Coimbra, Portugal & the Fado Tradition

Coimbra fado churchFado in Coimbra is different than that of Lisbon.  In Coimbra, Fado centers around the university community and is sung by men dressed in traditional academic capes, robes, and leggings.  Like in Lisbon, it is accompanied by classical guitar and a specially tuned Portuguese guitar, but sounds totally different.

My group and I arrive early at A Capella, a small 14th century chapel turned tapas bar and Fado venue.  The owner and chief Fado singer were practicing a rock and roll set scheduled for performance at 12 midnight.  Luckily, we were able to preorder a set dinner menu of lamb or fish.

IMG_0845The actual Fado began at 9:20 p.m. and continued in four-song sets until midnight.  We all enjoyed the performances of the male soloist and guitar ensemble. 

The food was good and by the end of the evening, the chapel was packed with 80-100 people drinking, eating and enjoying the Fado experience.