Home » Visit » Eating & Drinking » Fado Houses

Fado Houses

Fado, Lisbon's urban song, emerges in the nineteenth century, in the city's historic neighborhoods and popular contexts for socializing. It was sung spontaneously, in open or closed spaces, especially by the marginal everyday life characters. The lyrics portrayed their experiences, using the jargon and slang.
But the presence of aristocratic figures in this bohemian life, and the illicit love affair between the Count of Vimioso and Maria Severa (a prostitute), dictated a different future to the history of Fado.
In 1851, began to appear the Revue Theatre integrating Fado in its musical repertoire. From 1930 onwards are created companies and associations of professional singers and, this specialization, fosters the earliest fado discographic records, produced in Portugal, and the inclusion of Fado in Portuguese script of film productions and radio broadcastings.
The ritual of listening to Fado, played and sung by professionals, has their own performing houses, where Portuguese traditional dishes and snacks can also be tasted. Along with these places, others appear where it´s possible to listen to “Fado vadio”(impromptu performance) sung by amateurs and “Fado à desgarrada” (impromptu duet).
This ritual, perpetuated to the present day, make it possible to create a  Fado Route including a list of fado houses, events and tours with fado.
The importance of Fado from its beginnings to the present time has been confirmed by its proclamation as Intangible Culture Heritage of Humanity in November 2011 by UNESCO.