The Abandoned Sanatórios do Caramulo

Tondela, Portugal
Est. --- / 2 hrs 30 mins / Map

The Abandoned Sanatórios do Caramulo - Cya On The Road

Tour Distance: 3,5km/2,2mi Duration: 2,5 hours Material: Take some paper and a pen. There will be an opportunity to ask for it at the first stop (Hotel). You will need this for one tour stop.   This tour takes you to the stunning Caramulo mountain in the heart of Portugal and its sanatoriums shrouded in legend. While the beautiful landscape of the area will take your breath away, decades ago, the now-abandoned buildings which tower coldly over Caramulo once served the purpose of giving people back their breath. Around the year 1920, the spread of tuberculosis was at a critical stage on the Iberian Peninsula. Jerónimo Lacerda, a well-known Portuguese doctor who specialized in lung treatment, discovered that the fresh and unpolluted air around Caramulo mountain had unique healing qualities. Together with colleagues, he founded the Caramulo sanatorium resort in 1921 which was soon to become Portugal’s number one health treatment center frequented by patients from all over the peninsula. The nearby villages experienced a boom in their economy, with many locals taking on roles as suppliers for the resort. However, the strict protocol for visits, the lingering silence around the complex and the many troubling incidents following its opening made the local community skeptical. After 50 years in business, the once glorious resort buildings were left shunned, leaving the treatment wards grey, cold, and exposed for time to take its toll. Today, people curious enough to enter can still find the same beds where patients rested their heads at night.  How did it come this far? What did the villagers hear and see? And why do locals nevertheless think back on the Caramulo sanatorium with nostalgia? This tour will lead you through the curved mountain landscape and inside the once busy resort buildings. The tour stops will let you follow the traces of the local history and see some of the actual objects that were used back then. Audio recordings will allow you to listen to the stories of locals and their children who experienced Caramulo during its successful days as a centre for tuberculosis treatment.Through their eyes, you will begin to understand the sometimes gruesome, sometimes touching, but always true story of the Sanatórios do Caramulo and what they meant to the local community. Dive into their memories while exploring the old complex yourself to get to know a piece of local history, solve the riddle of what happened behind the stern-looking facades and permit the fresh air of Caramulo to revive your breath.  We would encourage you to be respectful during the tour. You can do this by: - Treating the places you will visit with respect. That includes not touching gravestones or old objects you encounter throughout the tour, not removing any objects and taking them home, and not taking selfies with the gravestones for example. - Not throwing your trash on the ground, but keeping it with you until you come across a trash can along the way. Something to keep in mind during the tour: as the sanatoriums have been abandoned for several decades, the floors and ceilings may show signs of decay. We want to advise you to be careful and pay attention to avoid possible injuries. Most of the stories in this tour are sourced from local villagers who experienced the glorious days of Caramulo and its subsequent decline themselves. Additional information about the history of Caramulo has been sourced from Mariana Correia Pinto and Manuel Roberto’s article ‘A glória e a ruína da vila onde Portugal se tratou’ in Publico. If you have become curious and want to know more about the sanatoriums or Caramulo after the tour, we recommend reading this article. The article is written in Portuguese, but as it is rich in detail, it is worth translating. ....The video gives you a preview of what the Sanatoriums of Caramulo look like now and gives you an impression of what you can expect to see. If you are interested in the whole video, please check https://youtu.be/RgLEM-N_tW4  

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