Prints and jail cells: the Portuguese Centre for Images, Porto


Most prisons are hidden away from a city’s law-abiding citizens. Not so Porto’s 18th-century Cadeia de Relação, now the Portuguese Centre for . Its good, rectangular bulk looms higher than the city’s outdated city, a stone’s toss from the landmark Torre dos Clérigos.

Soon after hosting the felonious and unfortunate for much more than two generations, the granite-walled jail shut its doorways in 1974 on Portugal’s return to democracy. In 2000, the labyrinthine developing reopened to the public as a pictures exhibition centre.

exterior shot The 18th-century building overlooks Porto’s outdated town

These days, framed images dangle from the partitions of the previous group cells on the first ground, wherever the pauper class of prison were being once incarcerated. On exhibit right until 3 December is a established of effective photographs of modern jail everyday living in Portugal, a joint task among photographers Luis Barbosa and Peter Schulthess. If the iron gates really don’t serve to provide the subject matter household, the sq. foods hatch in the roof of the “pigsty” mobile certainly will.

On the major two floors – once house to the prison’s females and its wealthy inhabitants, respectively – are the museum’s long-lasting exhibitions, such as, at the extremely top rated, a collection of cameras from across the ages. The classic equipment mainly belonged to history professor and images nut António Pedro Vicente and includes anything from early Daguerreian antiques to dinky spy cameras concealed inside of Camel cigarette packets.

The view of Porto from the former prison. The see of Porto from the former prison. Photograph: Alamy

Also amid the cupboards of aged Kodaks and Polaroids is the previous mobile of Camilo Castelo Branco. The famed 19th-century writer was locked up (with his married lover, the author Ana Plácido) for adultery. His 12 months at the rear of bars inspired a number of guides, as effectively as a high-quality bronze sculpture of the couple in the museum’s paved entrance square. Grim nevertheless his internment definitely was, the see from his window was second to none.

As a reward, the centre also offers a nicely-lit, pretty much unused images library on the next floor.

• Open 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-5pm Mon-Fri, and 2pm-5pm Sat and Sunlight.