The Memorial House of Estrada Nacional 2 was inaugurated this Saturday, August 22, by the Secretary of State for Planning, José Gomes Mendes, who sponsored this new ex-libris touristic attraction in São Brás de Alportel.
Located in Largo de São Sebastião, exactly at the crossroads between the largest road in the region and the largest road in the country – Estrada Regional 270 and Estrada Nacional 2, which the people of São Paulo affectionately call “the center of the universe”, Casa Memória da EN2 was born in the former 8th Conservation Section of the roads of the district of Faro, from where the cantoners leave daily for the mission of maintenance of the road that has Portugal inside!
A place closed since the beginning of the 80s, for 3 decades and reopened now, almost by magic, to unveil old documents and work tools that secrete the history of EN2, through curves and counter-curves of longing.
The opening of the EN2 Memory House was also marked by the raising of the EN2 Flag by Álvaro Rodrigues, son of the former cantonese, José Rodrigues, who 80 years ago, when he was only 10 years old, was the first person to raise the flag in this small building overflowing with history.
A point of arrival in the municipality for EN2 travelers, but at the same time a starting point to get to know the county whose history, culture and development are closely intertwined with this mythical road in Portugal, with 738.5 kilometers, the longest road in the world. Country and Europe, the third largest national road in the world, just after Route 66 in the United States of America and Route 40 in Argentina.
“The whole Algarve passed through here. The goods, the tourists and the people. São Brás de Alportel grew up along this road and especially at this intersection with the largest regional road” where this EN2 Memory House is located, explained the Mayor of São Brás de Alportel, Vitor Guerreiro during his speech.
A work carried out within the municipal strategy of valuing heritage and of tourist and economic development, which was financed by community funds and the Regional Plan for the Valorisation of Endogenous Resources – PADRE.
A project that, as the vice-president, Marlene Guerreiro recalled, started on December 30, 2014, when the Municipality acquired this space from the Portuguese State.
“We tried in a simple way, to preserve the most relevant elements and, above all, to pay a fair tribute to the lives of the road: to the men who gave life to give life to this road: from construction sites… who brought us the treasure of art from the stone to the angels who over the decades took care of this road and gave it a soul ”, he continued.
In this new historic spot in São Brás de Alportel, visitors can learn about the tools and understand how the National Road 2 was worked and maintained, but also interesting and even curious documents that make the route better known now with great tourist interest and the connection of north to south of Portugal.
“The road is beautiful! It comes there curling up the hills and rivers. But it is in fact what happens on the road” that according to the Secretary of State for Planning and sponsor of the EN2 Memory House, José Gomes Mendes, gives value and interest.
Stressing that “we must be able to diversify”, the Secretary of State stated that a tourism product such as this one, EN2, promotes visits to outings and villages that are not on the coast and have the potential to boost local and regional economies. Potential he said he recognized in this new and timely project in the Municipality of São Brás de Alportel.
The “traveler tea” promises to be another experience not to be missed for those who want to regain energy as for those who want to taste the flavors of Serra do Caldeirão. A recipe prepared exclusively for this space and that promises to delight those who taste it!
At the end of the visit, there is an invitation for each visitor to leave their mark on the History of EN2 with messages, memories and photographs that can be placed in the “Cabide de Memórias” corner and in the “Visitor’s Notebook”.