Portugal travel guide



Oporto Travel Guide

Explore Oporto

Vila Nova de Gaia: This located on the site of an ancient fortified village. Actually is home to more than 50 wine companies who operate their (lodges) in the winding narrow streets flanked. Most of the lodges welcome visitors for tours and tastings. The best known are Sandemans, housed in a former 16th century convent, and Taylors.

The Cathedral: The twin towered Cathedral was originally a Romanesque church, was built in the 12th century. however later altered in Gothic style and almost completely rebuilt in the 17th and 18th century, while retaining much of its fortified character. In The interior of the portal on the west facade is still Romanesque, and the loggia on the north facade was by Nasoni in 1736. The interior is predominantly Romanesque and there are many richly decorated altars, including the carved and gilded wooden main altar below the choir from the early 18th century. In the left hand aisle can be seen the statue of Nossa Senhora de Vendoma, patron saint of Oporto.

Guimaraes: This historic city is regarded as the birthplace of Portugal, because it was here in 1128 that Afonso Henriques became the first king of Portugal, which was still largely under Moorish control. The city has several medieval buildings and fortifications, and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. His attractions is the tiny Romanesque church where Afonso was allegedly baptised, and the imposing Palace of the first Duke of Braganza, built in the style of a French chateau. There are several Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque delights to discover in walking around the town.

There are also 2 excellent museums: The Museu Alberto Sampaio, south of the castle, contains religious art and relics and is housed in a monastery, while the Museu Arquelogico Martins Sarmento displays the finds from a nearby Celtic hill settlement.

Praça da Liberdade (Plaza de la Libertad): The spacious Praça da Liberdade is appreciated by a statue, on horseback, of King Pedro IV in 1834, who was also Emperor Pedro I of Brazil from 1822 to 1831. Off the north side of the square opens the Avenida dos Aliados, a broad avenue laid out in 1923-29 after the demolition of an old residential quarter and now lined by banks and imposing office blocks, leading up to the City Hall. With its high central tower this early 20th century.

Church of Sao Francisco: On the Oporto waterfront stands the church of St. Frances, begin from 1383, which while not very imposing from the outside, has a lavishly Baroque decorated interior that was created in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Port Lodges: West of the Ponte de Dom Luis are the long, low armázens, or lodges, often sunk deep in the granite, of Oporto's merchants, many of them British in origin. Almost all the producers offer tours daily (except Sun.) of their lodges.

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