In a small house belonging to the Philarmonic Association, ADEPART, a cultural organization, created in 2001 a small museum, collecting the local memories. In display there are traditional instruments, books, paintings, and handicrafts. One of my uncles donated his funny wooden carvings works, with caricatures of most known personalities, which can also be seen there.
The museum was recently moved to another house, 50 meters distant, and expressly rented to that purpose.
Part of the Natural Park is included in Turquel area.
Rough environment and wide sights encircle beautiful and appealing spots, for a vacation away from it all.
Atop the mountain, the old house of the guards is a chosen place for picnics, and a overnight possibility for a dozen of persons.
Despite the new presence of the eolic park, the mountain of Candeeiros maintains all its charm.
The struggle to survive against the rocky soil, gave place to a profitable stone business, visible everywhere. sometimes agressing the landscape.
In the southern side, the odd salt exploitation (belonging to Rio Maior area), 200 meters above sea level, still confuses the locals.
If it happens to you passing trough Turquel in a weekend, look at the sports center.
Maybe you have the chance of seeing very… very small children rolling seriously as adults, in one of the best schools in the entire world (and...remember, also with a ballroom dance school, where this friend of yours shows all the youth of his 62... I mean... 66 now).
In 26th August 2012 we celebrated the 50 years of the club, with a game by the same players that inaugurated it in 1962. I tried, but... dancing is safer now, so I decided to be the referee. And to dance, of course.
The celebration will go on with other events until June 2014.
Combining rural tranquility with all the essential exigencies of modern life, Turquel is a good place for an inexpensive exploration of the surrounding treasures.
Missing local attractions and hotels, there are some cheap guesthouses around it, specially lining the IC2 road, some of them with good and cheap restaurants, easy to book locally, even in high season.
In the sixties, a group of locals organized a comittie to buy a small land inside town, planning to open a wide avenue. The land was too steep, and the idea was abandoned, as was the land, for decades.
In the eighties, Turquel needed a Medical Centre. Election after election, for about 10 years, all politicians promised to built it. No one did, with bureaucracy pushing the problem from health Ministry to City Hall, and back. No one had the formal competence to do it.
One day, my brother, architect, in conversation with the Mayor, his friend, found the solution: The municipality had no competence to build a Medical Centre, but could build gardens - The steep abandoned public land in the centre of town could be gardened, with a few works to level it allowing the installation of the medical services. It was "Columbus' egg" and the Mayor ordered the project, quickly finished.
As usual, the plan was reserved to the next elections. Turquel had, at the moment, an idiot as president, willing to be re-elected, that started to announce the marvels of the coming works, sweeping things and confusing people: what should be a garden with the medical center hosted in a small construction to level part of the land, was announced as a new building surrounded by gardens. People's imagination started to work - one said the it was good to include the post office, the other a bank, another one a school of music, and when the information reached me it "was" already a three storey building, including a senior's residence.
The real politicians understood the risk and tried to correct it asking my son to enhance the project. He gave the only correct answer:
"Everything is possible, just tell me what do you want".
The problem was that they needed a big building, and the mayor had money to pay only the modest project he ordered and my brother finished. No way out, in the political discussion.
Elections to come, and the idiot started the works. As soon as the population understood their modesty, the contestation grew to a point that forced him to stop. Dignity and politics sometimes don't blend, specially in idiot minds, and he escaped the contestation accusing - the architect, of course.
My brother's bright idea, accepted by the Mayor, led to a project aproved by City Hall. Incompetence, and more ambition than dignity crashed it.
The unfinished garden stands, in the centre of town - the perfect monument to the worst of policy. The saddest point is that only a small percentage of the people knows the truth.
In the old days, the few tourists passing by, stopped in the main road, taking a picture of a small mount surrounded by agricultural fields, with three windmills working in its top. Landscape changed, concrete replaced agriculture, but a couple of windmills still resist, mixed with the houses, with the owners showing their love for the old memories. Till when?
One of the oldest streets in the city, this cobblestone steep street still has a classical house (the last, I think) following medieval conception - animals in ground floor, people in first stage, with a staircase in front.
The monks of Cister covered a large area around Alcobaça, reaching Candeeiros mountain almost 20 Km distant.
Some constructions are lost but in a big farm called "Quinta de Val-de-ventos" it's still possible to see how they managed watering needs - a big cistern, in ruins, but still gathering some water may be seen at the entrance.
Sometimes Turquel changes its face and surprises.
Beauty may be across the street. And since 1989 (first picture) no more snow in Turquel, until 29/1/2006, when snow was an extraordinary event in almost all the country, and a good opportunity to unusual photos.
I hardly had time to make pictures, and it was the first (and last) time that snow became a problem - I needed to bring Fernanda from Coimbra and traffic was closed for some time.
This column was erected in the church's yard by the initiative of my school teacher, in 1940 ( don't blame me, I only was born six years later, in the pink house in the background), to join the nationalist enthusiasm used by the dictatorship in the celebration of the 300 years of recuperated independence.
Lisbon made the exhibition of the "Mundo Português" that gave the actual good frame to Jeronimos and the Tower, in Belem (see my
Lisboa tips about it) and Turquel, at its scale, couldn't stay behind.
The monument was moved, but still stands, now in the opposite side of the church.
The old church of Turquel (16th century ?) has suffered several restorations, that changed completely its interior.
Fortunately, all of them respected the Manueline doors, both classified today by our national monuments department.
Successive reconstruction gave to the interior of the church a modern look, only betrayed by the doors, the baptismal basin and the image of Nª Sª da Conceição.