Out of Focus

Palafitic Pier

March 28, 2019

Back in 2009…

This is one of my favorite places here in Portugal, the sunset here is really fantastic, I’ve been visiting this pear since 2009 and it is a location that is always changing, it’s in a constant Metamorphosis. Every time i go there the pier is different in some way. When i first got here i was overwhelmed by its beauty and singularity, the fragile look of the structure, the long zigzag of footbridges and the boats, it was just stunning!

Here you can see how the most iconic pier of Carrasqueira looked like back in 2009, all the pier was intact and you could walk to that platform at the end, now this part of the pier has succumbed to the climate and abandonment over time.The rest of the pier have had some adjustments over time, but this section has been forgotten and keeped at the will of the weather. We can say that now in it current state, it has a special mood and magic, but it’s sad to see an awesome place, an iconic landmark left behind like this.

The History…

I’ll share a bit of this wonder history, the pear is a part of a small fishing village located on the left bank of the Sado estuary. Sado river is one of the few Portuguese rivers that runs from South to North. The Pier is part of the Comporta parish.

The Carrasqueira Plafitic port was built by the fisherman themselves on the end of an agricultural land drainage ditch between the 50s and 60s. Based on wooden stakes embedded in the mud, where fishing boats dock, solving the problem of accessing the boats during low tide.

In this region there still remain huts made of thatch. These simple dwellings, with clay floors and roofs and thatched walls, were built by the fishermen and salineiros, to whom Herdade da Comporta did not allow to build houses with more durable materials in order to avoid that the workers would acquire some right of possession.

Nowadays, although the palafitic port still continues to fulfill the mission for which it was built, it is possible to walk through the zigzag of footbridges where we can observe the boats that paint the scenery of vivid colors, small collections where fishermen keep their fishing gear, birds of the sado estuary, making it an unforgettable experience in this unique place in Europe where time seems to have stopped.

Getting here…

The palafitic pier isn’t located in an easy access location and it’s bit far from the small town of Carrasqueira so the best way to visit is by car, there is no direct transport from Lisbon to Carrasqueira and it will take around one and a half hour to get there by car.

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