Oporto a place full of local color.

Oporto Travel Blog

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Facing the big lodges of port wine to which it gave its name across the river Douro, Porto is Portugal´s second largest city and there is a certain feeling of rivalry towards Lisbon. But although its ancient roots have been preserved with pride, a modern and lively commerce makes it a thriving city and its traditional importance as an industrial center does not diminish the charm and character of its old quarters or even of the newer and busy avenues, shopping centers and quiet residential blocks.

The Cathedral area deserves to be explored, with its various monuments, such as the Renaissance church of Santa Clara, and the densely populated quarter of Barredo, which appears not to have changed since medieval times. The riverside quarter of Ribeira is also delightful, with narrow streets, typical houses and picturesque life-style: it has been recently restored and now includes fashionable restaurants and bars.

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Equally lively and colourful is the market of Bolhão, where you can buy almost anything, but more elegant shops can be seen nearby, especially the jewelleries and leather goods shops in the Baixa (down-town).

Porto affords many other attractions, monuments and museums, as well as a cultural agenda which has been steadily improving. With a well-known gastronomy and hospitable population, it is also the starting point to explore the river Douro in an unforgettable journey upstream.


View from D. Luís I Bridge

Sightseeing

Sé Cathedral   Cathedral Built in the 12th century, in the Roman style, it was later modified for several times and the original architecture was altered.
Avenida dos Aliados...
Inside, it is worth admiring the paintings by Nicolau Nasoni, the silver altarpiece of the Holy Sacrament, the João Gordo ("Fat John") Chapel and the cloister. At the southern tower, there are still two standard measures engraved in the stone, the last vestiges of the Medieval fair which took place in the large Cathedral' s grounds.
Clergymen Church and Tower A monument of the Baroque style, built between 1754 and 1763 by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, Torre dos Clérigos became the emblem of Oporto. From the top of the Tower, six floors and 76 metres high, after climbing an endless spiral staircase with 225 stairs, the visitor enjoys dazzling views over the city, the river Douro and its estuary.
Carmo Church Situated close to the Clergymen Tower and Church (Igreja e Torre dos Clérigos), the Igreja do Carmo é remarkable construction, presenting an amazing panel of tiles on an exterior wall, representing scenes describing the foundation of the Carmelite Order.
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residencial Rua da Fábrica, 27/29 Telf: 00351 222 073 140 Fax: 00 351 222 073 149 4050-247 Porto Portugal

Carmo Church   Clergymen Church and Tower   Porto Centre

  Cedofeita Church It is a peculiar church in the Portuguese Romanesque architecture, since it is the only building with one single nave covered by a stone vault, which explains the presence of massive exterior buttresses on the lateral walls.
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residencial Rua da Fábrica, 27/29 Telf: 00351 222 073 140 Fax: 00 351 222 073 149 4050-247 Porto Portugal
Spatially, it comprises a nave and a quadrangular top separated by a crossing that stands on calcareous capitals.
Lapa Church The Pope Benedito XIV set the Brotherhood of the Nossa Senhora da Lapa in 1755. The following year the current church was founded, its first stone having been laid on 17 July. This new building would replace a chapel and house the devoted ones that went there seeking shelter.
Santo Ildefonso Church The church was constructed from 1709 on since the first church was in ruins. It was concluded in 18 July 1739. The nave is of polygonal type in proto-baroque style. Above the entablature there is a niche with the patron saint. It has steeple towers with dentils on the cornices, topped on each side by fantasy spheres and frontons. The walls are decorated with tiles by Jorge Colaço (1932), depicting scenes from the life of St. Ildefonso and allegories from the Eucharist.

S. Francisco Church   S.
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residencial Rua da Fábrica, 27/29 Telf: 00351 222 073 140 Fax: 00 351 222 073 149 4050-247 Porto Portugal
Francisco Church

The São Francisco Church is one of the few remaining medieval buildings in Porto. Also, it is the only Gothic church in the city. It was part of a Franciscan convent and its construction lasted from the late 14th century until the early 15th century. The medieval architectonic programme went through several occasional changes but its structure remained unaltered. Diogo de Castilho, following the instructions of João Carneiro, built the Carneiros Chapel, or the Chapel of the Baptism of Christ, in the 16th century. The new main
portal was built in the following century and had baroque characteristics. In the 17th and 18th centuries the interior of the church was completely covered with wood carvings, forming a sort of golden box. It is one of the most beautiful baroque interiors in the country. Although the wood carvings do not present a stylistic coherence, their great quality, which was the fruit of the best workshops in Porto, makes up a selection that enables the observation of its evolution. It is a true museum of gilt wood carving in the city.

S. Bento Station   S. Bento Station Built on the site of an ancient convent, it was completed in 1916. Now, only regional trains pass through here. Inside, the immense panels of tiles creted by Jorge Colaço, reproducing historical scenes, add a rare artistic beauty to the station.
Stock Exchange Palace Baroque 18th century construction by Nicolau Nasoni. Worthy of notice are the church's interior decorated with Baroque-rococo gilt carvings, the polychromatic retable by Manuel Porto and the impressive 75.
60-metres tower.
Ponte D. Luís I (D. Luís I Bridge) In accordance with the Law of 11/02/1879, the government determined the
opening of the competition for the "construction of a metal bridge over the Douro River, in the place considered the most convenient in front of the city of Porto, for the replacement of the current suspended bridge". The winning proposal was the project of engineer Teófilo Seyrig, from the Belgian company Societé de Willebroeck. Teófilo Seyrig had already been the author of the plan and head of the team in the project of the Ponte D. Maria Pia (D. Maria Pia Bridge) as Eiffel's associate. This time he was the sole responsible for this work of the new and grand Ponte D. Luís I (D. Luís I Bridge). The construction works began in 1881 and the inauguration occurred on 31 October 1886). The arch comprises 172m of cord and is 44.
6m tall.
Ribeira The genuine city is visible at the quarter of Ribeira ("River-bank"), right by the river. Narrow and winding streets, dark arcades, typical houses with colourful façades set in a place which preserves the charm of sites marked by history, full of contrasts and curious characteristics. At night, the Ribeira acquires liveliness and animation, being one of the most sought after spaces, due to the numerous and pleasant restaurants, esplanades and nightclubs.

Ribeira   Ponte D. Luís I

Museums

The Port Wine Museum Located in an 18th century warehouse where the wines of Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro were once stored.
This Museum aims to be an information centre about the Port wine, motivating visitors to discover the commercial history of the city relating it to this worldwide
Casa do Infante (House of the Prince) or Casa da Alfândega Velha (Old Custom House). Since then the services of the Municipal Archive are located there. The Archive promoted
a project of study and of deep remodelling of the building. An important Roman palace as well as better knowledge of ancient royal buildings from the 14th century to present days were the
result of the research carried out. The relevance of the archaeological finds led to the creation
of a site museum situated by the Archive and a small Tourist Office. The architectural project to remodel and update the Archive was designed by the architect Nuno Tasso de Sousa.

Romantic Museum   Romantic Museum of Quinta da Macieirinha The Museum reproduces the interior of a rich dwelling of the 19th century.
Some aspects of the decorative arts of that period are worthy of notice.
Charles Albert, King of Piedmont and Sardinia, spent his last days in exile here, where he died on 28 July 1843. In his memory, some of the rooms he inhabited were restored.

Soares dos Reis National Museum
The Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis, former Museu Portuense and first art museum in Portugal, was born in 1833, when D. Pedro IV of Portugal decided to establish in
the city of Porto a Museu de Pinturas e Estampas (Paintings and Prints Museum). The aim of the foundation of this Museum was the preservation of the artistic heritage that came mainly from extinct convents, and the simultaneous promotion of its use for cultural and pedagogical purposes. The Museum has been settled since 1940 in the Palacio dos Carrancas, currently considered a public interest property, and it was built in the late 18th century, by a wealthy family of Porto.

Misericordia museum
The treasure of the Museum includes the Benefactor's Gallery and the "Fons Vitae" - a Flemish painting from the Brussels workshop (1520).

Porto, the country´s second largest city, is in itself full of interest, but the district it heads, though largely industrialized, offers the visitor plenty to see.
Along the coast, holiday resorts like the cosmopolitan beach of Espinho, busy ports like Matosinhos, with splendid seafood, or traditional fishing towns like Póvoa de Varzim, but where there is also an animated casino. Inland, for example, the quaint charm of Amarante, with 17th century mansions overlooking the river and famous for a kind of sweet egg pastries called "papos de anjo" (angel bellies).


Right next to Porto you can visit, in

 
Vila Nova de Gaia, the lodges where Port wine is blended and aged and where you can taste the different varieties, or you may choose to take a river cruise along the Douro. The whole district is filled with prosperous towns, as commerce and industry thrive there, but you can drive along many calm roads with wonderful views over the river or enjoy a rugged and still unspoilt coastline.



Places Of Interest

Espinho   Espinho Cosmopolitan holiday resort with beaches anda Casino.

Matosinhos Matosinhos is, in spite of its industrial port, renowned for its gastronomy based on seafood and also popular for its coastline of small beaches enclosed by rocks beaten by the sea.
Matosinhos also boasts of a valuable patrimony visible in monuments such as the Monastery of Leça do Bailio, the first headquarters of the Order of Hospitallers in Portugal and with a 14th-century fortified church exhibiting Gothic arches and a beautiful rose window.

Vila Nova de Gaia   Póvoa de VarzimThe ancient town of Póvoa de Varzim received its charter in 1308 and has developped over the ages from a poor fishing community to a resort popular for its sandy beaches and amusements, including a casino which animates the local nightlife.

Amarante
Crossed by the river Tâmega and surrounded by mountains, this pretty town proudly displays its 17th century mansions, with colourful balconies of painted wood brightly decorating the narrow streets, its restaurants with terraces overlooking the river or the beautiful bridge of São Gonçalo which leads to the great monastery of the 16th century that bears the name of the same saint.
Vila Nova de Gaia Seat of a county of commercial and industrial importance and facing Oporto across the river Douro, Vila Nova de Gaia is the main centre of Port wine production. Thus, the heart of the city is dominated by the Port lodges with their characteristic red roofs
emblazoned with well-known names, and over fifty companies based in narrow and twisting streets are engaged in blending and ageing the famous drink.
Boa Nova Restaurante !!!
Some of them offer guided tours so that visitors may see how Port is made and taste different samples.

Golf

Amarante Golf Course   Oporto Golf Club This course is located 17 kilometers to the south of Oporto beside the beautiful beaches of Espinho. It is, after Pan, in France, the second oldest course in Continental Europe. It was established in 1890, when British residents in Porto created the club.

Miramar One of the oldest Portuguese golf courses and one of the most traditional in the country. When the course was inaugurated in 1932, Frank Gordon and Arthur Mariani were jointly responsible for the design, a nine hole course for Par 34 over 2.579 meters.

Amarante Located in the estate of Quinta da Deveza and is set on a delightful landscape - with the towns of Amarante and Marco de Canaveses, as well as the mountains of Marão and Aboboreira, in the background. It is a narrow, winding hilly course, calling for great accuracy, particularly at the bunkers protecting the greens and at the lakes that are brought into play at holes number 3, 8, 12 and 17.

 

Oporto es una ciudad portuguesa situada en la región norte por razones de carácter geográfico e histórico.

El Área Metropolitana de Oporto tiene una extensión aproximada de 45 kilómetros cuadrados (km2) y 300.000 habitantes. Esta zona administrativa se extiende 817 km2 y alberga a una población que alcanza los 1,2 millones de habitantes, constituyendo el motor de toda la región norte. En esta zona del país se concentran alrededor de 3 millones de personas, lo que supone aproximadamente una cuarta parte del total de la superficie del país, una tercera parte del total de la población y casi la mitad (45%) de los jóvenes (de entre 0 y 15 años). Oporto ejerce una influencia directa sobre la depresión hidrológica del Duero así como sobre las regiones de Entre- Duero y Miño y Entre-Duero y Vouga. Las coordenadas geográficas del Centro Histórico de Oporto son: 41º8'30'' de latitud, 8º37' de longitud oeste y entre 0 y 75 m de altitud.

Patrimonio de la Humanidad

El Ayuntamiento de Oporto colabora con diversas instituciones especializadas con este tipo de proyectos y ha diseñado una gran reconstrucción y reproducción del Centro Histórico, que comprende no sólo aspectos urbanísticos y arquitectónicos, sino que también otros de carácter arqueológico, social y cultural.

La recalificación de áreas públicas y de estructuras para la población local ha sido un elemento que ha ganado especial relevancia, con más de un centenar de unidades de equipamiento y proyectos socioculturales disponibles. Del mismo modo, se ha aprobado un proyecto para rehabilitar monumentos y edificios en ruinas, con el fin de mejorar el tejido urbano y favorecer la permanencia en esa zona de población local. Consciente de la importancia que estas iniciativas tienen para la ciudad y las ventajas del apoyo internacional para la consolidación de este proceso, el Ayuntamiento de Oporto presentó formalmente su candidatura a la UNESCO para la inclusión del Centro Histórico de Oporto en la lista de sitios catalogados como Patrimonio de la Humanidad.
El proceso comenzó en 1993 y fue en el año 1996 cuando este proyecto recibió un impulso definitivo, año en el que el Comité sobre el Patrimonio de la Humanidad dio su aprobación. La candidatura fue organizada por el CRUARB (Proyecto Municipal para la Renovación Urbana del Centro Histórico de Oporto), en colaboración con diversos departamentos especializados del Ayuntamiento.

La decisión de la UNESCO se vio influida en gran medida por la calidad de las obras de renovación urbanística y social, especialmente aquellas que favorecían directamente a la población local y que fomentaban las actividades sociales y culturales, introducidas con gran éxito en el área, actualmente catalogada como Patrimonio de la Humanidad.

Esta área comprende la ciudadela medieval emplazada en el interior de la muralla Románica que data del siglo XIV. Además, incluye los edificios más antiguos de la ciudad, así como las calles típicas y áreas atractivas para el público. Debido a que el desarrollo de Oporto estuvo íntimamente ligado a la margen izquierda del río Duero, la propuesta incluía el famosísimo Puente de Luis I, construido por Theophile Seyrig, uno de los discípulos de Gustav Eiffel, y el prominente edificio del Convento Agustino de Serra do Pilar.
El área de protección se corresponde con las antiguas laderas de la ciudad medieval de ambas orillas del río. En Vila Nova de Gaia, se incluye el anfiteatro en pendiente donde se localizaban las bodegas de vino de Oporto. En la margen norte, se incluye la antigua ciudadela de Miragaia, el cinturón norte, cuya renovación comenzó en el siglo XVIII, la antigua zona de Santo Ildefonso, las laderas de Guindais y las terrazas de Fontainhas, que bajan hacia el río Duero.

Historia

Los orígenes de Oporto están muy ligados a Morro da Sé (Colina de la Catedral), por encima del río Duero, donde se han identificado las ruinas de una antiguo asentamiento.

Los romanos dieron un gran impulso a la ciudad, que fue elevada al estado de diócesis durante el periodo Visigodo. La ciudad sufrió grandes reveses tras las invasiones moriscas, siendo reconquistado el territorio por Vimara Peres a finales del siglo IX. El nombre original de la ciudad fue Cale y posteriormente Portucale, del cual se derivó el nombre de Portugal.
Doña Teresa, madre del primer Rey de Portugal, donó la tierra de Oporto al Arzobispo D. Hugo, quien le otorgó su primer fuero a la ciudad en el año de 1123.
El desarrollo de la actividad comercial motivó la progresiva urbanización del área de la ribera y, a finales del siglo XIV, la ciudadela estaba rodeada por una segunda muralla. El comercio con el exterior aumentó, no sólo hacia los puertos del norte, sino también hacia la zona del Mediterráneo.
El control de los recursos de la ciudad, especialmente los beneficios del puerto, fueron el origen de un enfrentamiento entre el Obispo y la Corona. La construcción de la Casa de la Aduana en 1324 supuso un fuerte revés a los intereses del Obispo. En el año 1405 D. João I transfirió la jurisdicción de la ciudadela a la Corona.

Durante este periodo el poder local se consolidó gracias al apoyo de los mercaderes burgueses.

La apertura de Rua Nova dio comienzo a una nueva fase en la urbanización de la ciudad y su localización reflejó la importancia que se le daba a esta parte de la ciudad, principal centro de actividad hasta este siglo.
El Oporto Medieval fue el hogar de Afonso Martins alho (negociador del tratado con Inglaterra), Enrique el Navegador y Pêro Vaz de Caminha (autor del "Mapa del Descubrimiento del Brasil).
Durante la época barroca, se construyen en Oporto innumerables e importantes edificios de arquitectura civil y religiosa.
Arquitectos de la talla de António Pereira y Nicolau Nasoni dotaron a la ciudad de algunos de los edificios más representativos de este estilo y encabezaron una gran transformación del paisaje urbano a lo largo del siglo XVII.
Durante los siglos XVII y XVIII la ciudad adoptó un aspecto de gran "taller" de artistas y artesanos, que produjeron una ingente colección de obras de arte de gran valor estético. El virtuosismo de Nicolau Nasoni, un artista italiano que cursó estudios en Siena y Roma, se reflejaba en la calidad de su arte en las obras de granito en edificios tales como la iglesia Clérigos y la torre, la fachada de la iglesia de la Misericórdia y el Palacio Freixo.

Clima

Teniendo en cuenta la influencia de los vientos del Golfo, el clima en Oporto es templado.

La temperatura media en invierno es de unos 13,2 grados y en verano se sitúa alrededor de los 25. En lo referente a las horas de luz, hay 5,30 horas en invierno y 10 en verano; en cuanto a la temperatura del mar, varía entre los 15 grados de media en invierno y los 17 grados que se alcanzan en verano.
Debido a la cercanía de la ciudad al Océano Atlántico y a las montañas del interior, los niveles de contaminación son menores que los habituales en otras ciudades europeas.

 

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Metro Airport.
Metro Airport.
Avenida dos Aliados...
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Grande Hotel de Paris – Residenc…
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residen…
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residenc…
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residen…
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residenc…
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Boa Nova Restaurante !!!
Boa Nova Restaurante !!!
OFFLEY FORRESTER
Vila Nova de Gaia
OFFLEY FORRESTER Vila Nova de Gaia
OFFLEY FORRESTER
Vila Nova de Gaia
OFFLEY FORRESTER Vila Nova de Gaia
Oporto sunset
Oporto sunset
Very good Beer  SAGRES
Very good Beer SAGRES
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residenc…
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residen…
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residenc…
Grande Hotel de Paris – Residen…
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PRESA DE ALMENDRA.
 Es la tercera…
PRESA DE ALMENDRA. Es la tercer…
This massif is one of the highest …
This massif is one of the highest…
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photo by: jordirochblom