News

Procession of the paper costume in Foz do Douro
9 August, 2018 / , , , ,

 

From mid-June to mid-September, the União de Freguesias (Union of Parishes) of Aldoar, Foz do Douro and Nevogilde, host the São Bartolomeu parties – a group of activities that liven up the streets and unite populations and visitors.

The procession of the Paper Costume is admittedly the most awaited moment of the festivities, with a history that has already surpassed 100 years and that in the last decade has gained special notoriety in the city.

 

These are months of work and preparation, with a permanent focus on roots, history and stories of the region. The 2nd French Invasion of 1809 and the Liberation of the City of Porto is the theme for the Paper Costume Contest in 2018, which will take place on August 26. There are meters and meters of paper, surgically worked by dedicated hands that keep this festive moment in the city alive.

This year’s edition has 350 extras, from gatherings and associations of the União de Freguesias, who will join the remaining hundreds who visit Foz do Douro to live this unique experience.

The current format is now 75 years old and integrates a route that seeks to reach the main centers of the history of Foz do Douro. The costumes parade begins at 10:30 am and goes through the Cantareira, rich in its fishing tradition.

After the inevitable passage through the charismatic Jardim do Passeio Alegre, a favourite amongst many intellectuals who fill the culture of Foz do Douro and Oporto, the procession continues to Ourigo Beach where the sea baths take place, one of the most noticeable traditions at the São Bartolomeu parties.

These baths are filled with tradition and folktales. Also known as “holy baths”, these dives in the waters of the Atlantic – seven, as tradition says – are a way of thanking São Bartolomeu’s favors in the last year and for banishing malaria over the next twelve months.

The participants of this year’s edition come from Bloco da União de Freguesias de Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde, Associação de Moradores do Bairro Social da Pasteleira – Previdência, Associação de Moradores do Bairro Social de Aldoar and Orfeão da Foz do Douro.

People from all different backgrounds and spaces join in this tradition, showing that the city is made of all and with all even in the most popular of its traditions.

Monastery of São Bento da Vitoria
6 June, 2018 / , ,

Classified as a National Monument in 1977, the Monastery of São Bento da Vitoria is one of the most important religious buildings of the city.

When it was built in the 16th century, it was within the walls of the city, near the Porta do Olival, occupying lands that formerly integrated the Jewish quarter. The Benedictine friars arrived in Porto in 1597 and the following year they were authorized by the king to build a monastery, designed to mark the presence of the Portuguese Benedictine Congregation and to support the friars who passed through the city.

The construction of the building, designed by the architect Diogo Marques Lucas, began in 1604, but the construction dragged on for many years. The church, for example, was built in 1693 but its decoration was not complete until the end of the eighteenth century. Therefore, the baroque architecture of its exterior is accompanied, in the interior, by several decorative styles which reveal the change of styles and tastes during this long period. The first stone of the Noble Cloister was launched in 1608 but would only be completed between 1725 and 1728.

The grandeur of this granite monument is still impressive today. But at the time it functioned as a monastery, it was an important center for music and singing. The organ that exists in the church bears witness to this golden age.

The following centuries were somewhat troublesome: in 1808, during the Peninsular War, it was converted into a Military Hospital and, in 1835, after the expulsion of the Religious Orders, it was transformed into a Military Court and House of Soldiers, as well as Infantry Quarters 31 and Engineering.

Between 1985 and 1990 it underwent restoration works functioning as the headquarters of the Oporto National Orchestra and the Porto District Archive. In 2001, under the European Capital of Culture, the Cloister Noble was covered by an acoustic shell. In 2007, part of the Monastery was attributed to the Teatro Nacional São João. Since then, it welcomes theatrical plays, shows, concerts and special events.

Information:

Rua de São Bento da Vitória, Porto

Guided tours:

From Monday to Friday, at 12:00, and the first Sunday of the month, at 15:00, for a maximum of 30 people.

Price: € 3.00 per person.

Free entry for children up to 10 years old, accompanied by adults.

Reservations: 00351 22 340 19 56 or relacoespublicas@tnsj.pt

The beaches of Porto
17 May, 2018 / , ,

The sunny days and heat encourage you to go to the beach and in Porto youdo not have to go far to nd a quietplace by the sea to sunbathe, stroll, savour a delicious meal or a cool drink.

Being in a city by the beach is an easy dream to ful-l for those who are in Porto. Visit the nine BlueFlag beaches where you can enjoy the summer without giving up the city life.

PRAIA DO OURIGO

The bathing tradition dates back to the 16th century, when it was said that these waters healed diseases.

PRAIA DO HOMEM DO LEME (HELM MAN BEACH)

It’s ideal for those who have children, since it has two playgrounds. It is a rocky beach, with an area of 374 sq meters. The name comes from the bronze statue, placed on Avenida de Montevideu, which pays homage to theshermen.

PRAIA DO CARNEIRO (RAM BEACH)

It has an extensive beach and has been very popu- lar since the 19th century. Some centuries ago it was a grazing area. A folk tale tells that it was here that one of those sheep strayed from its fold. The image of the sheep was eternalized on top of the Chalé Suíço (a kiosk that still exists today in Rua do Passeio Alegre).

PRAIA DAS PASTORAS (SHEPHERDESS BEACH)

The beach is delimited by two piers, which protects itfrom the wind. It is here that the Douro River ows intothe Atlantic Ocean. It has this name because it was cus- tomary for the shepherdesses to bring their sheep here to graze on the herbs and smell the seaside.

PRAIA DE GONDARÉM

A beach with 115 meters of extension. The name of this beach derives from the Latin and means something like “rest in the battle”. It has a stone wall that is covered because of high tides, making it safer for children.

PRAIA DO MOLHE (QUAY BEACH)

It has an extension of 168 meters and it is named after the coastal structure, similar to a pontoon that advances into the sea and limits the bathing zone. The landscape is embellished by the Pérgola da Foz, a cement balus- trade built in the 1930s that functions as a privileged gazebo over the sea. The staircase and the surrounding area make it one of the most beautiful beaches in Porto.

PRAIA DOS INGLESES (BEACH OF THE ENGLISH)

As the name implies, it was a beach preferred by the British community of Porto. An 86 sq meters sandbank,an area of very smooth slopes and ne sand.

PRAIA DA LUZ

A small beach framed by rocks and a garden area on Avenida do Brasil. When the tide is low you can see two pontoons supporting the baths of the 19th century.

PRAIA CASTELO DO QUEIJO

Located next to Castelo do Queijo. It is a rocky area,much sought after by shermen and people seeking totake advantage of the medicinal properties of rocks.

Photo credits: Marisa Pinheiro

Casino Espinho
18 April, 2018 / ,

Inaugurated in 1974, the casino of Espinho has always been a landmark for entertainment in the north of the country.

Located 15 minutes form the Centre of Porto, and with a privileged location on the coast, it is a reference to gaming and entertainment.

Not only is it for the local community but also for the many foreign tourists that visit us.

Up to date with recent trends and the latest technology, the casino of Espinho offers around 800 slot machines and a great variety of table games, bars, restaurants and on the weekend some of the best shows featuring national and international contemporary artists.

Majestic – From the splendor of Belle Époque to the jewel of the city
29 March, 2018 / , ,

In Rua de Santa Catarina, in the city
centre, Majestic is a must stop for those
who visit Porto. The privileged location,
the facade and the decoration make this a
unique venue in the city.

 

The space was inaugurated on the 17 of December
of 1921, but at that time it was called Elite.
Designed by the architect João Queirós, it functioned
as a kind of private club; with the change of name
to Majestic, it became a meeting point for the high
society, bohemians and intellectuals. Throughout its
history would be place of social gatherings, a point
of passage of artists that visited the city as well as
for statesmen and celebrities.
With the advent of World War II the cafe would enter
a period of decadence, the sale of its very rich estate
going to auction.
During the restoration carried out in the 1990s,
only wall fixtures, mirrors (from Antwerp) and
sofas were kept. Replicas of some pieces which had
disappeared were made so that the original spirit
could be maintained.
Since the mid-90s the Majestic has won a unique
place in the heart of Porto residents and tourists,
and has also won several international awards.

 

The space
The Majestic is a superb example of Art Nouveau,
featuring an imponent marble façade with three
elegant porches facing Rua de Santa Catarina. In the
interior, the great mirrors, the metal candelabras the
sculptures in stucco stand out.
The interior courtyard, built in 1925, was designed
as a winter garden. There was a time when there
was a window facing Rua de Passos Manuel, where
newspapers and tobacco were sold. In this courtyard
there are concerts during the summer, but all year
round the Majestic is also a cultural space, thanks to
the grand piano and the painting exhibitions on the
lower floor, which was once a billiard room.

Curiosities:
J. K. Rowling was a frequent patron of the
Majestic cafe when she lived in Porto and it is
believed that she started working on the book
“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”
there.
Former Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek
responded as follows when asked what he most
liked about his visit to Portugal: “Well … it was
Majestic … after all I am also a child of God … !!!”

Boavista Football Club – The club of “weird jerseys”
27 March, 2018 / ,

Portuguese champion in 2000/01, Boavista has over 100 years of history.
Established by the British, it stood out in the 90’s. The checkered jerseys led it to become known in Italy as “the club of weird jerseys.”

The British, which due to the business of Port Wine had a large community in the city, introduced football in Porto. The Boavista Footballers was set up in 1903, but few years later, due to a disagreement concerning the days when the matches should be held – the Portuguese preferred to play on Sundays whereas the British wanted to play on Saturdays – resulted in the subjects of His Majesty walking out on the club.

As Boavista Futebol Clube, it had a strong growth over the following decades. The main feature was winning the Portuguese Championship in 2000/01, but participation in European competition had been going on for some years. And it was in 1991/92 during a UEFA Cup qualifying match against Inter Milan, came up the nickname “club of weird jerseys,” an allusion to the black and white checkered jerseys.

The Bessa Stadium, renovated for Euro 2004, has a museum with the history of the club, a walk of fame and two sculptures by José Rodrigues in which the panther, the club symbol , is highlighted.

Alexandre Quintanilha
15 March, 2018 / ,

Alexandre Quintanilha, internationally recognized scientist,  was born in Africa and lived in the United States before moving to Porto, where he directed and taught at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology until his retirement. He is currently a Member of Parliament in the Republic Assembly.

He was born in Mozambique on August 9, 1945, son of an Azorean and a German. His father was a famous biologist but Alexander began by studying physics. He graduated in Theoretical Physics at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. He later traveled to the United States and studied at the prestigious University of Berkeley, California. It was during this period and whilst living in San Francisco that he met Richard Zimler, then a student. Zimler, who he later married in Portugal, is nowadays a famous writer as well as a university professor.

Between 1983 and 1990 he was assistant director of the Energy and Environment section at the Lawrence National Laboratory. In the 90’s he was challenged to return to Portugal and help found the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, where he eventually became the director. The arrival to Porto happened at the invitation of the neurologist Corino de Andrade, who at the time was already planning to create the Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar. It would be there that Alexandre Quintanilha would teach until he retired. He is the author of publications in the areas of Biology, Environment and Applied Physics. He is the only Portuguese member of the National Geographic Society’s Research and Exploration Council. He has published close to 100 articles in several worldwide scientific journals and was the editor and author of six volumes in areas of Biology and Environment. More than a scientist, Alexandre Quintanilha is a passionate for knowledge. He’s lived in three continents, speaks four languages ​​and likes to question what seems permanent. If at first he felt some difficulties adapting to the city, he quickly became infected by the beauty of Porto and by the friendly way in which he was received.

 

 

Espinho Surf Destination 2018 – Waves & Fun on Espinho beach
9 March, 2018 / ,

On the 10th to the 25th of March, Espinho welcomes the international competitions of the World Surf League, Surf and Longboard. An event with a vast entertainment program for all ages.

International surfing and longboarding competitions are the main focus on these days, but whoever is in Espinho will not just stay on the beach watching the performance of the best surfers. In addition to a surf film show, there will also be photography workshops, exhibitions, surf baptisms, adapted surf classes, fitness classes, workshops related to the manufacture and shape of surfboards, etc. The ESD KIDS Zone is a new area of ​​the event, aimed for the younger crowds.

The competitive component is very intense and occupies almost the entire month: on 10th and 11th March, the North Surf Circuit takes place; from March 16th to 18th the attenton will be on the World Longboard Championship – Longboard World Tour by World Surf League. Between the 21st and 25th March the Pro Junior European – WSL-World Surfing League will be taking place.

The Espinho Surf Destination 2018 is already in its fifth edition but, the big news this year, is the integration of the Longboard World Championship, male and female, which will bring the best athletes in the world to Espinho.

 

Espinho is a beach and surf city which has the best waves in the north and one of the best surf waves of international level. The heart of the city is next to the beach where the event takes place.

 

espinho surf  destination

 

Parks, Gardens and Camellias
9 March, 2018 / ,

The parks and gardens are an invitation for one to leisure and rest, to a long break, an invitation to the pleasure of walking and a reunion with the history of these places, many of which are unknown. Just around the corner, this city can surprise you by the beauty of an undiscovered green space.

 

Varied and restful routes can be found in the green spaces of the city, destined to all ages; each with its different charm throughout the seasons. The richness of the natural heritage and the reconstruction of forgotten environments of our rural areas provide very didactic tours. On the other hand, the variety of the existing support equipment offers the opportunity for an extended stay and  the pursuit of other type of activities.

 

The parks and gardens of the city of Porto that we selected for these routes are located in three large areas of the city that we defined as: Historical Center, Baixa and Boavista / (Palácio de Cristal Gardens, João Chagas Garden (Jardim da Cordoaria, Parque das Virtudes, Jardim Botânico, Jardim da Casa da Prelada, among others) Western zone (Parque da Cidade, Parque de Serralves e o Jardim do Passeio Alegre, among others) and Eastern zone (Parque de S. Roque, Parque de Nova Sintra, Quinta de Villar D´Allen, Quinta de Bonjóia and the Municipal Nursery, among others.) Plan the walks for the most pleasant hours of the day and pay attention to the working hours of the various spaces. Comfortable footwear.

 

As spring is just around the corner and the colorful days are sorely missed, we could not fail to highlight the Camellias, protagonists of this time in the city.  Porto was the first city in Europe to be known as the “City of Camellias”. Originating in Asia, the entrance of these flowers have a history in the north of Portugal and Galicia in the century. XIX. We can find them in almost all the gardens and green spaces of the city. In public spaces, in cemeteries or in houses, Camellias are queens from October to April. So that you do not miss out on anything about the celebration of this Asian flower, discover the events that Porto prepared for you on the 3rd and 4th in the Monastery of São Bento da Vitória. Do not miss the set of initiatives that will run in parallel in different places of the city! And do not forget: pass by one of the Oporto Tourist Offices where you can find the itinerary “Porto. City of Camellias “, with suggestions on the best places in town to see and smell these flowers! Do not miss out on all the Porto.CARD discounts dedicated to this season!

 

 

Cooperativa Árvore – A house that breathes art
2 March, 2018 / , ,

In an old noble house in the 60s, near Passeio das Virtudes and with a stunning view over the Rio Douro, Árvore – Cooperative of Artistic Activities was born as a space for the disclosure of art, idealized by Porto’s greatest names in art.

Árvore was founded in 1963 by artists, writers, architects and intellectuals, highlighting Master José Rodrigues, sculptor and author of the famous Ribeira Cube.  He, along with Armando Alves, Pulido Valente and Ângelo de Sousa, got together in an abandoned quinta and began the recovery of the building, adapting it to its new cultural functions.

The gallery and the auditorium were inaugurated in 1971. Despite having been through hardships, which, for instance, forced some of its estate’s artistic work to be auctioned, Árvore survived and has undeniably pronounced the artistic panorama of the city of Porto.

The institution has an intense cultural agenda with exhibitions, conferences, lectures and talks, workshops, competitions, book editing and art installations.  Its purpose is to produce, promote and sell artistic and editorial works, and the development and information of members and the general public in the areas of visual art, the study of art and other areas of production. In the past few decades it welcomed colloquiums, cinema cycles, theatre and music and it presented the work of hundreds of painters, sculptures, photographers, designers and architects. In addition to the exhibitions, you can visit the store, the offices of screen-printing techniques, engraving, lithograph and ceramic (booking in advance required) and enjoy an unrivaled view to the Douro from your garden.

The House
José Pinto de Meireles ordered the construction of the Árvore building, which was concluded in 1763. The family crest can still be seen on the front door. The quinta and the gardens were constructed so those who went by the Rio Douro could see them.

Today, they are a privileged viewpoint and a very enjoyable place to spend a late afternoon, especially in the summer.

Exhibitions to see at Árvore:

  • 23rd February to 3rd April– Emerenciano + Helena Jalles

 

Information:

Rua Azevedo de Albuquerque, 1, Porto

Schedule

Monday to Friday: 9.30-20:00

Saturday – 15:00-19:00

Closed: Sundays and bank holidays