“Figueira Human Station” – Rua Heróis do Ultramar / Rua 10 de Agosto / Rua Visconde da Marinha Grande
Distance: 0.9 kms / 11 minutes
At the crossroads of the three streets that we propose you to know, locates Dr. António dos Santos Rocha (1853-1910) one of the oldest examples of human occupation of the locality – this is the truly ancient Figueira!
In his 1888 work, “Prehistoric Antiquities of the Municipality of Figueira“, Santos Rocha delightfully describes how, in his team’s archaeological forays near the CruiseOn the ground, chips of quartz, distinctly showing the impact of percussion, and of flint, bearing patina and the marks of intentional chipping – signs of the will of our ancestors – are lifted from the ground.
Months later, when a trench was opened in Rua 10 de Agosto for the installation of water and gas pipes, a new deposit of lithic tools emerged, among them an excellent complete specimen of a spearhead, reproduced here.
One of the largest ancient stone axes that Santos Rocha‘s team had the opportunity to analyze arrived from the Monte neighborhood at the time. It was, the archaeologist says, “in the possession of a woman who considered it a talisman“: “Long years ago, she says, lightning struck through the chimney of her grandmother’s house; it buried itself seven feet deep; and after seven years it came to the surface: it was that stone! It preserves from lightning, and, the owner creates, that if it fell to the ground, it would burst with great failure, and be able to destroy the house!“.
These treasures of the primitive occupation of Figueira da Foz can be admired at the Dr. Santos Rocha Municipal Museum.
Starting point: Rua Heróis do Ultramar
Points of interest: Cruzeiro da Figueira
In Rua Heróis do Ultramar, near the headquarters of the Bombeiros Voluntários and beyond a small wrought-iron gate, there is an intriguing monument: it is the Figueira cross and was erected in 1812.
It commemorates the many victims of the famine and exanthematous typhus epidemic that struck a huge mass of the population between the 2nd and 3rd French Invasion (1809-1810).
Heading east, we turn right at the crossroads, towards Rua 10 de Agosto.
2nd station: Rua 10 de Agosto
Points of interest: GNR Training Center
Rua 10 de Agosto was established in 1789, with the variable designation of “Vale”, “Vale de Lamas” or “Vale do Monte”. Given the proliferation of wine warehouses that were established on this hillside, in 1803, the artery was named “Rua do Rio Tinto”.
The relevance of the definitive name may escape contemporaries but here it is: on August 10, 1880, work began on the construction of the Beira Alta Railway line, which opened the village to the city in 1882 and the city to Europe.
The yellow wall that accompanies us down the first third of Rua 10 Agosto marks the limits of the GNR Training Center of Figueira da Foz.
Let us now turn to Mercy. Turning right at the intersection, we go up Rua do Hospital, down Rua do Hospital and around the Misericórdia wall, climbing the stairs to Largo Silva Soares.
End: Largo Silva Soares
Points of interest: Church of Santo António and Church of São Francisco
The Church of Santo António or Capela da Misericórdia corresponds to the temple of the Franciscan convent founded in 1527 and which was an important center of faith and charitable devotion in the region.
Erected at the beginning of the century. XIX, the Church of São Francisco, or “of the Third Order”, preserves a rich heritage of its own, for many people still unknown.
A Pó de Saber – Culture and Heritage organizes regular guided tours to the Churches of Santo António and São Francisco and tailor-made programs to visit the military, urban and artistic heritage of Figueira da Foz.