Cimeira Social do Porto

EU leaders, European institutions, social partners and representatives of civil society met in Porto to reinforce their commitment to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

At the high-level conference organized by the Portuguese Presidency within the scope of the Porto Social Summit, they discussed how to define the European social policy agenda for

next decade and to ensure that we meet the challenges of the present and the future, leaving no one behind.

In these events that bring together the heads of state from different countries, security is a unique pillar and Casa de Vilar was chosen to host the reinforcement of the PSP highlighted in Porto, due to its size, services and location.


May 7th and 8th, 2021

Casa de Vilar A story

starting in 1879

1879 – Colégio de Vila

It all starts on October 23, 1879. Due to successive requests from a group of illustrious ladies from the city of Porto, in which the Marquise of Monfalim and Terena stood out, together with the Reverend Mother Superior of the Visitation Monastery of Santa Maria, in Lisbon , the foundation of the Visitation Monastery of Porto was officially celebrated, with the appointment of Sister Mariana Josepha da Costa as Superior.

The first installations of this monastery were a house that was for sale, now Vilar’s house, and the magnificent view of the Douro River and the Atlantic Ocean contributed to its choice. With the need for suitable facilities for their purposes, they undertook efforts to expand the college and build a temple, works completed more than 10 years after its beginning, with the collaboration of Father Himalaya. Thus, on November 15, 1894, the consecration of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was celebrated. In 1910, with the establishment of the Portuguese Republic and the secularization of the State, these facilities gained a new destiny. With the religious community expelled, the 31st Infantry Regiment was installed, even occupying the church, which resulted in the destruction of the interior spaces. The return of the college to the Order of the Visitation of Santa Maria took place in 1922, during which, on May 17, the Diocese of Porto, led by Bishop D. António Barbosa de Leão,

made the purchase of the same official, for the installation of one of its seminaries, whose operation began on November 15, 1922. The church of Sagrado Coração de Jesus, later acquired, only on April 18, 1926 saw its reopening to the cult. In 1975, with the change of the seminary’s facilities, the building was temporarily transferred to the University of Porto, and the Vilar Seminary reopened between 1986 and 1989. It was in this year that the construction of the Diocesan House began.

After approval, by the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Porto, on February 28 and March 1, 1983, the use of the Vilar Seminary as a Retreat House and the construction of a Diocesan Center, capable of integrating all works and movements, work began in January 1990. Casa de Vilar was inaugurated on July 1, 1995 by Dom Júlio Tavares Rebimbas, Bishop of Porto.

From that date until today, Vilar’s house has always been open and has never been indifferent to society and the world. He witnessed numerous events, conferences and training actions, promoted by various institutions.

Today, in a renovated, ecological and energetically sustainable space, Casa de Vilar has a unique personality, and is ready to definitively become a Congress Center of reference in Porto.

In a privileged location in the city of Porto, calm, comfortable, overlooking the Douro and the Atlantic, the house has everything you need for a leisure or business space with all the current amenities.

25 years Casa de Vilar

Situated in a prime area of Porto, with an engaging landscape that enchants us, with easy access, Casa de Vilar has that gift of recollection and silence. It was always based on simplicity, good taste, an architecture that integrates itself into the space and, with it, is involved in a whole. Today, celebrating 25 years of existence, its space has the comfort of a hotel and provides, in Porto, a unique Congress Center that you should know and use. And Casa de Vilar is sustainable.


It all started over 25 years ago. There was a need for the Diocese of Porto to have a diocesan house and this idea was matured until it created reality. The Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Vilar Seminary, deactivated and in disrepair, was the space chosen for the construction of a new structure on its terraced land that leads us to the Douro and the Atlantic.

In the minutes of February 28 and March 1, 1983 of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Porto, it is mentioned that, “after having dialogued with various diocesan bodies (Cabido, Junta de Coordination Pastoral and Vigários da Vara) and with other people, it seems indicated unanimously that the Diocesan House, intended mainly for spiritual retreats, should be installed in the Vilar Seminary. When you say Vilar Seminary, you mean in the old building, duly rebuilt and restored in new facilities that need to be built». It is mentioned in the same minutes that a residential area for priests could be created, in support of “the Priestly Fraternity”. The Presbyteral Council’s secret voting session, in a total of 38, had two sessions: one for the Diocesan House for retreats (33 in favour, 4 blanks and 1 just modum) and another for the Diocesan Center (33 in favour, 3 blanks and 2 contra), integrator of all works and movements.

The study of the works to be carried out and the respective projects began in 1983, it was only on January 29, 1990, that license number 45 was granted by the Porto City Council. They were

the works of the Vilar Seminary have been licensed. Before that, on February 16, 1989, the contract for the first phase of works had already been signed. On July 31, 1990, the second and last phase of works was signed.

The space was designed to have the Parish Nucleus, the Diocesan Pastoral Nucleus, the Residential Nucleus and the Diocesan Nucleus of Spirituality. And the house is born with multiple rooms and lounges, atrium, chapel, bar, refectory, reception, terraces, balconies, large auditorium for 1300 people, support, toilets, priestly residences, garden, private rooms, parking, laundry, kitchen.

The works are completed in 1993, except for the auditorium and chapels. The first activity, a meeting of the Presbyteral Council, took place on October 18, 1993 and, between November 15 and 19, a retreat for priests. In March 1994 the house was completed, and was inaugurated on July 1, 1995 by the Bishop of Porto, Dom Júlio Tavares Rebimbas.

The Casa Diocesana de Vilar was based on a multipurpose project, with several objectives: spiritual retreats, meetings, courses, congresses, weekends, residence for priests, seat of activity for multiple movements, works, associations and secretariats at the diocesan level. . Over time, it was always defined that the space would be adjusted, in its functions and management, to the calculated needs and conveniences.

Without ever forgetting its role of evangelization and of relationship with the Church in the World, and as an ever-lived project, today the space opens, as it has always been open, to the whole of society and wants to assert itself in Porto, and in the World, as a unique Congress Center.

In this sense, and in order to become sustainable, a complex of 530 photovoltaic panels was inaugurated on July 1 by the Bishop of Porto, Dom Manuel Linda. This set has an installed energy production capacity that can power 50 family homes. Solar panels make it possible to reduce the emission of 120 tons of CO2 for a year.

Today, in the center of Porto, close to everything, Casa de Vilar asserts itself as a fundamental space for the vitality of the city. It has 124 rooms, an auditorium for 1300 people, a restaurant, cafeteria, bookstore and, in fact, it is a space that receives with time and allows to respond to the current needs of companies, entities and individuals.

Oporto British School Exames

Due to the pandemic, several structures had to rethink how to continue to fulfill the plans following all the standards imposed by the DGS. As some companies and institutions do not have enough space to accommodate all people due to the new rules, Casa de Vilar is a place in Porto that solves this problem, as we have spaces suitable for the needs of many companies and institutions.

Thus, and in the tranquility of Casa de Vilar, the students of the Oporto British School quietly took their exams with all the safety rules. And the grades are sure to be excellent!


May 2021

SIC’s «Terra Nossa» in the Casa de Vilar Auditorium

As part of the recordings of the television program Terra Nossa, with César Mourão, dedicated to Porto, the Casa de Vilar Auditorium was chosen to welcome the program’s guests and film the final gala.

Miguel Araújo, Joel Cleto and Rui Veloso

in the Auditorium of Casa de Vilar

On Saturday, May 29, at 4:00 pm, the Great Auditorium of Casa de Vilar, in Porto, hosts the event «Music with History», with Joel Cleto, Miguel Araújo and Rui Veloso.

After the success of the first two editions, the Confraria will once again bring together Professor Joel Cleto and Musician Miguel Araújo, only this time with another guest, the musician Rui Veloso.

Under the motto “Music with History (a) 3”, these three illustrious people from Porto will tell stories and stories of our city, accompanied by musical moments.


May 29, 2021

Imposition of Insignia of the Finalists of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto

Even in a pandemic, life goes on! And after several postponements caused by Covid, four months later Casa de Vilar received the traditional Imposition of Insignia of the Finalists of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto. With due care for the new rules, social distance and the use of a mask, the event took place with the usual joy and civility.

September 2020

Romantic Dinner for Valentine’s Day

With privileged views of Foz do Douro, in an intimate space and with live fado, the romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, in the Douro Hall of Casa de Vilar, completely sold out, filled the space with joy and affection.

A regional menu was served at the buffet dinner, with cheerful and welcoming fado always present, which created a wonderful atmosphere and a good mood for all present. With a warm and romantic decoration, dinner still had the traditional green broth, roasted chorizo and regional bread.

The Douro Hall at Casa de Vilar was enamored, delighted and smiling with the joy of this wonderful event.

Congress of the Portuguese Dental Association 100 Years

Casa de Vilar had the honor of hosting another congress of the Order of Dentists, but this one commemorating a special date, as it celebrated the Order’s 100th anniversary. It was two days of a full Casa de Vilar, with several speakers on our main stage, the Auditorium, and in other spaces of the Casa. With advertising stands in our Passos Perdidos, coffee-breaks and catering service, as well as a support bar for participants, Casa de Vilar lived two intense days that show our space as unique to respond with masterful quality and nobility to any event. . Our accommodation also served as support for the guests so that they could participate in the congress with all the comfort and without having to travel.

Concert with Pianist Luis Magalhães

Luis Magalhães is one of the most internationally acclaimed solo pianists and chamber musician and was at the Casa de Vilar Auditorium on March 31, 2019.

Carnival Lunch Music and arts for the little ones

On Sundays, Casa de Vilar offers buffet lunches at Salão Douro. The Douro Room has its own refinement, a peaceful atmosphere and views that rest on the Douro and the Atlantic. This calm environment means that lunches, whether for family or any other, have time and people can taste with pleasure the quality that the Chef of Casa de Vilar has accustomed us to.

On Carnival Sunday, lunch was even more special! Animators entertained the children, made face paintings on the impatient and childish faces, and a themed painting and collages workshop was held. Above all, we provide families with a different and fun lunch, and for children a carnival day that we know they will never forget!