Architecture, ‘Other cities in the city’: a social history walking tour of Porto, Porto

‘Other cities in the city’: a social history walking tour of Porto

Rua de Álvares Cabral, Porto

By the end of a week in Porto, most tourists will have seen the ‘must-see’ places, including the Palácio da Bolsa, Sāo Bento station, the Clérigos Tower, the Cathedral, the Majestic Café and even the Livraria Lello (which must be one of the few bookshops in the world where you have to pay to go in!), but these buildings, as beautiful as they are, don’t show you the ‘real’ Porto and how the ordinary ‘Tripeiros’ (the nickname of people from Porto) lived. To do that you need to get away from the tourist zones and walk around the neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city. At first glance they may appear to be just residential streets with rows of ordinary houses, but scratch below the surface and there is a rich social history just waiting to be discovered. By pure chance, I discovered a walking tour company that offers tours around these areas. Run by a group of socialist architects who found their work had dried up as a result of the economic crisis that began in 2008, the self-deprecatingly named Worst Tours was started to offer walking tours that combined their knowledge of architecture and their love for the city of Porto.

Our tour started at the Praça do Marquês de Pombal in the north of the city, a pretty square with fountains, a bandstand and a café selling coffee at non-tourist prices, surrounded by 19th-century townhouses. Approximately ten of us were greeted by Pedro, who arrived holding a large folder containing a plan of Porto which he referred to throughout the tour.

Pedro from The Worst Tours, Porto

The Praça do Marquês de Pombal dates from the mid-19th century and was built on what was formerly one of the entrances to the city and where goods were taxed as they entered the city. The houses around this square reflected the social status and wealth of the occupants and as well as the rows of tall, narrow middle-class houses in the middle of each street around the square, there was a large house on each corner owned by someone of a higher status.

Praça do Marquês de Pombal, Porto

From here we crossed over to the Rua do Bonjardim, a long road formed in the mid-18th century as part of the urbanization plan, that leads directly into the centre of Porto. Only a short way down the road we stopped outside a large distinctive mansion, which was very different to the surrounding architecture. Known as a ‘Brazilian house’ it is a typical example of how wealthy people, often people who had made a fortune in Brazil (hence the name), built houses that were large and flamboyant. This particular house was built in 1906 in a mixture of Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau styles and was covered with green tiles, topped by a distinctive hexagonal turret and surrounded by a garden which contains plants not native to Porto, such as palm trees. Looking at it, I felt the house had a sense of abandonment and Pedro confirmed that the house was no longer occupied and was standing empty. He also explained that there are no squatter’s rights in Portugal and that almost everyone respects the fact that even abandoned properties have an owner. This has resulted in a lot of empty properties in the city that no one can do anything with. As a result property developers try and find ways around this. Pedro pointed out to us an official-looking notice attached to the wall, which suggested that the property developer had applied for a planning application, but when we looked more closely the notice had not been completed with any information and any development of the property would be illegal.

‘Brazilian’ house, Rua do Bonjardim, Porto
‘Brazilian’ house, Rua do Bonjardim, Porto

In total contrast to the ‘Brazilian house’, our next stop was at an area completely hidden away behind the main roads, known euphemistically as ‘Ilhas’ (Islands), a name given to the working-class slums of Porto. In the mid- to late 19th century there was a large influx of people from the rural areas which resulted in a need for cheap housing and the Ilhas were created to meet this need. They were very small dwellings that were built onto the back of a large middle-class house. The middle-class house would face onto the main road and, in what would have formerly been the garden at the back of the house, a row of terraced houses (often back to back) that were accessed by a narrow passage, were built. Each of these houses was approximately 16 metres square and consisted of a living room, kitchen and bedroom. Diseases such as cholera and typhoid were rife, as there was little ventilation or natural light, no running water or sewers and all the families in the terrace shared one communal toilet. The majority of the Ilhas were demolished in the 1940s and the families were rehoused in areas on the outskirts of Porto, a long way from the centre, but some of the Ilhas still exist, as we discovered in a small alleyway in the Lapa district.

An ‘Ilha’, Lapa district, Porto
The back of an ‘Ilha’, Lapa district, Porto

Nearby, next to the Lapa metro station, is an example of a 1970s social housing project developed as a solution to the problems of the Ilhas, known as the Bouça Housing Complex. It was designed by the architect Álvaro Siza after the 1974 revolution, when, along with other architects and engineers, he worked for an association known as SAAL (Serviço de Apoio Ambulatório Local (Local Ambulatory Support Service)), to design community housing projects for families who were being rehoused from the slums. His design was based on light and space, both interior and exterior. The four-storey complex comprised of homes which extended over two floors, with balconies, exterior staircases and walkways, built around a long central courtyard. Unfortunately the government money dried up and a result building materials ran out and the complex wasn’t fully completed until 2007. Its position near to the centre of the city means that local residents can easily get to the centre for work or recreation, unlike many who have been forced out to the suburbs due to the gentrification of the former working-class neighbourhoods of Porto.

Bouça Housing Complex, Lapa district, Porto

Only a short walk, but another world away from the Bouça Housing Complex, is Rua de Álvares Cabral, a long street that leads to the Praça da República. This street is one of the best examples of 19th-century Neo-classical townhouses typical of Porto and the buildings on this road are listed as a group of buildings of public interest due to their coherent architectural features. In the second half of the 19th century new housing was planned in blocks rather than as individual houses and as a result there is a uniformity to the houses on this street. They are narrow and extend over several floors (including the truncated ground floor which was originally intended to be a storeroom) and built around a central stairwell. A skylight was built in the roof to allow natural light to come in to the stairwell. There is also a garden at the back and each house would have been occupied by one family. Even today, it is still apparent that every house in a block has the same basic exterior features: standardized factory-made tiles on the wall, a uniform large decorative panel above the front door and a double front door. However, each owner often added individual elements, such as in the ornate details of the balconies and the skylights.

Rua de Álvares Cabral, Porto

Skylights of various levels of grandeur can be seen in buildings all over Porto and one particular good example of an ornate skylight can be seen in the large mid-19th-century former mansion, the Palacete das Águias (Eagles’ Villa) (dominating one of the corners of the Praça da República, overlooking the pretty Jardim de Teófilo Braga), which is now the headquarters of the Regional Council of the Porto Bar Association.

Skylight on Conselho Regional do Porto da Ordem dos Advogados, Praça da República, Porto
Conselho Regional do Porto da Ordem dos Advogados, Praça da República, Porto

From here it was quite a long walk to our penultimate stop at the Neo-Arabian-style Mostruário da Fábrica de Cêramica das Devesas (Devesas’ Ceramic Factory Showroom) on Rua de José Falcão. Built in 1901, this distinctive building, decorated with beautiful Art Nouveau-style tiles, was the showroom for tiles and other ceramics items produced by the Devesas factory, the most important producer of exterior tiles in Portugal up to the 1980s, in Vila Nova de Gaia. The location of the showroom meant that customers could view the tiles in the centre of Porto rather than having to cross the river to visit the factory.

Our final stop was the Avenida dos Aliados, right in the heart of Porto. I had always assumed that the avenue was built in the late-19th century, as the buildings are a mixture of ornate fin-de-siècle Neo-classical and Beaux Arts styles, so I was very surprised to learn that the majority of the buildings were built in the 1920s and ’30s. The avenue was begun by the English architect Barry Parker and completed by José Marques da Silva, who was influenced by the French School of architecture. These grand buildings are nowadays mostly banks and hotels, but the avenue is dominated by one particular building, the stately Neo-classical City Hall with its distinctive clock tower, which is located at one end of the avenue in the Praça do General Humberto Delgado. It was built in 1920 from a design by the architect António Correia da Silva. Here we said goodbye to Pedro and paid him what we thought it was worth, which was a reasonably generous amount, as far from being the worst tour, this was one of the best tours I have been on.

The Worst Tours are run on the principal of paying what you think it is worth at the end and a suggested price is that of what a cleaner in your country would be paid for the equivalent time. When I booked the tour via the Worst Tours website I was asked some initial questions to find out how well I knew Porto and what I was interested in. Based on my reply, that I had visited Porto before and had seen the touristy sights and that I wanted to see the ‘real’ Porto through the eyes of a local and learn more about the social history of the city, Pedro suggested the most suitable tour from their choice of four and promised to show me ‘other cities in the city’. He also warned me beforehand that the tour lasts between three and four hours, with a stop at a café halfway through, and to wear comfortable shoes and dress for all weathers, as the tours go ahead, even if it is raining!

Architecture, Porto, The Serralves Villa: one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in Portugal

The Serralves Villa: one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in Portugal

In the grounds of the Serralves Estate in Porto (home to the Contemporary Art Museum) is what is considered to be one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in Portugal, the Serralves Villa. The estate is on what was originally the Quinta do Lordelo estate, which was owned by Carlos Alberto Cabral, the 2nd Count of Vizela, a wealthy businessman who regularly travelled around Europe and who was inspired by the art and architecture saw there. Cabral inherited the estate in 1923 and two years later began planning a new house, while extending the grounds of the estate. Initially he commissioned the architect José Marques da Silva to modify the existing house, but eventually the plans changed to have a completely new house built on the site, designed by the French Art Deco architect, Charles Siclis and developed by Marques da Silva; while the interior was designed by the French Art Deco interior designer, Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann with some decorative touches from other major designers of the time, including Edgar Brandt, Ivan da Silva Bruhns, René Lalique, Jules Leleu, Jean Perzel, Alfred Porteneuve and Raymond Subes. The house was finally completed in 1944 and Cabral and his wife Blanche lived, what I imagine must have been a glamorous lifestyle, there until financial difficulties forced them to sell the house and estate in the early 1950s. At the time of the sale a condition was written into the contract stipulating that the house could not be altered in any way, and thank goodness it was, as the house we see today is virtually the same as it was in the 1940s.

The first thing I noticed as I approached the house is that it is pink, very pink (thanks to Alfred Porteneuve, who was said to have been inspired by one of the galleries in the Machado de Castro Museum in Coimbra), with lots of large windows. It is a streamlined geometric design, with two main facades: the front entrance, which is a semi-circular shape with round columns, and the back entrance which has rounded corners and large vertical windows that give uninterrupted views of the beautiful garden below. As I entered the house, I was slightly disappointed that it is unfurnished, so that all that remains of the original house are the fixture and fittings, restored lovingly in 2004 by the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira (who also designed the neighbouring Contemporary Art Museum, which was completed in 1999), and I had to use my imagination and what I knew of these types of houses from films set in Hollywood mansions of the 1920s and ’30s to picture what it must have looked like in its heyday. But a few things have survived.

A large wrought-iron gate, entitled ‘Les Danseurs’, designed by the French metalsmith Edgar Brandt, decorated with Art Deco-style figures playing musical instruments, opens into two of the main ground-floor rooms, the Hexagonal Room and the Marble Room. Other rooms on the ground floor include the Dining Room, Billiard Room and Library, in addition the chapel, which was the original 19th century chapel with an Art Deco exterior built around it, and the basement which housed the kitchen, pantry and utility areas.

Chapel
Hexagonal room
Dining room

A large black-marble-topped table, designed by Raymond Subes, is affixed to a wall in the Dining Room. A sleek, curved staircase leads to the upper deck of the former library on the ground floor. In some rooms the floor is made of exotic hardwood, in others, marble. Details on the door handles are clearly Art Deco. Rooms have large mirrors on the walls and on cupboard doors to maximise the amount of light. The rooms on the first floor include the Fireplace Room, the Countess’ Bedroom, the Count’s Bedroom, the Guest Room and the bathrooms.

The guest bathroom, in white marble, is the more tasteful of the two bathrooms, with a large marble bath and washbasin, while the master bathroom (designed by Alfred Porteneuve) is done in pink marble and looks a bit more ostentatious.

In the Fireplace Room, on the first floor, two armchairs (the only furniture in the entire house) are placed in front of the balcony to give us an idea of what it must have been like to sit that room in front of the balcony windows and get a perfect view of the two-tiered garden below. The garden echoes the Art Deco style of the house, marked by two straight pink tiered paths with a water channel flowing between them into the pond at the end of the garden. From the pond the eye is led back to the house. The garden is now used for art exhibitions and on the day we visited there was a display of Joana Vasconcelos’ work which, although far removed from Art Deco style, blended in perfectly with the surroundings.

The villa can be hired for business and private events, including wedding receptions and I wonder if the Art Deco theme is extended to the tables, chairs and tableware at these events. I really hope it is!

Practicalities

The Serralves Villa is part of the Serralves Foundation, Rua D. João de Castro, Porto

Opening hours: April to September: Monday to Friday from 10am-7pm; Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: 10am-8pm. October to March: Monday to Friday: 10am-6pm; Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 10am- 7pm. Closed 25th December and 1st January (24th and 31st December closes at 4pm).

Full entrance ticket €18. Entrance to the Serralves Villa and park only €12

Bus: 201, 203, 502, 504 On foot: it is possible to walk from the centre of Porto to the Serralves Estate. We did it, but it is quite a long way (from the Palácio da Bolsa to Serralves is approximately 5km and takes around an hour). We walked from the historic centre of Porto via the riverfront road, turning right a few metres after the Arrábida Bridge and cutting through a pretty park (Parque da Pasteleira). We walked back to the centre of Porto via the Avenida da Boavista, which leads to the Casa da Música and the Praça Mousinho Albuquerque.

Porto, Using the Porto Metro

Using the Porto Metro

Porto metro trainThe cheapest and easiest way to get from Porto airport into the centre of Porto is by the sleek, modern Porto Metro system. The great thing about this journey is that it is overground for the majority of time, giving you a chance to see parts of Porto you would not normally see. The Metro station is located just outside the airport terminal and is served by Metro E (the purple line). The trains start and finish here, so you don’t have to worry about getting on the wrong train or being on the wrong platform. Trains run every 30 minutes and the journey into the centre of Porto takes 30 minutes.Porto airport metroTickets are bought from the automatic machines at the entrance to the station. Before buying a ticket you need to check which zone you will be travelling to; all the stations are listed on the ticket machine and next to each station is a z number (z2, z3 or z4) which shows you how many zones you have to go through to reach your destination, for example, the airport is in zone N10 and Campanhã is in zone C1 and to get from N10 to C1 the train passes through 4 zones (N10 C5, C2 and C1), so a ticket to Campanhã is a z4 ticket. Once you have found the z number, the instructions on the ticket machine screen are self-explanatory. The ticket you will buy will be the Andante Azul card, which is similar to the Viva Viagem card that is used on the Metro (and other public transport) in Lisbon, however, it is a bit more complicated than the Lisbon system. Like the Lisbon Viva Viagem card, the Andante Azul card is rechargable, so you will be charged 60 cents for the card when you buy it. What makes it more complicated than the Viva Viagem card is that you can only put journeys on the card for one zone at a time. You can only change zones when the card is empty. When you first arrive, I suggest you just buy a one-way journey on the card, which to the centre of Porto will cost around €1.95. Once you know how you intend to use it you can add more journeys to it in the correct zone. During your stay, if you wish to use the metro, public buses and local trains (but not trams) you can buy an Andante Tour card which is designed for tourists and allows you to make as many journeys as you wish during a specific period of time: Andante Tour 1 lasts 24 hours and costs €7 and Andante Tour 3 lasts 72 hours and costs €15.

You will need to buy a different card for each person in your group and each card needs to be validated by holding it against the black circle on the yellow validation machine before you go up the steps to the platform. You also have to validate it if you change lines during the journey. More information can be found on the Metro do Porto website. A further tip is to carry some coins for the ticket machines, as they often have problems accepting notes.

Andante ticket

Porto, Porto by night

Porto by night

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Statue of Dom Pedro IV by Célestin Anatole Calmels, Praça da Liberdade, Porto

By day the historic centre of Porto displayed its wonderful Baroque, Gothic, Romanesque and Neo-classical architecture and justified its UNESCO World Heritage Site title. By night, however, the city took on a different appearance, as buildings, squares and statues were lit up, giving everything a golden glow. The tourists had made their way back to their cruise ships and their hotels and we could walk around the quiet streets marvelling at the regal splendour of the area around Campo dos Mártires da Pátria (for the Palácio da Justiça and the Clérigos Tower); Largo Professor Abel Salazar (for the Museu do Centro Hospitalar do Porto); Avenida dos Aliados and the two squares at either end, Praça da Liberdade and Praça do General Humberto Delgado (for very grand commercial buildings, the nearby São Bento station and two charming statues, A Juventude (the naked woman, 1929) and A Abundância (the cherubs, 1931), both by the sculptor Henrique Moreira); the Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique (for the statue of Prince Henry the Navigator); the Ribeira quarter (for the Dom Luís I Bridge and the Serra do Pilar Monastery and Church on the Vila Nova de Gaia side of the river); and Vila Nova de Gaia (for views of Porto, including the Palácio da Bolsa, São Bento da Vitória Church, the Clérigos Tower, the Episcopal Palace and the Cais da Ribeira). Porto by day is for the tourists, but Porto by night is for the romantics.

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Statue of Justice, Palácio da Justiçam, Porto

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Museu do Centro Hospitalar do Porto

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Clérigos Tower, Porto

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São Bento station, Porto

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Avenida dos Aliados, Porto

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Praça do General Humberto Delgado, Porto

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Avenida dos Aliados, Porto

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‘A Abundância’ by Henrique Moreira, Avenida dos Aliados, Porto

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‘A Juventude’ by Henrique Moreira, Avenida dos Aliados, Porto

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São Bento station, Porto

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Dom Luís I Bridge and Serra do Pilar Church, Vila Nova da Gaia

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Statue of Prince Henry the Navigator, Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique, Porto

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Porto from Vila Nova de Gaia

Down by the Ribeira-side in Porto, Porto

Down by the Ribeira-side in Porto

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Cais da Ribeira, Porto

The Ribeira (Riverside) quarter of Porto is steeped in atmosphere, with narrow, winding streets and colourful painted and tiled houses with washing hanging from the balconies, harking back to a time when this part of the river was a working port and the quarter was a working-class district. Local children swim confidently in the murky waters of the Douro, while tourists drink and dine at the large number of restaurants and bars in the old arcades along the Cais da Ribeira (riverfront) and on the back streets. Clearly visible from the Vila Nova de Gaia side of the river is the Elevador da Riberia (also known as the Elevador da Lada), an iron lift which transports people from the Cais da Ribeira to the Barredo quarter, avoiding a climb up the steep hill.

At the heart of the Ribeira quarter is the Praça da Ribeira at the bottom of Rua de São João, where old tiled townhouses line a riverfront square, at the centre of which is a fountain comprising an original stone fountain with a controversial huge 1970s cube (O Cubo da Ribeira) suspended above it, created by the artist José Rodrigues. In a niche of an eighteenth-century fountain built into a wall, a statue of John the Baptist, the patron saint of Porto, was added by the sculptor João Cutileiro (who also sculpted the statue of Dom Sebastião in Lagos) in 2000. Today the square is full of pavement tables and is a popular place to sit and have a drink or a meal, while enjoying views of the boats sailing by on the River Douro and Vila Nova de Gaia on the other side of the river. The view is particularly lovely after dark when the Dom Luís I Bridge and the Serra do Pilar Church are lit up.

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Dom Luís I Bridge and Serra do Pilar Church from Cais da Ribeira, Porto

Porto, Rua das Flores, Porto

Rua das Flores, Porto

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Flowers on the exterior of Ourivesaria Alliança, Rua das Flores, Porto

Largo de São Domingos was ‘our square’: the place where we sat at a pavement café drinking a glass of cold beer and watching the world go by after a long day of sightseeing. The square is at the end of one of my favourite streets in Porto, the busy and vibrant Rua da Flores, right in the heart of the old city. It links Largo de São Domingos (near the Palácio da Bolsa) to the Praça de Almeida Garrett (in front of São Bento station). The pedestrianized street is a lovely place to wander, while looking in the windows of the diverse shops; admiring the Baroque beauty of the Nasoni-designed Igreja da Misericórdia and the eye-catching sculpture on the front of the neighbouring Museu da Misercórdia do Porto; being surprised by the artwork on the outside of the ever so slightly sinister-looking Museu das Marionetas (Puppet Museum); and stopping for a drink or a bite to eat at one of the many little cafés. Many shops and cafés have taken the name of the street (Flower Street) to heart and have decorated their exteriors with flowers, ranging from a vertical flower garden on the exterior of the Ourivesaria Alliança jewellery shop, flower patterns on the table tops of a pavement café and delicately painted designs on several shop windows. Even the more dilapidated buildings along the street have been painted on by street artists and give the street a certain bohemian quality, where free-spirited locals sit slightly uncomfortably alongside well-heeled tourists.

Porto, Porto Cathedral and the Episcopal Palace

Porto Cathedral and the Episcopal Palace

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Baroque loggia and statue of Vímara Peres, Porto Cathedral

Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto) is a simple and austere building, comprised of a Romanesque exterior dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, dominated by two square towers topped with eighteenth-century cupolas, and a dark and sombre interior, brightened up by a thirteenth-century stained-glass rose window, an ornate altarpiece and a bronze bas-relief of the baptism of Christ by the sculptor José Joaquim Teixeira Lopes (1837-1918) in the baptistery.

Beside the main church there is the gilded Capela de São Vicente, fourteenth-century Gothic cloisters and, on the first floor, a chapterhouse which has a collection of sacred art and a room with an impressive ceiling painted by Giovanni Battista Pachini with Saint Michael in the centre. Both the cloisters and the chapterhouse are decorated with azulejo (decorative tiles) panels, depicting bucolic scenes, episodes from mythological stories and the story of the Virgin Mary.

In the eighteenth century the building was renovated and Baroque features were added, under the guidance of Nicolau Nasoni. José Saramago in his wonderful travel book Journey to Portugal (Viagem a Portugal), published in 1990, notes what the physiognomy of Porto and the north of Portugal owes to Nasoni, the Italian architect who also designed the Baroque Clérigos Church and Tower and Igreja da Misericórdia on Rua das Flores. It is fair to say that his involvement in the alterations to the Cathedral and the neighbouring Episcopal Palace (Paço Episcopal) in the 1720s and 1730s have resulted in the buildings we see today. He added the Baroque loggia to the side of the exterior of the Cathedral and inside the Cathedral he designed the frescoes on the walls of the apse and the staircase to the chapterhouse. He drew up designs for the Episcopal Palace building, which was to replace the existing twelfth-century palace, although his original designs proved too expensive to complete and what we see today is a scaled-back version. The Palace, which was the former palace of the Bishop of Porto, dominates the Porto skyline, particularly when looking at Porto from the Vila Nova de Gaia side of the river. Positioned on the higher part of the city, above the Ribeira area, the white rectangular building with distinctive tall windows with rococo frames is attractive in daylight, but even more spectacular when lit up at night. It makes a fitting backdrop to the São João fireworks in June. I had been informed that the building is not open to the public, so we did not visit it, but I have recently learnt that it now offers guided tours around the interior and I will definitely visit it on my next visit to Porto.

In front of the Cathedral is a large bronze statue of a man sitting on a horse carrying a sword and shield in one hand and holding a flag in the other, created by the sculptor Salvador Barata Feyo in 1968. The man is Count Vímara Peres, a Portuguese hero who reconquered northern Portugal from the Moors in the ninth century, although he was Spanish and Portugal was not independent at the time. He was made administrator of Portucale (what is now the Minho and Douro regions) and the territory he and subsequent counts administered continued to extend south to become the territorium Portugalense, until Portugal finally gained independence in 1137.

Statue of Vimar Pere, Porto Cathedral
Statue of Vímara Peres, Porto Cathedral

In the fourteenth century the Cathedral and Episcopal Palace witnessed the politically strategic marriage of Philippa of Lancaster to Dom João I, the king of Portugal. The marriage was blessed in Porto Cathedral on 2nd February 1387 and the wedding celebrations were held at the Episcopal Palace. The celebrations lasted several days, as the marriage brought about an important Anglo-Portuguese alliance against the Franco-Castilian axis.

From the terrace in front of the Cathedral are great views, beginning with the Barredo quarter, immediately below the Cathedral, where houses are stacked in intimate proximity to each other. Further afield the Clérigos Tower dominates the skyline to the north, with São Bento da Vitória Church and Monastery and the Centro Português de Fotografia clearly visible near to it.

Practicalities

Sé do Porto, Largo do Terreiro da Sé, Porto

Entrance to the Church is free, but there is a fee of €3 to enter the museum and cloisters

Opening hours:

Church

Summer: Monday to Sunday 9am–12.30pm and 2.30pm–7pm; Winter: Monday to Sunday 9am–12.30pm and 2.30pm–6pm; Closed: Christmas Day and Easter (afternoon)

Museum and cloisters

Summer: Monday to Sunday 9am–12.15pm and 2.30pm–6.30pm; Winter: Monday to Sunday 9am–12.15pm and 2.30pm–5.30pm; Closed: Christmas Day and Easter (afternoon); Sundays and religious holidays (morning)

Paço Episcopal do Porto, Largo do Terreiro da Sé, Porto

For a virtual tour visit the website: http://www.diocese-porto.pt/visitavirtual/

Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 9am–1pm (last admission 12.30pm) 2pm–6pm (last admission 5.30pm)

Entrance fee: €5 or €6 (depending on the type of visit)