Casa Fuzetta, the prince of Andorra & a free service in Olhão
North of the fishing district Barreta in Olhão at Rua dr. Carlos Fuzeta 27-31 there is a stately mansion with a plaque on the facade. The hardstone plaque states that Dr. Carlos Fuzeta (1872-1942) lived and died here. He was a lawyer of national prestige. He represented Portugal at international conferences because of his knowledge of maritime law. In addition to being known as a philanthropist, he was also mayor of Olhão twice.
“Prince of Andorra” - Boris Mikhailovich Skossyreff
It must have been because of his philanthropic spirit that this illustrious citizen of Olhão offered temporary shelter in his home to no one else than the “Prince of Andorra”. Boris Mikhailovich Skossyreff, a Russian charlatan of noble descent, has proclaimed himself Boris I, Prince of Andorra, thereby provoking a quarrel with the bishop of Urgell in Spain. Boris Skossyreff has claimed the co-princeship of Andorra through a regency of the King of France (pretender to the throne of the House of Bourbon), with the Bishop of Urgell as the other co-prince..
After Boris I was arrested by the Spanish Guardia Civil on the orders of the bishop in 1934 and extradited to Portugal a few months later, he stayed in Olhão for a number of months. Here his flamboyant aristocratic appearance with monocle commands respect and sympathy from the simple local fishing population. In addition to accommodation, his new friend Dr.Carlos Fuzeta also arranges a passport for him with which this stateless swindler and pretender to the throne can then travel to Genoa. Boris I's life later included many arrests, partly due to the work he carried out during the war for British, German and Russian secret services. In 1948 he was even sentenced to 25 years in a Siberian camp. However, he was released after just a few years and then led a quiet existence at the side of his French wife in Germany until his death. The oldest residents of Olhão still remember the illustrious and controversial appearance of the “Prince of Andorra” in the streets of Olhão and can tell tasty stories and anecdotes about it.
“O Convento” by architect Filipe Monteiro
After the death of Dr. Carlos Fuzeta, the building was split into two buildings and fell into serious disrepair. At a certain point, part of the building came into the possession of the Brit Piers de László, painter and grandson of the famous Philip de László, who had lived in Olhão for years. This successful bohemian and artist has come up with the idea of buying as many buildings as possible in Olhão and thus saving them from demolition. He still owns more than 20 iconic buildings in Olhão, but has always been busier buying than renovating them. The renovation of casa Fuzeta only gained momentum when Piers de László asked architect Filipe Monteiro to make plans for it. At the same time, a group of concerned citizens of Olhão managed to get the building classified as a “protected monument”. Architect Filipe Monteiro, who settled in Olhão after years of living in New York, has already shown how to renovate such a complex complex in a careful, traditional but contemporary manner by renovating the severely neglected “O Convento” at Travesse António Bento 10.
Luxury retreat Casa Fuzetta
However, the British lawyer couple Tara and Jonathan Donovan have provided a real breakthrough in tackling Casa Fuzetta. They got to know the town of Olhão through their work for top chef Jamie Oliver and fell immediately in love when they saw the one- and two-storey building complex with roof terraces, viewpoints, a tower with colored stained glass windows in eclectic Gothic style and the great patio. They decide to buy both buildings, restore them and turn them into a luxury retreat. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful retreats in Europe with a swimming pool on the roof and from the Yoga terrace a formidable view down to the water over the "Cubist" city with its white pastiche of flat roofs that is so characteristic of the North African architecture of Olhão. Dominated by mirrants (block-shaped roof structure with terrace), counter-mirrants, cubist chimneys, slightly vaulted flat roofs and stairs with beautiful curls at the end of the white plastered balustrades. But not only the beautiful architectural details are visible from the roof terrace, sometimes also a neighbor hanging out the laundry and welcomes the guests with a cheerful ‘bom dia”. Casa Fuzeta can accommodate 24 guests. From € 1,600 / night and at Christmas for € 2,750 / night you will be completely pampered by the “house team”. In addition to holidays, it can also be rented for workshops, events and photo shoots.
MiniMercado & Adult Entertainment at the Largo o São Joao Deus
It is a luxurious island, but completely surrounded by the raw reality of Olhão. Around the corner on the square with just too many parked cars, there are often some men hanging in front of the door of the Minimercado, discussing loudly footbal with a bottle of Sagres in their hand. In the building opposite there is an “Adult Entertainment Club” as indicated on the window next to the door with the bell. There is a story going around that the building was recently for sale and a Dutch couple was interested to buy it and renovate it, to turn into apartments. They are almost had a deal with the father and owner of the complex, but in the end the the purchase fell through. When they ask about the reason, the father said. “Yes, I want to sell, but both my sons don't want to.” “As long as they still get a “free service” every Friday in the club below, they will not consider agreeing to the sale.” “They are co-owners, so nothing will happen for the time being.”