Costa de Caparica, 2008

The presence of the sea, being the main factor of attraction of people to this village, was also a recurrent source of destruction.The lands occupied during the summer years, when the tides are not so powerful, became a place of permanent settlement. This was the case of the campings that appeared in the end of 1950’s and beginning of the 1960’s at the north side of the village. This is not independent of the inauguration of the bridge over the river Tejo in 1966. After that, the beach of Costa de Caparica evolved to a major spot for the people looking for the vast sand area along the coast. As a response to protect the settlements and in an effort to retain the sands, between 1966 and 1968, vast jetties were created. However, besides the reinforcement thus created, during the winter tides they were not able to prevent the destruction of the human structures created in the meantime.


Costa de Caparica, circa 2008


The set of images that we are going to publish in the next few days were captured around October 2008. It was the last summer before the urban intervention program called Polis. This area had seen a persistent increase in the influx of beach bathers in the last forty years from around the Lisbon area. This resulted in an often wild exploitation of the coastal area, where various support structures such as cafes, terraces and restaurants were operating illegally. When the summer came to an end, everything was closed until the next year.

Formerly a fishing village, these were successively assimilated by the more prosperous tourist activity. Although at the end of the day, spontaneous auctions still existed, they became more rare. The Polis program was the definitive turn towards the direction of the tourism as a strategic economic activity for the area. The photographs that we will publish in the coming days are the record of the end of the first phase of mass tourism in Costa da Caparica, coinciding with the end of the summer and the silence of the past and a future yet to come.