Some years ago, in what seemed some kind of temporary delirium, maybe due to the extreme pressure of her career and life in the city, Maria bought an abandoned school building.

The first time she actually set eyes on the school, was 2 weeks after she bought it. The country was in an economic caos, and everyone said it was madness, but it was to late to go back anyway so she could only go forward. She polished, fixed, refurbished until the building was sparkling with love.

She end up quitting her job, and kept on pouring love in to the house, and slowly discovered that… the house, the country side, the ocean were giving it all back. She discovered that what she had bought, couldn’t be measured in square meters, because what came along with it was much more valuable. It meant love, friendship and freedom.


Obviously deep changes occurred afterwards in her life, but the most important ones are invisible to the eye. Time roles by in a different way in Alentejo, things are not instantaneous, wisdom comes from nature and old people, and you bend your head to the forces of nature. Definitions of luxury change with the growth of your soul…every day one step further.

(photos by Christian  Hansens Sorensen)

 She couldn’t have done it all alone. Duarte is her silent love, the balance of opposites, the anchor on her wild dream of freedom and the main responsible for the sober beauty you can find in the house. The dogs and cats that share the house are her partners in social hosting and get her trough the lonely winter days.