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Death of a Despot

The 27th of July, marks the 47th anniversary of the death of António de Oliveira Salazar. Arguably the most influential man in Portugal’s long history.

He ruled as dictator from 1933 to 1968. This was the length of his official duties, though he was still treated as the Head of State by his aides through his final years as he battled dementia, until 1970.

He was part of the generation of Fascist dictatorships which ruled Europe in the 20th century. Similar in many ways to his ideological equals who promoted a protectionist, ultra-nationalist state controlled politically by a core group from his party and enforced by his secret police, the PIDE. However, he set himself apart from his contemporaries with a more humble demeanour, never taking a title like Duce or Caudillo, as well as his friendship with Britain, going as far as to give limited help during the Second World War. Though inarguably controversial, his legacy still shapes the Portuguese psyche to this day.

Also, to those less interested in history, they may recognise his name from a certain book series – can you guess which one? To discover this, as well as the other vestiges of Salazar’s influence on Porto, join our Cultural Tour – everyday at 16:30! (click here)

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