The old municipal prison to become a National Monument
The historic building, which since 2001 has housed the Center of Portuguese Photography, will be classified as a National Monument.
The building was completed in 1796 and since then, this imposing building, situated in the Historic Center, very close to the Torre dos Clérigos, has had several uses, having been a court, as well as a prison.
It was in this prison that the famous Portuguese writer Camilo Castelo Branco wrote his most famous work, “Amor de Perdição”, in 1861. The writer had been sentenced for adultery and based on the story about his uncle, Simão Botelho, who had also been imprisoned there, and like the characters in the book, he had lived a tragic and forbidden love story that would lead him to his death.
Zé do Telhado, a nineteenth-century type Robin Hood who according to legend robbed the rich to give to the poor had also been in this prison.
The old municipal prison was restored by the architects Eduardo Souto Moura and Humberto Vieira.
Porto is one of Europe’s oldest tourist destinations. Its wealth of monumental and artistic heritage, Port Wine, open-air leisure spaces and cultural life are just some of the reasons to visit this city.
At any time of the day, 365 days of the year, Porto has a special charm for anyone visiting the city for the first time, as it does for those coming back for a second visit, to discover a city that is simultaneously modern and authentic. In 1996, the historical centre of Porto was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The city unfolds along the river bank and the sea shore, to reveal charming vistas, inviting esplanades and all the pleasures of the outdoors, framed by its green spaces.
Setting out to discover Porto means bumping into surprise after surprise. Whilst maintaining its welcoming and conservative nature, the city is, at the same time, contemporary and creative. This can be seen in its streets, its architectures and its monuments, its museums, its leisure spaces, its esplanades and its shopping areas which run from the traditional to the modern and exclusive.
Events enliven the annual cultural and sporting calendars, culminating in ‘São João’, the city’s very own Feast.