I presumed because of its location in Jardim Pescador Olhanense and also its appearance that the Coreto de Olhão (Olhão’s bandstand) was quite old. It was therefore with some surprise when preparing this post I discovered this glorious structure only dates back to the 1980s. However on further investigation I learnt there had been an older version. The original coreto was located in Jardim João Serra, the small garden on Avenida da República, next to the railway station. But even that one wasn’t very old. It was built in 1942, some 39 years after the garden was first opened and 150 years after the one in Tavira!
Sandra Romba’s research on the Urban Evolution of Olhão indicates that for a while the bandstand was a very popular location for musical concerts. By the 1960s however Olhão’s bandstand was out of fashion and it was destroyed in order to make way for the new Justice building. Olhão was then without a bandstand for 20 odd years. In 1986 the council decided it was time to have one again, but this time it would be located in the Jardim Pescador Olhanense.
They decided the new bandstand would replicate the original and they even went as far as to include the water feature which would have also once surrounded the original. Unfortunately these days the water mirror has long since gone, and so there are no reflections to enjoy. In fact in 2014/15 we were beginning to wonder how much longer the bandstand itself would last as it was looking rather tired and unloved. Last year though, perhaps to celebrate its 30th anniversary or was the timing just a coincidence, it underwent a much needed restoration programme.
And now the Coreto de Olhão is once more looking rather splendid, albeit it is more of a folly than a musical venue. We have yet to see any concerts performed here, nor are you able to stand on the bandstand as there are no permanent steps and the railings go all the way round! Bit of a shame I think.
Whilst I may not be able to enjoy the view from the bandstand I have enjoyed researching its past. Not only did I discover quite about the public gardens of Olhão but I stumbled across Meloteca, a website for music and the arts. What a find. The reason it caught my eye was its collection of postcards of bandstands of Europe. It is thanks to this site I have been able to share the two images of the bandstand’s past and consequently create this month’s entry for ‘Past meets Present’. To learn more about this blogging challenge, including how you can also participate, click here.