The heart of Porto beat faster with the reopening, this Thursday, of Mercado do Bolhão. It was 1600 days closed. Four years, four months and 17 days of waiting. Something like 38,400 hours of anxiety, which at times even raised doubts as to whether the building, classified as a monument of public interest, could reopen.
Adept at punctuality, five minutes before the scheduled time, Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto, opened the market gates, along Rua de Fernandes Tomás, to ring the bell at eight o’clock, marking the start of the renovated space, which the mayor hopes it will be “a Bolhão forever”. Soon a crowd stormed the first landing, jostling for the best view. The first applause was heard, and someone shouted “beautiful!”, as if the rarest of diamonds were suddenly exposed for the first time.
Júlia Brandão, 72, a customer of Bolhão for 37 years, left her home in Rio Tinto, Gondomar, “at 7.15 am”. Breakfast was already taken in Porto, at the confectionery right in front of the market, so as not to miss the opportunity to visit it “as soon as it opens”. “I used to come here before going home, around two in the afternoon, and buy fruit from Paulinha. But the conditions the traders were in were shameful. I even went to the temporary market, but it wasn’t same thing,” he confessed. The conversation was drowned out by the ringing of the bell. The clapping doubled in tone and the tears were falling from the faces of those who had lost hope.
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The Article Is In Portuguese🡽