Longing - Melancholy - Nostalgia

Longing - Melancholy - Nostalgia

Saudade a feeling of longing, melancholy and nostalgia characteristic of the Portuguese temperament according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

This Portuguese word is difficult to translate into one English word. The Oxford English Dictionary tries to describe it more than translate. It is a feeling which every Portuguese knows, and it is hanging like a fog over the country. Some allege it has something to do with the loneliness and long journeys across the desert since Moorish times. It is a crucial point in understanding the Portuguese soul and even as a visitor you’ll find example and feelings wandering the streets of Lisbon. You can feel it coming inland with the salty breeze from the Atlantic, you can hear it in the rattling noise of the old tram lines, and without doubt, it manifests itself in the Fado songs in the bars, alleys, and parks.


You can imagine and dream of lost lovers, cheating lovers, forbidden lovers and not to forget about politics in the old fado formulas with one singer and one or two guitarists. It can be appreciated at best, in my opinion, in the atmosphere of Mesa de Frades – nearly confessional in a like-like chapel built by one King of Portugal for his mistress. Don't miss it and get your piece of Saudade yourself.