Curiosities

The pipe organs that have been operating since 1779
15 January, 2018 / , ,

The Historical Organs of the Clérigos continue to function perfectly, despite being more than 200 years old.

They were made by the Spanish Dom Sebastião de Acunha and, like the building in which they are inserted, are a notable example of the Baroque style that characterized the late eighteenth century. The box of the organ on the side of the epistle is surmounted by a moon; the side of the gospel is characterized by a sun. The unification of these two elements refers to the idea of ​​absolute and totality.

In 2015, these organs were played daily, always at the same time (at noon), often with the two historical organs simultaneously and sometimes with the participation of singers. These free concerts enchant the Porto residents and tourists and are another attraction for an already much sought after destination as well as being appreciated by those who visit the city.

In December 2017 Organ Concert # 1000 was celebrated. It was a special day, where two organists and a soprano were in attendance. But every day one can celebrate the long life of these historical pipe organs and enjoy their music.

The “twin” churches
5 December, 2017 / ,

They stand side by side, separated by a narrow house. The Carmo and Carmelitas churches seem to be one, but they have very different stories.

Between these two churches lies the narrowest building in the city, which gives access to the bell tower. However, to get there, it is necessary to climb three floors and go over the dome of the Carmelite church.

The Church of the Carmelitas was the first to be built and is next to the old Convent of Our Lady of Porto (now GNR headquarters). It is a church of the seventeenth century, with a classic façade and exuberant interior, in Porto rococo wood carving. It was the first house of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites monks. The foundation stone was laid on May 5, 1619, and the work was completed in 1622.

The Carmo Church is more recent, dating back to the second half of the eighteenth century. Thus, the rococo style (characterized by a huge profusion of decorative details) is much more evident, both in the exterior and interior architecture. The tiles that cover the lateral facade were placed in 1912. They were designed by Silvestre Silvestri and are allusive to the cult of Our Lady.

Pinto da Costa – The man who put FC Porto on the map
7 November, 2017 / ,

Although he once played football, it is not for scoring goals that makes him stand out in FC Porto. His vision for the club, the strategy he outlined and his strong leadership has made FC Porto one of the most prestigious clubs in the world.

Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa is not only adored by the fans of his club, who sing songs with his name during the games and affectionately call him “The Pope”. He is also the president with the most football titles won at the helm of a club: two Cups of Champions / Champions League, two Intercontinental Cups, two UEFA / Europa League Cups, one European Super Cup, 20 National Championships, 12 Portuguese Cups and 20 Super cups.

Since January 13, 2017 this year he is also the leader who has the longest tenure in the world superseding Santiago Bernabéu (former president of Real Madrid).

He was born in Cedofeita, Porto Downtown, on December 28, 1937, in a family of the upper bourgeoisie, more interested in culture than in sports. However, one of his uncles was already a feverish supporter of FC Porto and took him to see his first game of football in the Field of the Constituição. He would later become a club member and, after high school was no longer just a supporter, he engaged in the club management positions. He began to work in the section of roller hockey, went through boxing and other modalities.

His entry into the football department happened in 1976. In 1978 FC Porto became national champion, 19 years later. The club seemed to have begun a victorious cycle, but in 1980 Pinto da Costa disagreed with the management and moved away. In 1982 he applied for the first time to the leadership of the club and won with 95% of the votes. The rest is a success story.

During the 80’s, FC Porto gained national and international prestige; in the 90’s, they won for the first time five consecutive national titles. In the first decade of the 21st century, there were more titles, including the UEFA Cup in 2003 and the Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup in 2004. The victories in football add to triumphs in other sports as well as important land leveling works: old Estádio das Antas, the construction of the Estádio do Dragão, Dragão Caixa and the FC Porto Museum.

Walking – Chapel of Fradelos
7 November, 2017 / , , , ,

 

“O Porto a penantes” – Penantes is a typical Porto expression that means “walking” – it is a personal project of Joaquim Lino, who likes to walk and photograph some of the corners of the city. He will be sharing with Hey Porto! readers every month some of these tours, leaving suggestions so that those who visit the city can discover secrets that often, not even the people of Porto know.

Recently, in one of these walks through the city, he entered the Chapel of Fradelos, a small late-19th-century church, located at the intersection of Guedes de Azevedo and Sá da Bandeira streets, which is generally off the main tourist routes but deserves to be known. On the main façade and in the interior there are tiles by Jorge Colaço, the same author of the tiles that decorate the Station of St. Benedict and the Church of St. Ildefonso. The stucco ceiling decorated by gold center medallions stands out.

PortoaPenantes

Mouzinho da Silveira Street
17 October, 2017 /

A mark of nineteenth century modernity

It connects Ribeira and Baixa (Downtown) of Porto. It was built in the 19th century, covering a river that divided the city and today is a point of passage for thousands of tourists.

The construction of this street, which honors the liberal politician Mouzinho da Silveira (1780-1849), resulted from the need to connect the area of ​​Ribeira, which until then was the commercial hub of Oporto to the center of the city. The works were financed by the taxes of Wine, levied on the basis of the wine barrels that were unloaded on the Douro River dock.

In contrast to the narrow streets of Ribeira, this new street was already a sign of modernity at a time when Oporto, boosted by burgeoning commerce, grew and gained economic power. The street was built over the Rio da Vila that divided the city; thus obliging the expropriation and demolition of buildings such as the St. Crispim Chapel, St. Roque Chapel and vestiges of the old medieval wall.

The street is 19 meters wide, was opened in 1875. With the construction of São Bento Station (which would be completed in 1916), this road would gain even more importance. The closeness to the station several shops emerged and besides the local consumers they had as clients the residents of Douro and Minho villages that came to the city. In addition to seeds and agricultural implements, these establishments sold products such as corks, scales, or religious items. Some of these stores still exist today and deserve a closer look, since they are a valuable example of the traditional trade of Oporto.

In addition to restaurants, handicraft shops and other places to shop or enjoy a meal, this street has other attractions that are worth seeing. One is a granite fountain that has a curious story: it is a replica of the fountain that existed when the street was built and was demolished to give way to two stores that disappeared overtime and a fountain formed by two spouts and a shell in the center was built according to the original design.

Santa Clara
17 October, 2017 /

The saint who came from Rome

She was born in the Roman Empire, but it is in Porto, specifically in the Igreja do Bonfim, that this saint is worshipped. The festivities in her honor take place in September.

Daughter of pagan parents, Santa Clara was impressed by the suffering of Christians in the arenas of Rome and converted to Christianity. Persecuted by the Roman emperors, she died as a martyr. Initially she was buried in the catacombs of St. Callisto but in the eighteenth century a cardinal asked the Pope to exhibit the relics of the Saint. José Teixeira, a painter from Porto, asked the cardinal to bring the saint to Porto.

In 1779 her body was brought by ship to Portugal, and although the boat was caught in a great storm, the crew and the vessel suffered nothing. In Zaragoza and Lisbon the bishops and priests were supposed to have tried to keep the saint, but eventually she came to Porto. Initially she remained in the Church of Nossa Senhora do Terço and Caridade of Porto, but on the first Sunday of September of 1803 Santa Clara was transferred to the Igreja do Bonfim. She is the patron Saint of sailors, mothers in labor pains and children with speech problems.

The festivities in honor of the Virgin and Martyr Santa Clara is one of the largest in the city and always takes place on the first weekend of September.

Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis
22 August, 2017 /

A museum which was a factory

It is the oldest public museum in the country, but in the past it was a factory and home of a family of merchants.

The building began to be built in 1795 to house a factory and residence for the Moraes e Castro family, the quintessential of the neoclassical architecture that dominated the city of Oporto in that period. The interior decoration is exquisite and was made by the best artists of that epoch.

The then Commonly known Palácio dos Carrancas accommodated – even without  the consent of its owners – dignitaries such  as General Soult (during the French Invasions), the Duke of Wellington, General Beresford, and Prince William of Nassau. It was also the refuge of D. Pedro IV, during the war he fought against his brother.

In 1861 it was transformed into the (Royal Palace) Paço Real, to receive the kings when they visited the north of Portugal. With the establishment of the Republic it lost its purpose, but the last king of Portugal bequeathed it to Misericórdia (Church of Mercy), so that a hospital could be installed in it. Since the former Soares dos Reis National Museum (which had been operating since 1833 in São Lázaro) was in poor condition, it was transferred to the Carrancas Palace. The current museum was inaugurated in 1942.

The origins of the name Castelo do Queijo
10 July, 2017 /

São Francisco Xavier Fort is its original name, but it is known among the Porto residents as Castelo do Queijo, since it was built on top of a granite rock which has a rounded shape resembling a ball-shaped cheese.

This designation came about in the 17th century, when the fort was built to defend the coast from pirate attacks coming from Northern Africa. The idea of ​​erecting the Fort of San Francisco Xavier is most likely to have arisen in the sixteenth century, but since there was not much strategic interest at that time in that area, construction was postponed.

Despite possessing all the features of a military building, tailor made for the defence of the coast – walls, a moat, as well as watchtowers resting on triangular corbels – the truth is that it never truly served for the purpose it was intended. During the Civil War (1828-34) it was occupied by the troops of D. Miguel and as a result part of its structure was destroyed. It was abandoned and plundered for some time, however, after being restored, it is open to the public today, having a small museum and housing exhibitions and other events.

Capela das Almas
26 June, 2017 /

The 15 947 tiles of the Capela das Almas

It is one of the most photographed and well known buildings in Porto. Located in the Baixa, the Capela das Almas draws attention due to the tiles that cover its façade.

Although this eighteenth-century chapel has a rather simple architecture, it is impossible to remain indifferent to its walls, covered with 15 947 tiles covering an area of ​​about 360 m2. In fact, not only were these tiles only laid out in the twentieth century (1929), but were elaborated in a way imitating the original mosaics of the eighteenth century. They were designed by the potter Eduardo Leite and were made in a famous factory in Lisbon.

The tiles represent episodes of the lives of Santa Catarina and São Francisco de Assis. However, it is curious that these panels mix scenes of the lives of two different saints: St. Catherine of Siena and St. Catherine of Alexandria (on the main facade).

In the chapel there is also a bell tower with two floors and the image of Nª Srª das Almas. The altarpiece of the high altar, representing the Ascension of Christ was painted by Joaquim Rafael.

Suggestions by Katty Xiomara
23 April, 2017 / , ,

 

She is one of the most internationally known names in Portuguese fashion. Although born in Venezuela, her career development has been in Porto and it is from here that she designs creations that tread on the catwalks of the whole world.

Katty Xiomara was born in Caracas, Venezuela, having arrived in Porto at the age of 18. It was at this point that she decided to start studying fashion. All the same, it was as a student that she won, at the age of 22, the first prize of Porto de Moda. In 1996 she participated in Portugal Fashion for the first time and since then has been regularly present at this event, also presenting collections at Portugal Fashion Paris.

Since 2005 she has participated in international fairs such as Bread & Butter, Berlin and Barcelona, ​​and Project in Las Vegas among others. Her international career was consolidated in 2013, when she began to attend the New York Fashion Week. In 2014 she received the Silver Winner, awarded by IDA “International Design Awards”, a prize that she won again in 2015.

In 2007 she set up her studio in an old townhouse on Rua da Boavista, although it is possible to find her collections in the United States and Japan. Her creations are elegant and timeless but at the same time joyful and romantic, destined for confident women who prefer a unique individual style.

Katty Xiomara’s career also includes collaborations with several international brands, ranging from sportswear to creation of uniforms. A designer who is also a teacher at the same fashion school where she graduated, Modatex.

Atelier

Rua da Boavista, 795

Phone: +351 220 133 784

 

Suggestions:

  • Bar – I know it’s not really a bar, but I really like the mojito, blackberryfizz and berrygood at Honorato (Baixa)
  • Restaurant – Traditional and unpretentious: Antunes. In another register, I would emphasize the Flow or the Reitoria.
  • Stroll – Palácio de Cristal, the waterfront between Foz and Ribeira
  • Romantic place – The old manor house of Porto wine, in the romantic gardens of the Palácio de Cristal
  • A secret of the city: It is not really a secret, but I really like Passeio das Virtudes, the Portuguese Photography Centre and Soares dos Reis Museum