Expat Magazine

Porto’s Bishop and Clérigos Tower, 2016 Vs 2011

By Gail Aguiar @ImageLegacy

António Ferreira Gomes, Bispo do Porto (1952-1982)

If you’ve walked by Clérigos Tower, you’ve probably walked by or near this statue of António Ferreira Gomes, who was Bishop of Porto from 1952-1982. You probably didn’t notice him. And unless you had a really good look at him five years ago, you probably wouldn’t have noticed that he’s been cleaned up since then. He’s wearing the same funky glasses, created in 1979 by Porto sculptor Arlindo Rocha (1921-1999), but he’s looking much more stately now without all that pigeon goop on his head.

Amazing what a pressure wash can do!

António Ferreira Gomes, Bispo do Porto (1952-1982)

Interesting… see how there is no Jardim das Oliveiras yet?

D. António Ferreira Gomes (1906-1989) is known for more than the title of Bishop of Porto from 1952-1982: he criticized the dictatorship in a private letter to Salazar — a letter that was later made public, leading to an exile that lasted 10 years (1959-1969). Here’s the story in Portuguese from the University of Porto website, and the English version on Wikipedia. It’s quite a personal sacrifice made, one that deserves a well-maintained statue, at the very least.

You might also notice in these pictures that Clérigos Tower had a makeover, too. The tower underwent renovations for most of 2014, and reopened in December of that year.

I love Before/After pictures. I’ll dig through the archives again at some point to compare other places in Porto over time. In the meantime, a tip of the hat to D. António Ferreira Gomes each time I walk by his statue. The world needs more people like him.

António Ferreira Gomes, Bispo do Porto (1952-1982)

António Ferreira Gomes, Bispo do Porto (1952-1982)

António Ferreira Gomes, Bispo do Porto (1952-1982)

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