Let us introduce you to Ana Santos! Ana is behind the words of Cathedral of Oporto: The heart of Porto, Sintra city tour: a Romantic’s dream, and Cathedral of Oporto: The heart of Porto and Porto City Tour: The city of port-wine.
In this blog, Αna shares with us a little bit about her life, less-known travel info, and what connects her with the tours she wrote!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I studied Art History but have always been passionate about writing, storytelling, and history. I quickly learned that tour guiding and writing tours perfectly combine all these. I had learned so much writing tours, even when I believed I already knew a lot!
It’s an excellent place to share all the knowledge accumulated over the years and an opportunity to do more research and learn more. Plus, I enjoy talking about my country and culture and offer a more critical eye to our history and art.
Can you give us a tip or a fun fact about the tours?
There is far more to the Monastery of St Jerome’s modern history. It faces what is called the “Imperial Gardens.” These were built as a part of the Portuguese World Exhibition of 1940, under Portugal’s dictatorship, when our Imperialist past was used as the main topic of propaganda, for which the Monastery was the center point.
This exhibition praised all parts of the “Portuguese Empire,” including its former colonies. Everything built then, except the Monument to the Discoveries, was torn down. Inside the Naval Museum’s ticket office in Monastery, you can still find replicas of some of the statues made for this exhibition, with Henry the Navigator at the center.
Tell us a bit about what made you write for these venues!
When studying Portuguese Art History, Manuelino and thus the Monastery is a focal point. The Monastery is not just a gem of Manuelino but a building that witnessed 100 years of history that drastically changed the country. The most exciting thing about it is its demystification and learning that Manuelino differs from what most people think it to be.
If its walls (drawn by some of the country’s most influential artists) could speak, they would talk to us about elephants, caravels, navigation, the deaths of kings and queens, and the loss of independence.