vila do Conde (MVC) in presence of Marta Miranda, Ivone Pereira, Pedro Brochado, Isabel Costa, María José Meneses, Ana Serrão and Rui Maia.

The visit was focused on familiarization with the vast local resources available for the rurAllure pilot “Literary Heritage on the Ways to Santiago”, and planning the upcoming meeting of the Consortium.

The rurAllure pilot projects are based on the concept that a major positive impact in rural areas in the vicinity of pilgrimage routes can be achieved via better promotion of territories and enhanced pilgrims’ experience. The rurAllure pilot “Literary Heritage on the Ways to Santiago” aims to enhance alternative tourist areas and experiences among pilgrims to Santiago, focusing on literary heritage, luring them to explore the territory they are crossing on the footsteps of authors and writers.

This approach utilizes literature as a tool to interpret and disseminate unknown heritage through storytelling and is connected to topics such as travel and pilgrimage literature, oral traditions and personal experiences.

Having high potential in tourism development, Vila do Conde has made significant investments into culture and tourism, giving them a more prominent role as one of the city’s strategic values and investing into a range of new facilities developing cultural and creative activities.

Among regional cultural and literary heritage, one should mention the Memory Center – which includes, among others, the Museum of Vila do Conde, the Júlio / Saúl Dias Gallery and Study Center and the Municipal Archives – and the José Régio’s House and Documentation Centre.

Since Vila do Conde is a land of artists, many of the above-mentioned cultural venues are related to literature. José Régio and his brother Júlio/Saúl Dias, Ruy Belo, Eça de Queirós, Camilo Castelo Branco, Antero de Quental, Guerra Junqueiro, Agustina Bessa-Luís, Robert and Sónia Delaunay are just some of the renowned Portuguese and international poets and painters who have chosen to live and work in this quiet and charming city.

The upcoming rurAllure meeting will take place on 8 – 9 September and will focus on scientific aspects of the project, rural development, pilgrimages and tourism, as well as project progress.