The filigree is an ornamental work where people do a fusion of fine wires of gold, which are weld and by doing that, it creates designs and patterns that result in big and unique pieces. The different strands that make up each piece, come together simply through heat, without having to resort to other material to unite them. No other jewelry art uses similar technique for creating pieces or uses so few metals to create such great and extraordinary forms.
From family to family, from generation to generation, the Portuguese filigree continues to exist in artisanal production units and small-scale handcraft workshops, mostly in a family environment. This craft is a part of Portuguese history and a tradition that must remain intact: the pieces tell the story of each one of us.
Filigree’s origin dates to the third millennium BC in Mesopotamia. The filigree reached Europe via trade routes of the Mediterranean Sea, where it became relatively popular in Greek and Roman civilizations. However, as the Middle East was a gathering of various cultures, the filigree continued its journey and crossed the borders to India and China.
In the 2nd century BC, during Roman rule, the mines of Pia and Banja mountains began to be explored at Gondomar. Thousands of years later, we realized that the filigree was being developed and produced in Portugal. With the arrival of the Arab peoples, new patterns emerged, and the filigree of the Iberian Peninsula began to differ from the rest of the world.
A great part of our national jewelry production is carried out in Gondomar, which means that since the 18th century, Gondomar is one of the most important and productive centers of the Portuguese jewelry. Thus, the Filigree Route aims to get you to know Gondomar’s goldsmiths and the entire production process of the pieces, preserving and dynamizing the traditional techniques behind its creation.
On the Filigree Route, it is allowed and encouraged the experimentation of the work, in order to better understand how the pieces are conceived. The itinerary includes the visit to Cindor, a professional training center of goldsmiths, and also the visit to handcraft workshops that practice this craft, in order to acquaintance the entire production process of these pieces, with the possibility of acquiring the most emblematic pieces such as the “Filigree Heart” or others.
Join us to discover the Filigree Route and get to know this unique art on a true journey through time. More information on the Filigree Route’s institutional brochure.
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