Portugal travel guide



Oporto Travel Guide

The City of Oporto

Oporto usually has always been a mercantile city, and this is evident in the style of buildings that front onto the Ave. dos Aliados. The center of city, is different of other major Portuguese cities, which tend towards the baroque, is granite and monumental.

However the inhabitants of Porto, while definitely Portuguese, hold themselves apart culturally from the rest of the country, as is expressed in the often heard phrase "o Porto é uma nação" (Oporto is a nation). This is likely due to the fact that the city has historically been dominated by Portuguese bourgeoisie and English trading factions rather than the nobility.

Oporto takes the name of (The very noble, always faithful, and invicible town of Oporto). This is usually shortened to "a Cidade Invicta" (the invincible town) a title won because of Porto's which put resistance against Napoleonic troops during the Peninsular war.

The town is quite variegated architecturally, with medieval as well as modern living side by side. The city is extremely hilly, with several buildings built into a cliff face that overlooks the river. Across the river from Porto proper, in the suburb of Gaia, are located the warehouses of notable companies dealing with Port Wine, such as Fonseca, Kopke, Sandemans, and others.

If these interested in a aventure you only have to cross the Ponte Dom Luis I bridge to reach the fantastic old port lodges, many of them dating back to the late 1700's. Some of the port lodges are located in transformed monasteries, like the Ferreira lodge (a port company founded in 1715). Ferreira is in fact one of the most fascinating lodges to visit along with the historic Sandeman (also housing a museum), Graham and Calém.

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