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Historic Cafés Route certification ceremony at Café Santa Cruz

Coimbra, Portugal

The official certification ceremony of HCR took place on May 7, 2023, at the Historic Café Santa Cruz. The certification ceremony was the highlight of the centennial celebrations of Café Santa Cruz.

A luxurious certificate was given to Vitor de Sá Marques, co-owner of Café Santa Cruz, member of the Board of Directors of the Historic Cafés Route, and HCR Ambassador in Portugal from the Executive Director of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, Stefano Dominioni. At the ceremony, George Loverdos, HCR Route Manager and Maria Mystakidou, HCR Communication Manager, were representing HCR. The ceremony was also attended by Arnold Klingeis, HCR Ambassador in Romania and manager of the Brukenthal Palace Café in Avrig, Romania, and Fernando Barrias, manager of the emblematic Café Majestic in Porto.

Also, the Mayor of the City, José Manuel Silva, the President of the Centre of Portugal Tourism, Pedro Machado, and the president of the Union of Parishes of Coimbra João Francisco Campos, were present at the event.

It is worth noticing that Café Santa Cruz, is one of the oldest in Portugal, and was formerly “the church of the poor”. The Café is one of the oldest members of the Historic Cafés Route, and has been actively involved for a century in the cultural, social, and literary life of the City and the wider Region. Vitor Marques, co-owner of Café Santa Cruz, Ambassador of HCR in Portugal, and President of the Portuguese Association of Historic Cafés is a valuable colleague of HCR and a member of HCR Board of Directors. As he stated, “Receiving the certificate, is a great honor, a great achievement of HCR” and he added that he will continue to work for the enlargement and enforcement of HCR.

After the certification ceremony, the unveiling of the Historic Cafés Route sign took place. The sign was placed inside the Café, on one of its walls since its facade is also designated as a historical monument. The sign is now visible to all who frequent the Café, both regulars of the city and tourists from all over the world. During the revealing event, the Historic Cafés Route sign was covered by the flag of the city of Coimbra, which was the capital of Portugal between 1139 and about 1260.

Directly opposite was placed the certification of the Historic Cafés Route as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe (2022).

During the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Café Santa Cruz, and the certification ceremony of HCR a series of speeches and musical events were held both in the Café and at the Central Square of Coimbra – Praça 8 de Maio – where Santa Cruz is located.

All the events were widely covered by the local and national media.

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