The House of António Fragoso
The History of a Heritage Site
The History of a Heritage Site
From the construction to the current Casa Fragoso
The House of António Fragoso, popularly known as Casa Fragoso, was just built in 1615, being initially owned by the Lima Family.
Around 1890, the Lima Fragoso couple – composed of Maria Isabel de Oliveira Lima and Viriato de Sá Fragoso – decided to make a deep remodeling of the house, extending it to the east. At that time, the stables and a park of carriages were transformed into halls that would serve to receive visitors.
Due to the extension of the works, the young couple decides to rent a casita nearby, in Rua de Santo António. It was there that, in 1897, his first son, António, was born.
With the works completed, Isabel and Viriato moved to the current Casa Fragoso, which with the renovations had doubled its size.
Since then, the House has been home to several generations of the Fragoso Family and has only undergone the necessary maintenance works.
António de Lima Fragoso and the Family House in Pocariça
One cannot speak of Casa Fragoso without mentioning its most illustrious personality: António de Lima Fragoso.
António spent his childhood and youth here until he went to Porto to take the General Course of the Lyceums and the first two years of the Higher Course of Commerce, at the same time that he deepened his musical studies.
The young António maintains, however, a constant connection to Pocariça and the House of the Family.
Even when in 1915 his father, Viriato, authorized him to continue his musical studies at the Lisbon Conservatory of Music, António did not give up spending the summer holidays in Pocariça and often invited colleagues to come and spend a few days at Casa Fragoso, following a family tradition.
The Fragoso Family has always had the tradition, which it still maintains today, of receiving musicians and other personalities from the world of arts and literature, to which are added personalities from other social spheres, namely political and legal.
This is how hundreds of cultural evenings are held in this House, which is still held today.
Examples of this are the Open Windows Festival and several recitals of chamber music, piano and other instruments.
A Home and a Family Marked by Tragedy
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the tragic history of pneumonics greatly altered the lives of the owners of Casa Fragoso.
Almost all of Isabel and Viriato’s children – Antonio, Maria do Céu, Carlos and Maria Isabel – died within 5 days. Added to the tragic drama of losing four children in less than a week is the decision to have their coffins out the windows so that those who still survived would not notice it.
In addition to the four eldest children of this couple, the disease also victimizes an Aunt, two of her daughters and a maid.
Of the children of the Fragoso couple, only the youngest daughter, Maria Fernanda, then only 2 years old, is saved. As soon as the violence of the pandemic was known, Maria Fernanda is taken to Porto by Professor José de Oliveira Lima, António’s godfather and brother of his mother Isabel.
After this serious ordeal, for ten years the Fragoso couple did not return to their home in Pocariça. They spend some time in Porto and then go to Lisbon, where most of the rest of the Fragoso Family lived.
Only in 1930 they returned to Pocariça and its Casa Fragoso.
The return of Life to Casa Fragoso
Dr. Viriato Fragoso is a lawyer in Cantanhede and has always maintained his hobbies as a collector and writer.
In addition to having published the first tables of court costs, he wrote a monograph of Pocariça and another of Cantanhede, which at the time was much appreciated.
It also has a library extraordinary in quality and quantity.
In his spare time, he built a collection of mineralogy, which at the time is the largest in the country. Also noteworthy is his collection of birds (which he embalmed himself) and eggs of all kinds, such as ostrich, turtledoves and more. It also collects conch shells of all shapes and a wide variety of other sea shells.
All these collections are still stored, in the House of António Fragoso, in furniture purposely made by him in his small carpentry workshop.
The Present and the Future of the House of António Fragoso
After the death of D. Isabel (1942) and Dr. Viriato (1945), Casa Fragoso continues in the Family. The couple’s daughter, Maria Fernanda, even when married and a mother of six children, always maintains a close connection to Pocariça, interrupted only after the death of her parents.
Despite this, even though at the age of 35 she was widowed and with six children in charge, Maria Fernanda did not neglect the maintenance of the House.
Over the years this maintenance has always been ensured by its owners, who each year have always done the necessary work.
It is in this House, which over time was also home to illustrious visitors such as generals, professors, etc., that the Associação António Fragoso is now headquartered.
This led to 2022, the year in which the Associação António Fragoso, in the figure of its President, Eduardo Fragoso, nephew of the composer António Fragoso, signed the protocol of accession to the European Network of Houses and Museums of Artists and Composers of the Centre Europeén de Musique.
In this way, a new path is opened, present and future, for the use and enjoyment of what is currently called “Casa de António Fragoso”, which today is classified as a Property of Municipal Interest.
Patronage and Sponsorship
Want to support helping AAF maintain this heritage?
The Associação António Fragoso has a Protocol of Patronage with the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, dedicated to the maintenance of the House of António Fragoso. We will be happy to talk to you and see how you can support us in this cause.