Magical Porto, of course, Portugal!

On a rainy cloudy and now calm day, I come to you again. Travel is such as wonderful feelings that I cannot describe it , sorry not a writer nor a poet, but just feeling good. Finding good places will make you always attach to these places. The good life is always important to enjoy it now, because regardless of what the medical profession tells you, it is very short.

Let me bring you up to speed on Porto, of Portugal. A very nice city with a even better reputation for one of the World’s best wines.  I have written before in my blog first on Porto itself and then on the wines of Porto and Portugal in general.  These posts are here.

Porto and combination

The wines of Portugal and Porto!

Porto

Porto is in the north of Portugal facing the Atlantic ocean on the Douro river. The capital of the North region , sub region of Grand Porto ,district of Grande Aire Metropolaine de Porto or GAM.

Very well connected city and plenty of public transports. You have six metro lines in where the lines A B and C runs from west to east; the line D from north to south towards Vila Nova de Gaia, the line E goes to the airport Francisco Sá Carneiro and other points and the line F or Gondomar line connects the towns of the GAM to city center. The metro webpage in   English is here: https://en.metrodoporto.pt/

There is a tramway line call Electrico I running the side of the Douro river to the city center as well there is cable car. The transport there is managed by the SCTP here: http://www.stcp.pt/en/travel/

The airport Francisco Sà Carniero is about 11 km from the city and have taken it many times on business trips. The webpage is here: https://www.aeroportoporto.pt/en/opo/home

The road is intense but well done. Very nice to drive here, which I have done on my runs from Lisbon several times. Coming into the city is easy on the A1 , and there are two beltways one call the interne or via de cintura interna or VCI takes from city center Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia for about 21 km and it is connected to the A20 on the north, and the IC23 in the south as well as the auto estradas roads A1 and A28 to the west. The A41 or the exterior beltway or CREP goes around the north ,east and south for about 62 km; to the west the A41 is completed with sections of the A1, A28 and A29 For more info on the main highways or Estradas see here: http://www.estradas.pt/index

The train station is very nice for a visit although never taken trains there, it is call the Estacao Porto-Sao Bento and it has very nice ceramic tile walls in the main hall dating from the 19C. More here: https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/train-times/Stations/porto-sao-bento-station

A bit of history I like

The Romans name it Portus because of the port in the 1C BC. The city took in many invasions afterward such as from the Suaves, Visigoths, Normans, Moors and in 858 was pillage by the Vikings under their leader Hasting.

Porto was part of the kingdom of Castile (Spain) from the early 11C. IN 1096 king Alfonso VI of Castile gives it to his daughter Teresa, married with Henri of Burdungy. Their son Alfonso Henri is the first Portuguese monarch

From the 14C the city is fitted with a fortified wall and ramparts in massive stones, the historic center was also protected from these walls called Fernandinas in honor of Dom Fernando under which reign they were finished in 1376 . In 1580 the Spanish army led by Sancho of Avila takes the city from Antonio de Crato   a pretender to the throne of Portugal during the crisis of the Portuguese succession that ended with the coming to the throne of Felipe II of Spain.

The invasion of the Napoleonic troops in Portugal under Marshal Soult also brought war to the city of Porto. In 1809, as the population fled from the advancing French troops and tried to cross the river Douro over the pontoon bridge the bridge collapsed under the weight. This event is still remembered by a plate at the  Dom Luis Bridge.. The French arlmy was rooted out of Porto by the Anglo Portuguese troops crossing the Douro river from the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar (a former convent) in a brilliant daylight charge using wine barges to transport the troops, so outflanking the French Army.

In 1820, a Liberal revolution occurred, quickly spreading without resistance to the rest of the country.  In 1822, a liberal constitution was accepted, partly through the efforts of the liberal assembly of Porto . When  Miguel I of Portugal took the Portuguese throne in 1828, he rejected this constitution and reigned as an absolutist monarch. A Civil War was then fought from 1828 to 1834 between those supporting Constitutionalism, and those opposed to this change, keen on near-absolutism and led by Dom Miguel. Porto rebelled again and had to undergo a siege of 18 months between 1832 and 1833 by the Absolutis army. Porto is also called “Cidade Invicta” (Unvanquished City) after successfully resisting the Miguelist siege. After the abdication of King Miguel, the liberal constitution was re-established.

In 1919, forces favorable to the restoration of the Monarchy launched in Porto a  counter revolution known as the Monarchy of the North.  During this time, Porto was the capital of the restored kingdom, as the movement was contained to the north. The monarchy was deposed less than a month later and no other monarchist revolution in Portugal happened again.

Things to see, well more my favorites because they are many

The Arràbida bridge , the Dom Luis Bridge, , the stock exchange of Porto., the Clerigos tower , the contemporary Art museum of the Foundation Serralves, the house of music or Casa de la Musica, the Cathedral a fortress Church from the 12C with renovations in the 17C and 18C; Maria Pia bridge built in 1877 by Gustave Eiffel ! The wonderful old town in the historic center;, the Ribeira the banks of the Douro river , the Palacio de Cristal or Crystal palace,, Palace of Queijo along the ocean, The Bolhao Market, and the biggest square the Praça Mouzinho de Alburquerque, the streets of Rua Santa Catarina and Rua do Almada very nice shops and restos here, the Norte Shopping center mall , the Bom Sucesso market , the Dragao Stadium home of Porto FC and Bessa XXI stadium home of Boavista FC , Sao Francisco Church and Santa Clara Church.

Porto Porto Porto Porto

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must come are here

A very good guide on Porto and Portugal ; http://portoportugalguide.com/index.html

Tourist office of Portugal on Porto: https://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/porto-e-norte/73735

Tourist office of Porto ; http://www.visitporto.travel/Visitar/Paginas/default.aspx

There you go , i hope you like it and encourage you to visit this very nice city of Porto in Portugal.  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “Magical Porto, of course, Portugal!”

  1. I really like Port but I prefer it when the sun shines!

    Like

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