Portugal dos Pequenitos reopens more technological and educational

    Seven months after closing doors for works, the park reopens to the public today and brings news: an application and a QRcode now allow “traveling” through the regions represented there.

    One of the most emblematic spaces in Coimbra (and the country) reopens today to the public, after seven months closed for works. Portugal dos Pequenitos has just undergone works to improve the network of infrastructures and interventions for landscape requalification. “This is the first step of the wide-ranging, requalification and expansion project that Portugal dos Pequenitos will benefit in the coming years”, reveals Patrícia Viegas Nascimento, president of the Bissaya Barreto Foundation, owner of the space, which in June celebrates 81 years . It means that over the next month the ludic-pedagogical park will celebrate with visitors, and for that reason “a voucher will be made available, free of charge, to unlock the Park’s APP that serves as a visiting guide, with information of 140 points of interest. “

    President of the Foundation for 12 years, Patrícia Viegas Nascimento considers that Portugal dos Pequenitos is “one of the pillars” of the institution. “Perhaps the most emblematic work that Professor Bissaya bequeathed to us. That is why we thought it was important at the moment to provide it with new content,” she said. On the other hand, some degradation in the park was accentuated, and that is where the Foundation started.

    In a note sent to the press, the two landscape architects responsible for the Portugal dos Pequenitos project highlight “the opportunity to systemically rehabilitate the park where its deterioration was most pronounced”.

    Frederico Vital Soares and Eduardo Costa Pinto refer to the various interventions carried out, such as the renovation of infrastructures and also the requalification of green spaces in the park’s garden. The architects emphasize “the renovated square at the moment of entry, in irregular cut stone reused from the old pavements, the initial moment of visit, but also the” way back “of” Novo Portugal dos Pequenitos “”, in honor of the mentor, Fernando Bissaya Barreto.

    Between May and October, the exhibition “Materials and Masters” will be on display, spread over four modules distributed throughout the park, which aims to capture the attention of visitors for the mastery and creative genius with which the architect Cassiano Branco executed it, more than eight decades ago . There, there will be a “travel guide” that invites families to explore the space, drawing attention to architectural aspects that go unnoticed.

    Designed and guided by the knowledge of traditional building materials and the ethnographic heritage of Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries, the exhibition features objects from the park’s collection, meticulous photographic works of metalwork, ceramics, stonework and carpentry and replicas of watercolors by Ana Fróis.

    More trees and an APP
    As part of the requalification of the outer space, plantations of native species from different countries and regions represented in the park were made. In addition, Portugal dos Pequenitos took the opportunity to make a real upload: “we identified each monument and each house with a QRCode, through an APP that we launched”, says the president of the Foundation, who speaks of “a guided tour, in a way more autonomous, adapted to the current times “.

    In addition, the Foundation is fully aware of the changes that have taken place in society, and in children, and for this reason, in the coming months, it is moving towards the continuation of the project of requalification in the pavilions. The president speaks of “a more interactive and more appealing component”, without neglecting all the experience that constitutes the wealth of Portugal dos Pequenitos: a garden park representative of Portugal’s Architectural Heritage, not only with regard to the different architectural styles, but also to the different types of construction, carried out according to the different geomorphological factors of each region.

    “Everything is tiny for us – but big for Children – and everything is true,” mentor Fernando Bissaya Barreto (1886-1974) said of the park. Born in Castanheira de Pêra, the professor, physician-surgeon, was one of the personalities that most marked Coimbra and the country. Portugal dos Pequenitos started to be built in the late 1930s, with the first phase dedicated to the set of Portuguese regional houses. The second and third phases correspond to the illustrative space of the main monuments of the country and to the ethnographic and monumental representation of places in the world where Portuguese is spoken.

    The park provides kids and adults with contact with various cultural aspects of Portuguese ethnography and the rest of the countries, from furniture, costumes and handicrafts, all on a scale suitable for the little ones. From now on it is possible to use the Blueticket system, giving the visitor the possibility to purchase the entrance ticket online. Portugal dos Pequenitos operates every day, from 10 am to 7 pm.

    @ DN

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