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The Beaches of Porto
10 July, 2017 /

The sunny days and heat encourage you to go to the beach and in Porto you do not have to go far to find a quiet place 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 fulfil for those who are in Porto. Visit the nine Blue Flag beaches where you can enjoy the summer without giving up the city life.

Praia do Ourigo

The bathing tradition on Ourigo Beach 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 the fishermen.

Praia do Carneiro (Ram beach)

It has an extensive beach and has been very popular 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 it from the wind. It is here that the Douro River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. It has this name because it was customary 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 balustrade 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 fine 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 nineteenth century.

Praia Castelo do Queijo

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

Cedofeita: a street with many lives
23 April, 2017 / , ,

It was one of the marks of urban revitalization in the eighteenth century and one of the starting points for the rebirth of Baixa in the 21st century. A large part of this street is used for pedestrians only, which makes it perfect for shopping, sightseeing and for a quiet meal.

The origins of Cedofeita seem to go back to the sixth century and the Church of São Martinho in Cedofeita. However, being away from the medieval walls and the riverine area, it only fully developed in the eighteenth century. At that time, and in view of the economic and demographic growth of the city, it became important to make the connection between the port and the high zone. Rua de Cedofeita was then known as Rua da Estrada and was one of the pillars of the urbanization plans that were then outlined.

Then the houses that still exist today began to be built: buildings with two to four stories, with balconies on the upper floors and shop windows facing the street. The electric tram used to pass in this street, famous for the shops, like the extinct Bazaar of the Three Vinténs (the sign still exists).

Despite being “forgotten” for some time, Cedofeita has become, in recent years, one of the central points of new life of the Port of Porto, taking advantage of the proximity to places such as Rua Miguel Bombarda or Praça Carlos Alberto.

Curiosities:

On Cedofeita street number 395 King D. Pedro used to live, during the siege of Oporto, where the liberal troops, led by D. Pedro, were surrounded by the supporters of his brother, Miguel.

Carolina Michaelis inhabited at number 159; she was an illustrious literary critic and writer, who was the first woman to teach at a Portuguese university

Rua de Cedofeita is 840 meters long: it starts at Carlos Alberto Square and ends at Rua da Boavista.

The Portuguese writer Agustina Bessa-Luís said that Rua de Cedofeita was “the most beautiful” of Porto.

In the first decade of this century, there was a project to cover the Street of Cedofeita with a glass roof canopy.

 

Mercado do Bolhão (Bolhão Market)
11 April, 2017 / ,

The soul of Porto in a mythical place

The sounds, the smells, the colors, the flavors and the soul of the city, all together in one place. The mythical Bolhão Market, in the middle of Baixa (Downtown), is one of the most picturesque spots in the city.

Classified as a property of public interest in 2006, Bolhão Market will be modernized soon. This may be the last opportunity to get to know one of the most traditional places in the city, where the vendors’ loud chants selling their fresh blend with the colors and smells of traditional products.

Built in 1914, this market is accessed by four of the city’s most central streets: Fernandes Tomás, Alexandre Braga, Rua Formosa and Sá da Bandeira. However, since the first half of the nineteenth century there was a small market there, with some stalls selling fresh produce.

Bolhão (big bubble, in Portuguese) was named after a water bubble formed by a creek that used to run through it.

Hours: Monday to Friday, from 08:00 to 17:00.

Saturdays: from 07:00 to 13:00.

Cinema returns to Downtown
13 March, 2017 / ,

Cinema Trindade, in the center of Oporto, receives spectators again after the closure 16 years ago.

With the appearance of the large cinemas in shopping centers, downtown traditional cinemas lost audiences and eventually had to close their doors. A trend that has reversed now, with the reopening of Cinema Trindade and other ongoing projects.

This imposing cinema was inaugurated in 1916, with the designation “Salão Jardim Trindade”. In addition to a room with more than a thousand seats, it had an outdoor cinema terrace. This now reopened space, has adapted to modern times, with two cinema rooms separated by a foyer: one with 183 seats, the other with 168 seats. The former focuses on the cinema of authors and the latter will be a space for festivals, programmers or independent filmmakers.

The return of the cinema to the city centre will have its high point when Cinema Batalha begins to welcome the future House of the Cinema, a place that, besides showing movies, will also have a space for research. The opening is expected to take place in 2018. The Cinema Passos Manuel, next to the Coliseum, will also be modernized.

Rua do Almada 412, Porto

fotos: Miguel Nogueira/CM Porto

 

Cathedral of Porto: the gem of the city
6 March, 2017 / ,

The Porto Cathedral began to be built in the twelfth century, but over the centuries it received influences of the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo periods.

Just the architecture of the Cathedral of Porto is sufficient to be considered one of the jewels of the city. The Gothic initial construction, conspicuous in the cloister and the Chapel of São João Evangelista, together with the singularity of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and its silver altar. The Baroque of the eighteenth century is present in the frescos of the chancel and sacristy, by Nicolau Nasoni, and in the tiles of the cloister.

The interior of the cathedral is a real treasure, with invaluable furniture, consisting of tables and sinks in rare marble, the mirrors trims, cabinets and a black wood clock in Rococo style.

Outside, the patio of the cathedral is surrounded by the buildings of the Cathedral, the canon house, Episcopal Palace and Town Hall. It is one
of the privileged viewpoints in the city. From that point it is possible to behold the area of Barredo, the River Douro and the city of Gaia.

Avenida dos Aliados – Porto’s living room
3 March, 2017 / ,

It is the heart of the city, where heads of state are received, victories are celebrated and important dates such as New Year or St. John are commemorated.

In fact, the space that is commonly known as Avenida dos Aliados and includes Praça da Liberdade (south) and General Humberto Delgado Square on the north side where the City Hall is located. The central location and its dimensions are ideal to welcome thousands of people, being therefore the chosen place to celebrate great moments of the city.

Granite predominates in the buildings, many of them true works of art built during a golden age of Porto. Plans to make this place a public square go back to the seventeenth century, but it would take several years before the works progressed. The agricultural fields gave way to more modern streets, but it would only be in the nineteenth century for this place to become the political, economic and social center of the city. Cafes and taverns occupied a space which later was replaced by banks and offices and today, in addition to terraces and restaurants, it also houses hotels and shops, as well as statues and sculptures that contrast with the water reflection and granite pavement of recent construction.

The works of the avenue began in 1916, with the demolition of the previous municipal buildings. The new City Hall results from a project of the architect Correia da Silva dating back to 1920, but the installations were only completed in the 50’s.

However, in the 21st century, due to the construction of an underground station in the Aliados, the space would once again be remodeled in a project by the architects Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto Moura.

Pérola Negra: vintage nights in the heart of Baixa
19 February, 2017 / ,

Pérola Negra regains the spirit of the 80s and 90s nights in a space that has an aesthetic “retro”, burlesque and where fun is guaranteed.

It is one of the latest nightlife venues in the city of Porto. Pérola Negra, which for more than 40 years served as a nightclub for male audiences, and has maintained the decoration where dark wood predominates, the walls with mirrors and red-lined benches around a dance floor with stage and crystal ball.

Today it is a place of diversion for several generations, located downtown and, therefore, ideal for a well-spent night. In addition to this new concept of “a space for everyone”, Pérola Negra also focuses on recovering the spirit of the nights of the 80’s and 90’s, when the night began with the opening of the dance floor, with smoke effects and a specific song. Then, as the hours pass, the music changes to more recent songs and the dance floor is overrun with the latest dance music hits.

Rua de Gonçalo Cristóvão 284, Porto

Information / Booking  tel:-935200913

Fantasporto: fantastic cinema at the Rivoli
19 February, 2017 / ,

Between February 20 and March 4, the Porto-Fantasporto International Film Festival will be showing 132 films from 35 countries, including world premieres.

Ranked among the top 10 independent festivals in the world, Fantasporto is part of the city’s cultural tradition. The 37th edition presents the best selection of fantastic and contemporary cinema in the form of long and short films, animation and experimental cinema.

The official opening will begin with The Age of Shadows by Jee-woon Kim. The world premiere will be “TheEvilWithin” (USA), the only film directed by the late Andrew Getty. Award-winning films were also selected from Cannes, Locarno, Venice and Toronto.  Retrospectively, the Taiwanese Action Cinema and a selection of modern Argentine cinema are highlighted.

One of the novelties of this year will be the “Mini Me” section, dedicated to children and pre-adolescent audiences. Apart from all this, the program also includes conferences, workshops and an exhibition.

Teatro Municipal Rivoli, Porto

Tickets: 5 euros (except for the opening and closing sessions)