Prints and prison cells: the Portuguese Centre for Photography, Porto

December 3, 2017

A former jail houses artefacts from the dawn of photography, and provides a window onto the life of one of Portugal’s most prolific novelist, who was locked up there for adultery

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Most prisons are hidden away from a city’s law-abiding citizens. Not so Porto’s 18th-century Cadeia de Relação, now the Portuguese Centre for Photography. Its solid, rectangular bulk looms above the city’s old town, a stone’s throw from the landmark Torre dos Clérigos.

After hosting the felonious and unfortunate for more than two centuries, the granite-walled jail closed its doors in 1974 on Portugal’s return to democracy. In 2000, the labyrinthine building reopened to the public as a photography exhibition centre.

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