The city of Oporto rises between the mouth of the Douro and the Atlantic Ocean. Capital of the North and second largest city of Portugal, its history dates back at least to Roman times, when it was called Portus Cale - It was this name that would eventually influence the naming of the country itself.
Over the years, Porto has seen the birth of outstanding personalities and has been at the center of events that have changed the course of history. At the beginning of the 12th century, it was the capital of the Condado Portucalense. Later, in the 14th century, D. Filipa de Lencastre arrived from England to marry King João I – Infante D. Henrique (known in english as Prince Henry, the Navigator), the fifth child of this royal couple, was also born in Oporto.
Later on, in the 19th century after the Civil War, D. Maria II thanked the struggle and resistance of the city’s inhabitants by attributing to Oporto the title of Invicta, the only one in Portugal. Known for the hospitality of its inhabitants, Oporto takes time to be known and to tell all of its stories to those who enter the city.
Heritage, customs ... and francesinha
The Historic Center of Oporto has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1996. Through its narrow streets and alleys, the area has an incomparable beauty and has so much to know, that to enumerate, or to say where to start, is a Herculean task. From the Aliados to Ribeira, from São Bento to Clérigos, Porto's heritage deserves to be appreciated from one end to the other.
However, not everything is history. For lovers of culture and customs, a visit to Oporto in the first week of May includes the procession of Queima das Fitas, a color parade and animation that marks the end of the academic year for university students. For those who prefer to go in June, there are those who advise traveling in the final stretch of the month to enjoy the night of São João, the longest in the city. As for Gastronomy, any time of year is good to try the typical Francesinha.
Lello Bookstore: one of the jewels of the city
Livraria Lello is one of Porto's ex-libris. Considered one of the most beautiful in the world, it is located at Rua das Carmelitas, number 144, and has more than 130 years of existence.
Designed by the engineer Xavier Esteves, the the building causes great impact from its exterior alone: a neogothic façade, in light tones, that stands out from the surrounding scenery. Inside, the arched staircase is the main attraction of the bookstore, but all of its architecture, which includes the busts of Antero de Quental, Eça de Queirós, Camilo Castelo Branco, Teófilo Braga, Tomás Ribeiro and Guerra Junqueiro, is worthy of appreciation.
More recently, Lello Bookstore was in the mouths of the world, when writer J. K. Rowling admitted that she was inspired by the building to create the bookstore where Harry Potter met Gilderoy Lockhart in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets".
Points of interest in the city:
Avenida dos Aliados
São Bento Railway Station
Luís I Bridge
Bridge Maria Pia
Torres dos Clérigos
Rua de Santa Catarina
Church of San Francisco
Palácio da Bolsa
Market Ferreira Borges