Explore Bonfim

Bonfim is a parish of Porto that counts with 176 years of existence. It was created on the 11th of December 1841 by a government decree signed by Costa Cabral during the reign of Queen Maria II. The territory of Bonfim was constituted thanks to some areas that were suppressed from the parish of Sé, Santo Ildefonso, and Campanhã. In the mid-nineteenth century, Bonfim became the main industrial cluster of Porto, where the textile industry predominated. In the landscape stood the high chimneys and the hurried movement of the workers of the factories. In that period, Bonfim had the largest number of workers and manufacturing establishments ever recorded in the city. The massive installation of factories in this area of Porto led to the boom of a housing solution known as «Ilhas», specially located on S. Vítor, Gomes Freire and Praça da Alegria.

Campo 24 de Agosto in the first quarter of the twentieth century

Source: Jorge Ricardo Pinto (2011), Bonfim - Território de Memórias e Destinos

Campo 24 de Agosto

Bonfim in a map of Cerco do Porto (1832)

Source: Jorge Ricardo Pinto (2011), Bonfim - Território de Memórias e Destinos

Bonfim Cerco do Porto

The opposition between palatial houses and workers' dwellings in the south-eastern boundary of the parish of Bonfim

Source: Jorge Ricardo Pinto (2011), Bonfim - Território de Memórias e Destinos

Freguesia do Bonfim

At the same time, some palatial houses were built with quality materials by capitalists, industrials, and merchants, some of them Portuguese that emigrated to Brazil and made a lot of money there. In these majestic mansions, we would find exotic species from Brazil and architectonical solutions that characterized an era. A large percentage of these “Brazilians” – as they were known – invested large sums of capital in Bonfim, not only in their properties but also in factories.

 

Nowadays, many of these old factories are closed and have disappeared, replaced by different economic activities that we can find in Bonfim, such as commerce and restaurants, education and health structures, bank institutions, small companies, and services. We must not forget tourism which acts as a promoter of the culture and heritage of Bonfim.

Text based on the book «Bonfim - Território de Memórias e Destinos» by  Jorge Ricardo Pinto (2011).