A stroll through the history of Porto
A broad avenue full of history and historic buildings, it is also one of the most exciting places and new dynamics of the city. It is worthwhile to stroll along this avenue and explore a thoroughfare where tradition and innovation blend harmoniously.
If the starting point is Rua de Entreparedes, you will notice right away how old buildings were converted into pleasant places for a snack or chill out. On the left, the Jardim de São Lázaro, the first public garden in the city, which is also a venue to enjoy views of sculpture works and centenary trees. Across the street, the building of Colégio de Nossa Senhora da Boa Esperança stands out for its architectural features. Built in 1724 it housed an orphanage for girls, and later, in the second half of the twentieth century it was transformed into a private school. There is a church next to it in which the design is attributed to Nicholas Nasoni and built on a site of a hospital which cared for people infected with leprosy (Hansen’s disease).
A little further ahead there is the Municipal Library building, housed in the old Hospital do Convento de Santo António da Cidade, an 18th-century building. In addition to its rich bibliographical and documentary collection, it has a high architectural interest where the cloisters and tiles removed from several convents and monasteries stand out.
Along this avenue you will also find traditional shops and some marble mason shops; The proximity of this avenue to the Cemeterio (Cemetery) do Prado do Repouso led to the establishment of several businesses where tombstones and sculptures that adorn the graves.
On this tour one will also notice the building of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Porto University, which was established in the first half of the twentieth century in an old mansion that belonged to a trader who made a fortune in Brazil. Inside it are works by some of the university students, such as Soares dos Reis. The existence of this university has created a certain bohemian atmosphere in this area of the city as students frequent the cafes and shops of this neighborhood.
The Visconde da Gândara mansion is another example of the importance that this street had in past times. The architecture of the houses deserves detailed attention: there are houses with several floors, with imposing interior staircases and skylights; many of which have landscaped areas with fountains, lakes and greenhouses at the back. The houses numbered 192, 194, 200 and 204 are classified as buildings of public interest (listed buildings).
The avenue ends at Largo Soares dos Reis, which also has two points of interest: in addition to the historic Cemetery do Prado do Repouso, stands the Military Museum, which previously housed a prison for political prisoners.