Schist Villages
2018-11-16

Cerdeira - Home for Creativity

Hidden away in a small valley 700 meters above sea level, Cerdeira is a schist village that was at risk of disappearing after the abandonment of agricultural activity in the middle of the 20th century, but through tourism and development activities it was rebuilt and given a new purpose.

Belonging to the district of Coimbra, 9.7 km from Lousã, this village of more than 300 years old, was built by farmers who took their livelihood from this land. These brave people who, even if they left in search of a better life for their families, would always come back and visit their home.

Today, Cerdeira has new stories to tell, of new inhabitants who have, will their persistence and willpower, breathed life and purpose back into this place, of men and women who have knowledgeably restored the houses and made them comfortable, as a 21st century house should be, of guests who choose the village to spend their holidays, and of artists from all over the world who come in search of inspiration. Cerdeira is now one of 27 villages that make up the network of the Aldeias do Xisto.

The purpose of the Cerdeira - Home for Creativity is to give life to an old village, to create conditions for it to be a place of contemplation and artistic creation, learning and intersection between people of different cultures and knowledge, providing quality accommodation, suggesting ideas and itineraries to know the surrounding region.

Every year, Cerdeira - Home for Creativity hosts the "Elementos à Solta - Art meets Nature" festival now called Cerdeira à Solta - Art meets Nature, which brings together contemporary artists from different areas and transforms the village into an open-air art gallery. Cerdeira, in Lousã, is now known for its 'craft'. Equipped with workshop facilities for woodwork, ceramic and fine arts, Cerdeira opened an Arts & Crafts School in 2018. It now hosts several workshops and masterclasses for artists and offers creative experiences to its visitors.

This project was co-initiated by the German wood sculpture artist Kerstin Thomas, who came to the village more than thirty years ago with her husband. From her craft fairs, she met several artists that now come to Cerdeira to teach and for collective exhibitions.



 

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