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Visit Oporto - Porto Tourism

The main reason tourists visit Oporto is to sample its legendary port wine, processed, blended and aged in the various lodges of the Vila Nova da Gaia district across the river from the city, via the spectacular two-tiered Dom Luis bridge. Visitors can tour the lodges and finish up with a tasting session. The city also has an historic riverside district called Ribeira, which is undergoing restoration and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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The Ribeira Square is a historical square included in the historical centre of the city, designated World Heritage by UNESCO.

The Ribeira district spreads alongside the Douro river and used to be a centre of intense commercial and manufacturing activity since the Middle Ages. Also since that time the Ribeira Square was the site of many shops that sold fish, bread, meat and other goods. In 1491 the buildings around the square were destroyed in a fire, and the houses were rebuilt with arcades in their ground floors. During this rebuilding campaign the square also gained a pavement made of stone slabs.

The northern part of the square has a monumental fountain, three storeys high, built in the 1780s and decorated with the coat-of-arms of Portugal. The niche of the fountain is occupied by a modern statue of St John the Baptist by sculptor João Cutileiro. The square also has a modern cubic sculpture by José Rodrigues (nicknamed the Cubo da Ribeira) over the remains of a 17th century fountain.



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The Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto), located in the historical centre of the city, is one of the city's oldest monuments and one of the most important Romanesque monuments in Portugal.

The current Cathedral of Porto underwent construction around 1110 under the patronage of Bishop Hugo and was completed in the 13th century, but there is evidence that the city has been a bishopric seat since the Suevi domination in the 5th-6th centuries.

The cathedral is flanked by two square towers, each supported with two buttresses and crowned with a cupola. The façade lacks decoration and is rather architecturally heterogeneous. It shows a Baroque porch and a beautiful Romanesque rose window under a crenellated arch, giving the impression of a fortified church.

The Romanesque nave is rather narrow and is covered by barrel vaulting. It is flanked by two aisles with a lower vault. The stone roof of the central aisle is supported by flying buttresses, making the building one of the first in Portugal to use this architectonic feature.



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The Clérigos Church is a Baroque church in the city of Porto, in Portugal. Its tall bell tower, the Torre dos Clérigos, can be seen from various points of the city and is one of its most characteristic symbols.

The church was built for the Brotherhood of the Clérigos (Clergy) by Nicolau Nasoni, an Italian architect and painter who left an extense work in the north of Portugal during the 18th century.

Construction of the church began in 1732 and was finished around 1750, while the monumental divided stairway in front of the church was completed in the 1750s. The main façade of the church is heavily decorated with baroque motifs (such as garlands and shells) and an indented broken pediment.

The tower is 75.6 metres high, dominating the city. There are 225 steps to be climbed to reach the top of its six floors. This great structure has become the symbol of the city.

In Oporto, Nicolau Nasoni was also responsible for the construction of the Misericórida Church, the Archbishop's Palace and the lateral loggia of Oporto Cathedral. He entered the Clérigos Brotherhood and was buried, at his request, in the crypt of the Clérigos Church.

Bridge projected over the amazing Douro river by a disciple and co-worker of Gustave Eiffel: the Engineer Teófilo Seyring, in the end of the 19th century.

This is a representative example of the architecture and Iron techniques.

The D. Luís Bridge, that links Oporto to Vila Nova de Gaia, is composed by two metallic roadways supported by a big iron arch and five pillars.


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The barcos rabelos, or rabelo boats, were once the vehicles that carried the barrels of port wine along the Douro river, from the vineyards in the centre /northeast of Portugal to Oporto.

They began to be used when port wine began to be produced. In end of the XVIII century its use was generalized.
The engine was yet to be discovered, so the boat was powered by wind.

As usual, the construction of railways, the improvement of roads, and the construction of dams in the Douro put an end to this kind of transportation. Nowadays the wine is carried by truck.

The rabelo boats now carry tourists instead of barrels of wine. They're also docked in Oporto and Gaia so as to advertise port wine labels.
Once a year, by the São João holiday, there's a regatta in the Douro River with rabelo boats.




Serralves is a unique reference within Portugal’s landscape gardening history and symbolises a process of learning and knowledge of the conditions of transformation of the territory, in terms of space and time during a specific cultural context: Portugal and the 19th and 20th centuries. Serralves Park, that was opened to the public in 1987, after preparation and recovery works, was subject to a Recovery and Enhancement Project that was initiated in 2001 and concluded in 2006, that constitutes a significant contribution of education and raising social awareness concerning the importance of protecting landscape heritage, and the need to conciliate heritage space with cultural manifestations and processes determined by contemporary society, without undermining its integrity and permanence. Special reference should be placed on the two awards already attributed to Serralves park: the innovation award within the field of environmental education granted by the Portuguese Museology Association – APOM (1996) and the “Henry Ford Prize for the Preservation of the Environment” (1997).


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Casa da Música was conceived to mark 2001, the year in which Porto was Cultural Capital of Europe, and it is the first new building in Portugal to be entirely dedicated to music - to the presentation and public enjoyment of music, to music education and to the creation of music.

The project took shape in 1999 after the Rem Koolhaas & Ellen van Loon - Office for Metropolitan Architecture won the international architectural competition. Work began in 1999 on the site of Porto's former central tram garage on the Rotunda da Boavista, and Casa da Música opened its doors to the public on April 15th, 2005.

Casa da Música was planned as a home for all types of music and it is not only part of the urban redevelopment of Porto but also part of a network of cultural facilities, for the city of Porto and for the wider world. Underlying it is an innovative and wide-ranging cultural project, which aims to make an exciting contribution to the national and international music scene, as an arena for all types of musical events - from classical music to jazz, from fado to electronic music, from great international productions to more experimental projects.

Besides concerts, recitals and other types of performance, Casa da Música also organises events for musicians and musicologists and invests in research into the origins of Portuguese music. In addition, it plays a very important role in music education. It is a cultural meeting point between music and other areas of artistic creation and knowledge, providing a space for all kinds of audiences and creators.


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