Carlos Relvas was born in the PalŠcio do Outeiro (palace), in Goleg„, in November 1838, and he was the son of a rich land owner who had come from the Beira Interior region of Portugal and had sucessfully settled in the Ribatejo region.

 

He got his education from private tutors, and learnt science and languages, especially French. However, he would soon become interested in outdoor activities, and excel in pistol and rifle shot, sword-stick, rapier and sabre fencing, and horse-riding. He was a true sportsman.

 

In 1853, very young indeed, he got married to Margarida Mendes de Azevedo, daughter of the Viscounts of podentes.  From this union five children were born. One of them, Josť Relvas, would become famous nationwide due to the contestation to the monarchist regime, which culminated in his taking over the events that lead to the implantation of the republic on 5th October 1910, which he proclaimed from the balcony of Lisbon's City Council.

 

Being an eclectic man, Relvas was mostly interested in photography, thus creating a major work, where the impressive house-studio that he built on the garden of his house in Outeiro stands out. Besides being a photographer, he was also a politician, a farmer, a horse-breeder and a horseman, an inventor and even a musician.


When he took over his family's properties, Relvas showed his skills as a influential farmer and a pioneer who introduced new machines and methods to the sector.

 

What he learnt when travelling around Europe, which was the most modern at the time, he used in his own properties, bringing benefits and improvement to Goleg„ and the surrounding lands as well, namely during the time when he was the local Mayor.


Carlos Relvas strongly believed in Monarchy and he was a grand seigneur, the lord in the heart of his land, an imposing figure due to his fortune, talent and charisma.
As a cattle breeder and a producer of olive-oil, honey and wine, he exported his products and participated in many international exhibitions, as the ones of Vienna (1873) and Philadelphia (1876), or Paris, in 1878 and 1889, where he was awarded several prizes.

 

As a horseman and bull breeder, Relvas always knew how to put them at the service of the bullfighting art, where he was remarkably successful. He even owned a bullfighting arena in Goleg„, built in his property.

 

Being the owner of magnificent horses, he was also an outstanding jockey, a perfect gentleman rider and he was most successful in Oporto, when riding his favourite thoroughbred ?Chasseur d'Afrique?.

 

Carlos Relvas was moved by an endless curiosity, by an imperious need of experimenting and discovering, traits of a perfectionist personality. It's in photography that this characteristic is most revealing, but his skills as a researcher and inventor will also show in other areas.

 

Therefore, he conceived and built a revolutionary life-saving boat, which, in case she capsized, would return to  her normal position. The boat, called ?always standing?, was a huge success and Carlos Relvas was awarded a number of prizes thanks to this innovative boat.

 

In 1887, when he was going through a very active period in his life, Margarida Relvas ? his wife ? dies. It was a sad event that affected Goleg„ and the whole country, for Margarida was very dear and popular, due to the help she gave to the needed.

 

A year later, he married Mariana Correia, a decision that not everyone quite accepted. His son, Josť Relvas, then decided to sell the family's house to the City Council of Goleg„ and moved to AlpiarÁa, while Carlos and Mariana moved to the house-studio, which had been adapted to become a habitable house.

 

That is where Carlos Relvas lived until 23rd January, 1894, when he died of a  septicaemia caught after a horse accident on the streets of Goleg„. He was one of the most popular and famous figures  in Portugal at the time.