In my first visit almost 40 years ago, just passing by, I caught the idea that Espinho was an ugly city.
Sorry to say, but my second visit, for some more minutes, reinforced the idea.
However, for those in the north, far from the mild water of the south, it may be a refreshing break by the sea.
This one of the most popular beaches in the north of Portugal.
Well, the beach is wide, the sand is smooth, the services seem well organized, but… I came from the south, which means… better beaches.
Not impressed, I must say!
With a rough sea, in 1942 someone built a pool by the sea.
Hit and a few times damaged by the sea, it was acquired in 1960 by the municipality, and protected against the waves.
Today it is safe, it is free, using sea water, though opening only during summer.
I think that Espinho has two things to offer – a Casino, and a beach.
don’t gamble, I don’t swim in frozen waters, what else should I see in Espinho?
A third option – dancing… and I did!
Built in 1930 to replace the old church destroyed by the sea, this Neo-romanic church is dominated by the bell tower, and it has inside a big multi-colored sculpture in wood.
Espinho was, in the middle of last century, a very important beach, with an architecture that denounced it as a destination to rich northern families that built their large houses.
Progress allowed those families to go further seeking for better beaches, and those traditional houses are being replaced by apartment buildings, more suitable for short and cheaper occupation.
Some of the old mansions are still present, but… till when?
The “easy money” pouring from Brussels to local authorities, gave place to a ferocious competition, building and decorating roundabouts.
The winner, in quantity is Viseu (with, it seems, more than 500 roundabouts) but concerning decorations it is hard to decide – the diversity is immense, and all depends from the personal taste.
Espinho seems to have preferred quality instead of quantity.
I don’t know where did the idea come from, but some old houses in Espinho show a few small statues topping their facades.
I couldn’t read anything about this fading tradition…
if it was a real tradition, and not the isolated taste that it seems nowadays.
As you walk inland, the cosmopolitan look is quickly disappearing, and rural images mix with densely built areas.
Here and there, a funny and interesting detail, may deserve your attention.
The growth of the city “swallowed” some villages around it.
Anta is one of them, at walking distance, already part of the city, but still with some rural sights here and there.
Espinho Media Center
Espinho is not a “Son of a lesser god”, and it had also the right to get its white elephants.
Media center, is a huge and ugly building in the noble area of the city, and, in my ignorant opinion, it is perfect to play that role (white elephant).
A large and very functional pavilion is located a couple of kilometers far from the city centre.
I don’t know if the city has activity enough to justify it, but it was perfect for the dancing competition that took me there.
I was not too convinced by the sea…
I was there in the summer, with lots of people, lining a rough and “forbidden” sea.
It happens everywhere, but merging danger with cold water its not my idea of beach.
Sorry folks, I love the North but not its sea.