Memories of Turquel


Top restaurant Memories of Turquel

Memories of Turquel is a precious book, published by José Diogo Ribeiro almost a century ago, however, we may add our personal memories.

Bye Bye

Turquel was a village with history and personality. Now it is a small city, with better quality of life, but where the troubles of modernization are well expressed.

Most symbols of the past are gone, and the remaining classical signs wait their turn to be replaced by uncharacteristic three storey buildings in name of money.

​Unless the crisis forces to postpone the projects, and it seems to be happening…

​The Shepherd eagle

Memories of Turquel
Memories of Turquel

My neighbor has sheep. Nothing unusual.

He also has dogs, but, I think he only uses them to hunt and guard the house. So, who guarded the sheep?

Looking closer, today, I noticed that it was a… eagle. At least, she was there, carefully looking at the animals. As a matter of fact I don’t know if it was guarding or seizing them, maybe thinking they were a little big to swallow. I’ll see it better next days and let you know.

​It seems that a couple of cats are now helping the eagle. What a confusion!


Memories of Turquel

– I bet two sheep and a lamb!

– I cover it, and bet three more sheep and the dog!

PS – I don’t know who won this poker game.

I was so nervous that I abandoned the table!

Forgive me, but I love this picture, took 60 years ago.

​The memories of those nice old ladies in my youth…

​Contributors Parade

Memories of Turquel

When needed, for a religious or social investment, the people organizes some festive parades, where each neighborhood gathers all the local contribution in decorated vehicles (everything serves, since trucks to toys) and meet in a party where most of the offers are sold.

Imagination doesn’t shine, but generosity uses to be immense.

​Recent changes in the social characteristics of the population (immigration) make this tradition a rare event.

​Monument to Incompetence

Memories of Turquel

Phase 1:

In the sixties, a group of locals organized a committee to buy a small land inside town, planning to open a wide avenue. The land was too steep, and the idea was abandoned, as was the land, for decades.

Phase 2:

​In the eighties, Turquel needed a Medical Centre. Election after election, for about 10 years, all politicians promised to built it.

No one did, with bureaucracy pushing the problem from health Ministry to City Hall, and back. No one had the formal competence to do it.

Phase 3:

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Memories of Turquel

​One day, my brother, architect, in conversation with the Mayor, his friend, found the solution: The municipality had no competence to build a Medical Centre, but could build gardens – The steep abandoned public land in the centre of town could be gardened, with a few works to level it allowing the installation of the medical services. It was “Columbus’ egg” and the Mayor ordered the project, quickly finished.

Phase 4:

As usual, the plan was reserved to the following elections. Turquel had, at the moment, an idiot as president, willing to be re-elected, that started to announce the marvels of the coming works, swapping things and confusing people: what should be a garden with the medical center hosted in a small construction to level part of the land, was announced as a new building surrounded by gardens.

People’s imagination started to work – one said the it was good to include the post office, the other a bank, another one a school of music, and when the information reached me it “was” already a three storey building, including a senior’s residence.

The real politicians understood the risk and tried to correct it asking my brother to enhance the project. He gave the only correct answer: “Everything is possible, just tell me what do you want”.

The problem was that they needed a big building, and the mayor had money to pay only the modest project he ordered and my brother finished. No way out, in the political discussion.

Phase 5:

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Memories of Turquel

Elections to come, and the idiot started the works. As soon as the population understood their modesty, the contestation grew to a point that forced him to stop. Dignity and politics sometimes don’t blend, specially in limited minds, and he escaped the contestation accusing – the architect, of course.

Phase 6:

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Memories of Turquel

My brother’s bright idea, accepted by the Mayor, led to a project approved by City council. Incompetence, and more ambition than dignity crashed it.

The unfinished garden stands, in the centre of town – the perfect monument to the worst of policy. The saddest point is that only a small percentage of the people knows the truth.

Phase 7:

​At last, someone wise decided to recover the walls and give them some use, but the “garden” still commemorates the old incompetence.

​Dance championships

Memories of Turquel

Turquel is today one of the places where ballroom and latin dances are taken more seriously, with several couples in competition.

This gives us the chance to organize some of the official competitions, with top level dancers, and that’s what keeps happening twice a year, in 2018 in May and June, gathering more than 500 dancers.

​Cultural Events

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Memories of Turquel

Though a small town, Turquel is rather active, with lots of activities either locally confined, or shared with our neighbors.Folklore exhibitions are regular, and dozens of countries from all the continents have performed in Turquel and Alcobaça.

​Spain, with several regions naturally joins Portugal as the most representative, but many others, including the remote Kazakhstan, China, Cook Islands, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Senegal, and several American countries had come.