Interpretive Centre of the Rural World

Below are some curiosities regarding the themes portrayed in the Interpretive Centre of the Rural World:

  • It is located in the village of Vimieiro, within the municipality of Arraiolos and was inaugurated on 1 August 2009 by the Arraiolos Town Council;

  • Formed from an old mill – The Queirogas Mill, which was restored and adapted to serve as a museum where the fixed exhibition was installed, and from a new building, built from scratch, alongside the pre-existing building, which contains the reception, an exhibition room, technical offices, bathrooms and the reservation room;

  • It was the Arraiolos Town Council that acquired the building from the old mill adjacent to the garden of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Vimieiro, the former Palace of the Counts of Vimieiro, although it was the Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Vimieiro that gave up the land where the new building was constructed.

  • The authors of the architectural design in which the antiquity of the old mill is harmoniously combined with the architectural contemporaneity of the new building are the architects Michele Cannatá and Fátima Fernandes of the CANNATÁ & FERNANDES-arquitetos Lda. studio.

  • This space portrays the rural Alentejo world between the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, which is today the memory of a difficult time for the overwhelming majority of the population. It was a time when men and women worked hard from dawn to dusk to obtain what little sustenance that guaranteed them an honourable survival, but one of suffering, and where vast lands in an infinite landscape, and a daily life marked by huge social inequalities, where land was owned by the few and was the workplace for many, was the setting in which a remarkable period of Alentejo history was founded;

  • In short, it is this rural world that is still so present in the memories of the older generations, but already so distant for the younger ones, that the Interpretive Centre of the Rural World intends to preserve as an identity of the Alentejo people, suffering and strong, but very dignified people.