Strolling through Graça district, between Rua da Senhora do Monte and Rua da Graça, lies Estrela D'Ouro. Similar to “Vila Bertha”, it is also this corner an old industrial neighborhood, built in the early 20th-century. The promoter was Agapito da Serra Fernandes, an enterprising Galician who came to Lisbon.
In an attempt to get a good environment to his workers he built near the workplaces houses to his workers, his residence, a recreation center and a cinema – The Royal Cinema. It was the first one in the city to offer a sound film. Unfortunately today it gives way to a supermarket, leaving only the Imperial style facade and a clock inside.
But the singularity is the stars which spread to everywhere… along the sidewalks, among the colorful wrought iron, doors and facades. It seems it was homage to Santiago de Compostela which in Roman times was called "Campus Stellae", ie "Star Field" for being a star that miraculously indicated the tomb of Santiago.
Portuguese tile panels with stars are there to remember the beginning of the quartier and its founder. Streets receive family names such like the manor house who received the name of his wife – Vivenda Rosalina, today transformed into nursing home for the elderly. It is still a beautiful house remembering Art Nouveau stile with fountains, chapel and sweet gardens …. But it always full of stars carved everywhere. It seems it was a happy place when the owners lived there, but yet still now.
A ceramic clock, placed in one of the streets, mark the inauguration hour of the neighborhood: seven o’clock 1909 morning. Because the precise date, unfortunately I wasn’t able to know.
The locals still remember fondly Mr. Agapito, saying he had been a helpful person, friend of children and animals, and welcoming everyone.
This is one of sweet Lisbon history pieces that together like a patchwork quilt make the soul of Lisbon, turning into a unique city.
It is worth to go there and let yourself be transported in time ...