Nazaré is the finest example of the relentless power of Mother Nature. The giant wave surfed by Hawaiian surfer Garret McNamara on November 1st 2011 has changed the fate of this charming fishing town. Nowadays, the whole economy of Nazaré evolves around surf and the big waves. But why are the waves so incredibly big in Nazaré?
The Canyon of Nazaré
The canyon of Nazaré is a puzzling geological phenomenon which is 5.000 meters deep and about 230 km long. It is the cause of such incredibly monster waves, attracting top surfers from all over the world.
The big waves also attract many visitors, eager to testify the might of these incredibly big waves! Around 170 thousand every year persons travel to Nazaré to watch this breath-taking natural show!
Put into perspective, the world's highest building - Burj Khalifa, in Dubai - is 828 meters-high, the Grand Canyon is 1828 meter-high and the Canyon of Nazaré is 5.000 meters-deep at its deepest point! The Canyon of Nazaré amplifies waves, increasing their size, speed and power, before they reach the shore. And there is no limit to how high these monster waves can be.
The big wave season in Nazaré begins in November and ends in February. But only for the brave!
The cultural scene of Nazaré is as relentless as its giant waves. Inspired by the cultural elements that make Nazaré so unique and authentic, several street artists are leaving their marks on the walls of this pleasant fishing town. Because there's more to Nazaré than the power of the sea.
43 years-old visual artist Filipe Ferreira, born in Nazaré, created a magnificent mural at the Meia Laranja viewpoint, on the way to the uptown Sítio quarter. This is actually one of the most attended spots of Nazaré, both by visitors and locals.
This amazing drawing work is almost 100 meters-long, depicting the Nazaré of the past. The artist was inspired by old photos of Nazaré, so many times portrayed by movie directors, writers, visual artists and photographers like world acclaimed Henri Cartier-Bresson.
The main inspiration of this art work was the harsh life of fishermen in Nazaré. It is a tribute of the artist to his cultural roots and to collective memory.
Women have always played a major role in the history of Nazaré. No wonder that the Portuguese artist Tamara Alves and the French artist YZ Yseult Digan created a beautiful mural in the primary school of Nazaré that depicts a woman in half: an elder Nazaré woman and a young contemporary woman.
This art work combines two generations, as well as tradition and contemporaneity. The old woman represents the ladies that sell dry fish, a true postcard of Nazaré and an icon of historical memory. The young woman stands for the empowered woman of modern times that can make her own choices in life.
This joint work is the result of a public art programme developed by Underdogs in partnership with the French Institute. A hymn to the cultural exchange between Portugal and France!
The mural conceived by Topa Topera (Tiago Estrelinha) is located in Bairro dos Pescadores - the fishermen quarter - namely in the stairs that lead to the colourful Municipal Market of Nazaré.
Inspired by photographs, this art work is a tribute to the women of Nazaré. The look in their eyes is particularly striking. The headscarf called "cachené" is a symbol of the women of Nazaré, as well as the 7 skirts, a typical regional costume.
The Brazilian Erick Wilson created the "Giant Wave" mural in Ladeira quarter. This magnificent art work dates back to 2016, portraying the iconic waves of Nazaré that attract thousands of visitors every year.
This 300 square meter large mural is part of the project "Gigantes do Mar" (Sea Giants), whose main goal is to paint 80 murals all over the globe, in order to highlight the need to preserve nature, the oceans and sea life in general.