The Prime Minister, António Costa, inaugurated, on the 21st of April, the requalification work of the Monastery of Ancede, which gave way to the Cultural Center of Baião (MACC), whose project was completed 38 years after the decision of the Municipality to acquire and transform the ruin of that Monument of Public Interest, which is expected to attract 16,000 visitors a year by 2025.
António Costa highlighted the work of the municipality for investing in new activities, such as nature tourism and cultural heritage, to sustain the territory: “in low-density areas, the challenges are very demanding and, therefore, essential. Preserving what history has bequeathed us – nature, intangible heritage and spaces like this Monastery is essential to retain and attract populations. This Cultural Center, which allowed the recovery of this heritage with more than nine centuries, is, obviously, one of the great marks of the Romanesque and one of the great marks of our cultural heritage”.
The Mayor of Baião, Paulo Pereira, said that “today it was possible to see a little of the much that it can offer everyone, and the commitment that we have and assume with the people of Baião, with visitors and with tourists is that the MACC will continue to stand out for its quality, ambition, boldness and ability to dream, living up to its heritage of more than nine centuries, to our territory, Baião and its people and will be one of Baião’s ambassadors in the country and in the world ”.
The mayor did not forget and thanked the “remarkable figures in public life who gave strength to the project” – Artur Borges and Pereira Cardoso, for the acquisition of the property, Emília Silva and José Luís Carneiro, for the requalification interventions – also mentioning the architect Siza Vieira, “through his genius and traits, the privilege of polishing this diamond”.
With a global investment of 5 million euros, the iconic Monastery whose origin predates the founding of Portugal has been the target, since 2001, of five intervention phases aimed at conserving, restoring and rehabilitating the space in its various aspects, currently providing it with a Cloister with a capacity for 300 people, which is joined by an auditorium with 80 seats and exhibition spaces capable of hosting a few dozen people per hour, in addition to a large outdoor area, which includes a farm with agricultural production.
The project signed by the architect Siza Vieira, whose work is materialized in the Monastery, in the Casa dos Moços and in the Churchyard (in progress), also includes the intervention of the architect Daniel Vale, who signed the work for the Church.
As an active part of tourist routes and with the ambition of assuming itself as a strong tool for attracting visits to the territory, MACC Baião has already scheduled the Green Marble 2023 conference, on climate change, and is also planning the presence of musicians nationals and internationals.