Porto, Portugal

Details of the top of Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower), Porto, Portugal

Details of the top of Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower), Porto, Portugal

The Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower) is the bell tower that is part of the Clérigos Church in the heart of the old town of Porto (Oporto), Portugal. Built between 1754 and 1763 at the request of the Brotherhood of the poor Clerics, it is considered by many to be the symbol of the city of Porto.

As Portugal’s second largest city with a population of 230,000, Porto is the birthplace of the country’s name and home to the acclaimed Vinho do Porto — port wine.  Wile the grapes are grown and vinified several hours away on estates in the Douro Valley, port wines are still aged in the lodges of Villa Nova de Gala, just across the Douro River, in the city of Porto.

Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower), Porto, Portugal

Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower), Porto, Portugal

Avenida dos Aliados (the main avenue and center of the city), Porto, Portugal

Avenida dos Aliados (the main avenue and center of the city), Porto, Portugal

The monumental heart of the city of Porto is Avenida dos Aliados; it is the main avenue and center of Porto. The grandeur of the architecture and its central location make it the “living room” of the city, where locals celebrate festivities and special events. At the end of the plaza is Câmara Municipal do Porto (City Hall of Oporto) which was built in 1920 based on designs by an English architect.

Banco de Portugal (Bank of Portugal building) on Avenida dos Aliados, Porto, Portugal

Banco de Portugal (Bank of Portugal building) on Avenida dos Aliados, Porto, Portugal

Portuguese tiles decorating facade of church, Porto, Portugal

Portuguese tiles decorating facade of church, Porto, Portugal

Residential neighborhood in the heart of the city, Porto, Portugal

Residential neighborhood in the heart of the city, Porto, Portugal

Forte de São João Batista da Foz (Fort of St. John the Baptist), Porto, Portugal

Forte de São João Batista da Foz (Fort of St. John the Baptist), Porto, Portugal

Forte de São João Batista da Foz (Fort of St. John the Baptist) stands in a dominant position of the Douro River in Porto, providing a good defensive position for the City’s port. Construction began in 1570 and was added to and modified over the following centuries.

Boat models on the quay overlooking the Rio Douro (Douro River), Porto, Portugal

Boat models on the quay overlooking the Rio Douro (Douro River), Porto, Portugal

From Praca Ribeira, looking across Rio Douro (Douro River) to the Gala Quay, Porto, Portugal

From Praca Ribeira, looking across Rio Douro (Douro River) to the Gala Quay, Porto, Portugal

The double-decker Dom Luis I iron bridge, in the two photographs above, is just one of several bridges spanning the Douro River.  It connects Porto with Vila Noa de Gala where the port wines are aged in lodges (warehouses).  When it opened in 1886, with a length of 385 meters (1,264 feet), it was regarded as the world’s longest iron arch.

A church above the quay on Rio Douro (Douro River), Porto, Portugal

A church above the quay on Rio Douro (Douro River), Porto, Portugal

Quay on Rio Douro (Douro River) and terraced residences in central Porto, Portugal

Quay on Rio Douro (Douro River) and terraced residences in central Porto, Portugal

Porto’s narrow streets have wound up the hillside from the river since the 5th century, imbuing the city center with charm and tranquility.

Overlooking the port wine aging warehouses, Rio Douro (Douro River) and central Porto, Portugal

Overlooking the port wine aging warehouses, Rio Douro (Douro River) and central Porto, Portugal

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