Marias − History and Tradition
The house was initially a haystack used by Maria da “Passarinha”, as a support warehouse to the traditional grocer’s shop and tavern.
Maria da “Passarinha” was my grandfather’s grandmother.
His name was Amadeu da Cunha Serralheiro, best known as Amadeu da “Passarinha”, who was raised from an early age by his grandmother.
The nickname “Passarinha” was given because the family was professionally related to frigates in Lisbon. When a frigate was seen in the Tejo River full of gulls, Maria probably said that there were a lot of “passarinhas” (little birds) on the boat.
This is why the nickname appeared and was always associated to the whole family and the following generations.
In 1950 Amadeu da “Passarinha” bought the haystack and built the house you see today where he lived with his family.
Amadeu da “Passarinha” and my grandmother Maria Cunha followed the tradition and kept the family business. Afterwards they had other types of businesses: a café, a bed and breakfast and a sand exploiting business. With this business they also fabricated bricks and some of them were used to build this house.
In their family house, my grandparents had three daughters and a son: Maria Amélia, Maria da Conceição, Maria da Grácia and João Serralheiro. Later on, when the children were married and left home, my grandparents lived on the ground floor and rented the bedrooms on the first floor, where the hostel is right now.