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Photo Tour of Porto (Portugal)
Porto is Portugal's second city (after Lisbon), although its inhabitants would argue otherwise! Located in the north of the country the city climbs up the steep northern bank of the River Douro as it completes its journey to the Atlantic Ocean. I spent a year working in this fantastic city and have many a fond memory of nights out in the Ribeira, surfing at Matosinhos and generally getting lost in the mosaic of cobbled streets.
Unfortunately during my year in Porto I spent very little time taking photos so all these are from a subsequent visit in 2006. In this hub I have collected a few of these photos of places that are particularly interesting to myself and hopefully one or 2 of you out there!
To just view the slideshow click here.
River Douro in Porto
View out over the River Douro in Porto. On the right is the Ribeira district of town famed for its many bars and cafes. The boats are traditional rabelos used for transporting the barrels of port wine down the river from the vineyards.
Dom Luis I Bridge
View across the River Douro alongside Porto's iconic Dom Luis I bridge. The bridge was built in 1886 and designed by one of Gustave Eiffel's students. From this viewpoint you can see many of the sites of Porto including the cathedral, Clerigos tower and the Ribeira.
Town Hall (Camara Municipal)
Situated at the head of Porto's central Avenida dos Aliados is the town hall. Despite the neoclassical styling the building was built in the 20th century. I'd spent a few months wandering around Porto before I discovered this part of the city.
Pérola do Bolhão delicatessen
Possibly Porto's best example of Art Nouveau design, of which there are quite few. The shop is the Pérola do Bolhão delicatessen on Rua Formosa in the city centre
Igreja de Sao Francisco
I always found the Igreja de Sao Francisco far more interesting than the rather austere cathedral. The same applies to the interior which is a celebration of gold clad opulence! So excessive was the interior and at apparent odds with the Franciscan order's vows of poverty that they deconsecrated it!
Foz do Douro
Neoclassical walkway on the Promenade in the beach-side Foz do Douro district of Porto. This is a great area to take a walk, go for a run or just sit by the beach and have a coffee.
Igreja do Carmo
View of the Igreja do Carmo from Praca de Lisboa. The blue tiles are known as azelejos and are typical of Portugal. The church itself is actually two churches joined together by a 1 metre wide house!
Porto's Torre dos Clerigos (Clergy's Tower) stands at 75 metres high and still dominates the city's skyline. Built in 1763 to the designs of Italian Baroque architect Nicolau Nasoni you can still climb the 240 steps for a great view of the city.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia is located on the opposite bank of the River Douro to Porto. It is the home of the port industry and all the port houses responsible for producing and shipping it around the world.
Porto back streets
I've described them as back streets but then half the streets in Porto's city centre are like this! As with most points in Porto you can see Clerigos tower which makes a useful beacon for those lost in this maze without hope!
Looking across Porto's Matosinhos beach with the oil refinery at Leça da Palmeira in the distance. Quite a respectable, fun looking little wave at what is the city's most popular surf spot.
When we were in Porto we stayed at the Pensão Duas Nações which is just up the road from Clerigos and a couple of minutes walk from the town hall. All in all I'd completely recommend it as a cheap, clean and friendly place to stay. There are plenty of other options including residencias (B and Bs) and as you would expect plenty of good hotels in Porto. All said it is little wonder that Porto's historic city centre has achieved UNESCO world heritage status and I would urge anyone to visit in case it ever changes.