Of memory and ruins

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Image credits: Ruin’Arte.

Ruin’Arte is a Portuguese photoblog that is dedicated to the documentation of abandoned buildings. Noteworthy religious constructions, industrial structures, ancient palaces, noble countryside residences; many examples of an unfortunate disregard towards our heritage and history.
In its latest entry we are introduced to the story of the Casa do Passal, once the residence of Aristides de Sousa Mendes in the location of Cabanas do Viriato. The ruin of the house seems to resonate with the unfairness committed against him, one of the greatest heroes of our history.

I would rather stand with God against man, than with man against God - wrote Aristides de Sousa Mendes as he justified his disobedience to direct instructions from the Portuguese government at the outbreak of World War II. During his service in the consulate of Bordeaux, France, Aristides courageously issued thousands of visas to war refugees, among which are estimated over ten thousand Jews. For his actions, Aristides was discharged from his position and ordered to return to Portugal in 1940. He travels in his own automobile leading a column of vehicles of refugees, escaping from the Nazi occupied France and a certain deportation to concentration camps.
Many of the refugees of Aristides supposedly passed through the Casa do Passal. The house has been recently documented in its current condition by the author of Ruin’Arte, leaving an appeal to its restoration in honor of the life and memory of Aristides de Sousa Mendes. Jump to Ruin’Arte for more pictures – it’s in Portuguese only but you can access it through Google Translate if you prefer.

Image credits: Ruin’Arte.

1 Messages to “Of memory and ruins”

  1. Blogger Andrew 

    I like the concept but the photos seem a bit over-processed. These hyper-HDR images seem like they will look dated all too soon.

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