As histórias reunidas no Museu da Ilha das Flores, em Portugal

O Museu da Ilha das Flores está instalado nas dependências de um antigo convento franciscano. O acervo é constituído por uma coleção de cerâmica açoriana e núcleos temáticos de caráter etnográfico sobre alfaias agrícolas, ferramentas de antigas profissões da Ilha e a pesca. No conjunto, destaca-se em particular a área dedicada à caça da baleia com utensílios, miniaturas feitas com osso e “scrimshaws” gravados em dente de cachalote. 

Na fase da navegação à vela as rotas de regresso à Europa, provenientes da Índia, África ou América, faziam nas Flores um ponto de passagem. A ilha também foi vitima desta posição estratégica. Afirma Luís Vieira, diretor do Museu das Flores que quando imperava o tratado de Tordesilhas e o planeta estava dividido entre os impérios português e espanhol várias potencias marítimas, como por exemplo, ingleses, franceses e holandeses, saquearam a população e incendiaram igrejas nas Flores.

créditos: andarilho.pt

O Museu das Flores retrata alguns destes episódios e os momentos mais marcantes do povoamento das Flores. O povoamento tardio tem forte explicação no pouco interesse que as Flores despertou. Longe de tudo, um território exíguo e cheio de mato, a chegada dos colonos é posterior a 1505.

No museu, expõe-se ainda um interessante conjunto de peças provenientes do paquete “Slavonia”, naufragado na costa da Ilha em 1909. Um paquete britânico da Cunard, uma das maiores empresas de navegação e que agora está a 15 metros de profundidade depois de ter embatido nas rochas durante uma noite de nevoeiro

Naufragou numa viagem entre Nova Iorque e a Europa. Com o fim da escravatura dos EUA recorriam à mão de obra barata do Sul da Europa. O paquete levava gente a partir de Trieste, na Itália. No sentido contrário vinham os americanos abonados para descobrir a Europa.

As Flores foram ainda ponto de passagem de muitos outros barcos e lugar de reabastecimento das embarcações de pesca à baleia.

Uma referência final ao Convento de São Bartolomeu onde está localizado o Museu, o que, só por si, já justifica uma visita. É um prédio amarelo e branco, com sinos e a cruz no alto da fachada. Rapidamente se percebe porque é um dos mais imponentes de Santa Cruz das Flores.

É em pedra, tem um claustro e ressalva-se na igreja os retábulos que são de estilo barroco com profusão de talha dourada. O teto é em madeira de cedro, uma planta autóctone, e está pintado com motivos vegetativos e com cores vivas, um estilo classificado como grotesco.

créditos: andarilho.pt
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