The passion is such that the Portuguese hang replicas of flocks of swallows on the walls of their houses as a sign of calm.
This national connection to this black-winged bird is due to Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro who, at the end of the 19th century, produced small ceramic swallows at his factory in Caldas da Rainha and which he himself had designed.
It was he who in 1891 hung ceramic swallows on the telephone wires that decorate the wonderful Tobacco Shop Monaco, even today at Rossio in Lisbon (and looking up, on the ceiling, there is also a flock of them painted flying). They spread happiness throughout the country throughout the 20th century. Swallows are said to be symbols of love and loyalty, but also of home and family, feelings that are well rooted in Portuguese culture. After long-haul flights looking for milder climates, swallows build their nest in the same place year after year. They are also creatures that, throughout their lives, have a single partner.