Discover the history of the building housing the valongo regueifa & biscuit workshop

2021-05-01

1893 - The Valongo Fire Brigade Humanitarian Association is born on Rua de S. Mamede.

1905 - The association movers to the square [largo] on Avenida D. Carlos I, today Largo do Centenário.

1907 - Inauguration on 17 August, 1907, on the occasion of the 13th anniversary celebrations. 
In-between area on the ground floor and 1st floor for firefighters and equipment.

The remaining structure served “other purposes of true general utility, creating a reading room, a room for portraits of the benefactors and a hall for conferences and meetings, which could be converted into a theatre”, for the education and leisure of the population, especially the youth, under the progressive spirit of the 1st Republic, Minutes of the AHBV Meeting dated 12/4/1905.
 
This was all made possible thanks to the City Council, the Urbana Portuguesa insurance company, the work of ladies and gentlemen of greater standing and wealth, stalls, charity raffles, various shows, and the quotas and monthly fees paid by members. 
The less fortunate contributed with the strength of their work, wood and stone, which they also transported.



1907 - Oliveira Zina Theatre - New floor in the right wing
For services rendered and the donation of 1000$000 reis.

Semi-spherical structure in iron and glass, in the style of London’s Crystal Palace and its counterpart in Porto, built in 1865.
The stage and backstage area were enriched by a structure decorated with allegorical female figures, musical instruments and fireman equipment.
To make ends meet, this space was rented out. The first performance took place on 15 June, and cinema screenings started the following year.



The following could be found on the façade of the central body:

“Sit monumentum landio, quae ducatur in acoum illis qui faciles recete escultos
que beando doctrina nores bene de patria merit sunt”

“monument of imperishable glory for those who became benefactors
of their native land, and helped refine and polish its customs with the riches of true instruction.”



The Great Hall is now called the Marques Saldanha Hall, in honour of the association’s honorary president, for important services rendered in improving the association’s standing, and engraved with golden letters in said space, with reference to 1908, although it was only inaugurated on 12 August of the following year.



1936 - Replacement of the original cover by a 1st floor in everything identical to that of the central body.

1950s/60s - the 1st floor was extended to the left wing, covering the entire length of the building, and covered with padded industrial tiles, in oxblood red.

End of the 1970s - AHBV intends to build a new barracks on land provided by the CMV.

1991 - The building is vacated.

2015 - City Hall takes possession of the building, through the constitution of surface rights, with a unilateral promise of sale, and public deeds executed on 15 May 2015.



2020 – Opening of the Valongo Regueifa & Biscuit Workshop.