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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

 

 

 

12 REASONS TO BUY PORTO.CARD
9 January, 2018 / ,

Find out why Porto.CARD may be your best buy for 2018!

 

1 – Attractive price

It is possible to buy the pedestrian Porto.CARD from 6 € and if you opt for the digital version, you only pay 5.70 €. Moreover, is it advantageous to buy a one day card without access to public transport? Here’s an example: on the 1-day cruise ticket on the Douro you get a discount of up to 20%. In fact you save more than € 10.00 on the price of the card.

 

2 – With or without public transport

Porto.CARD exists with the option of having public transportation or not. This pedestrian version is an excellent option for those who already have a car or want to rent a car, motorcycle, bicycle, etc. Everything is available in Porto.CARD. If so, you can get discounts of up to 57% of SABA car parks.

 

3 – Unlimited free access to public transport

If you choose to use public transport, in any of the different choices with transportation from € 13, (1, 2, 3 and 4 days), you have unlimited access to all Metro lines without restriction, as well as on the bus lines of STCP and urban CP Trofa-Valongo-Espinho. What you cannot forget is to validate your Andante Tour ticket whenever you change lines and / or transport.

 

4 – Diversified cultural and tourist attractions

Porto.Card offers you the most current and diversified cultural and tourist attractions: from museums to monuments, tourist circuits (by foot, by car, bicycle, motorcycle, minibus, classic car, boat, sailboat, helicopter, segway, tuk tuk, and rickshaw), there are umpteen ways to get around Porto with generous discounts. Restaurants and shops are among the more than 170 points of interest to discover in Porto.CARD

 

5 -Ease and convenience when shopping

Did you know that you can buy the Porto.CARD in advance at short.visitporto.travel/portocard, at the Official Tourist Offices or at the Nova Câmbios (New Currency Exchange) office at Porto Airport? You can also buy the Porto.CARD digital at buyportocard.visitporto.travel or on the app (Porto Card – Official City Pass) and start using your card as soon as you arrive at your destination. There are several options for your trip: Metro, STCP buses or the reservation of a transfer with discount from Porto.CARD. Just choose the most convenient option!

 

 

5 – Restaurants with a variety of cuisine types

In Porto.CARD you will find restaurants from traditional cuisine to signature cuisine, the latter awarded with a Michelin star. Obviously, the traditional “Francesinha” is present in three specialty restaurants, as well as other types of cuisine. Discounts up to 15%

 

6 – A world of tourist circuits

Did you know that with the Porto.CARD you get discounts on more than 80 tourist circuits, which include trips to Porto, to the Douro River and Minho? Day or Night Tours? Panoramic bus or cable car? From Gastronomy to literature? Contemporary architecture or the Historic Center? What becomes difficult is the choice. Discounts up to 25%

 

7-The most authentic way to learn about Port Wine

With Porto.CARD you have the opportunity to tour the 9 Port Wine Cellars, get to know their history and to taste this internationally acclaimed wine. The card offers you one cellar with free entrance and on the remaining cellars your discount can reach 30%, from November to March.

 

8- Families with children

There are many places to visit with family and to entertain the little ones with discounts of up to 50%. Take the time to relax or have fun with the kids while saving a lot of money.

 

9-For the romantic tourist

If you are looking for romanticism in Oporto this is the city of choice. With Porto.CARD you have the most romantic places to visit, to enjoy good gastronomy and to shop and surprise those who you most love! Discounts up to 20%

 

10 – For the youth

Activities for young people are present in Porto.CARD.  There are many options for the younger travelers who seek challenges! From surf lessons, Jet Boating, Cannoning, Rafting to jeep trails in the Douro and Gerês national Park.

 

11- Modalities adapted to different needs

The Porto.CARD exists in 8 modes: 1, 2, 3 and 4 days, with or without transport, which allows you flexibility in choosing the most convenient card. Being the official card of the city offers you security and confidence.

 

12- Personalized advice at tourist offices

If you choose to buy Porto.CARD at the official tourist offices, you will be personally attended to by attendants who know the city very well and are able to advise the best solutions and options for your enquiry. Be sure to visit us and be pleasantly surprised!

Port Wine: A Christmas Tradition
5 December, 2017 / ,

In Portugal, Christmas is always a good excuse to drink, buy or gift someone with Port Wine. Visiting the Port Wine Cellars is the best way to have the best wines, at the table or on the Christmas shopping list.

The diversity is great and each type of Port wine is suitable for specific dishes and specific moments, as it is best way to know this wine well, because only then will you be able to enjoy it in its plenitude.

The best place to learn everything about Port Wine are the cellars, located in Vila Nova de Gaia. It was there that, until the last century, the Rabelo boats, coming from the Douro estates with kegs of wine, were docked and stored. In these enormous warehouses located by the river where light and humidity help the taste, color and texture of the wine can be perfected.

Today, the cellars are must see places for those who visit the city of Porto. In addition to getting to know the complete history of Port Wine and the journey made by the grapes from the Douro to the moment they arrive in your glass, you will also have the opportunity to taste and buy various types of wine.

We highly recommend a visit to the Ferreira cellars and the Sandeman Celllars.

 

CELLARS

Ferreira

 

 

Avenida Ramos Pinto, 70, Vila Nova de Gaia

Hours: 10h00 – 12h30 / 14h00 – 18h00

 

 

 

Classic Visit | Price € 10 pax:

Visit to the Cellars, including the Room of the Belongings of Dona Antónia and the Museum, with two Port Wine tasting.

Visit Dona Antónia | Price € 20 pax:

Visit for small groups, with extensive wine tasting and a selection of 5 Port Wines, in a reserved area.

Visit Casa Ferreirinha | Price € 14 pax:

Visit to the Caves, with three Douro Wines Casa Ferreirinha DOP winetasting, producer of the famous Barca Velha.

 

Sandeman

 

 

Largo Miguel Bombarda, 3, Vila Nova de Gaia

Opening Hours:

Every day | 09h30 – 12h30 / 14h00 – 17h30

 

 

 

Classic Visit | Price € 10 pax:

Guided tour with wine tasting of two Reserved Porto wines

Visit 1790 | Price € 20 pax:

A guided tour that begins at the Sandeman Museum and ends with a wider winetasting of Port wine at 1790

Visit “100 Years of Old Tawnies” | Price 40 € pax:

A visit to discover the long tradition of Sandeman in the aging and blend of Port Wines. At the end of your visit, a comprehensive winetasting of a century of Tawnies – tasting of 10, 20, 30 and 40 years – in a reserved and intimate area that also houses the Sandeman Antique Bottles Collection.

Visit Premium | Price 13 € pax:

A guided tour of the Sandeman Cellars, with winetasting of three superior wines (White, Ruby and Tawny).

Points of interest:

Sandeman bottle collection – more than 60 samples of handmade English bottles from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Suggestions by Joaquim de Almeida
6 November, 2017 / , , ,

With a career spanning almost 40 years and more than 100 films and television series, Joaquim de Almeida is the most famous Portuguese actor in the world. He lives in the USA, where he worked for the most part of his career, but spends some periods of the year in Portugal.

He was born in Lisbon in March of 1957, being the sixth of eight children to a couple of pharmacists. His career, however, would turn out to be another and, still very young, chose to pursue the profession of actor. When the Conservatory of Lisbon was temporarily closed due to the upheaval caused by the revolution of April 25, he moved to Vienna to continue studying. At that time he landed a job as a gardener.

In 1976 he went to New York to study acting with Lee Strasberg, Nicholas Raye and Stella Adler, while working in a bar. His first major role came in “The Soldier” in 1981, but it was “Good Morning Babylon” that launched him into an international career that has not stopped since. He has worked with actors such as Harrison Ford, Gene Hackman, Antonio Banderas, Robert Rodriguez, Steven Soderbergh, Benicio del Toro or Kiefer Sutherland.

As a guest star on TV shows such as “CSI Miami” or “Bones” – where he often plays the role of a Latino villain – he has also appeared regularly in other series, such as “24”, “Queen of the South” or “Training Day.” Simultaneously, he continues to work with Portuguese filmmakers and actors, achieving box office successes and winning several awards and distinctions.

 

Best bar

On a more cultural level, I suggest Maus Hábitos. To go out late at night, any day of the week, Casa do Livro.

Best Restaurant

It is difficult to choose one. Thus, there are three:  Oficina of chef Marco Gomes or the LSD of the chef João Lupo and also the less known Paparico, perhaps the biggest secret to eat well in Porto

Romantic Site and Tour

Sail the Douro River on the boat that was built for the 60th birthday of Queen Elizabeth of England. Spend two nights in cozy rooms and enjoy first class service. September and October is the best time to do so.

Secret of the City

It is the view that one has from the space of the Cooperativa Árvore. How beautiful it is to see the Douro from there, spend the afternoon between a wine and a snack … Very close to the center and yet, still so unknown to the people of Porto.

Ribeira – Porto’s most famous postcard
17 October, 2017 / ,

The landscape is unmistakable and world famous because of its beauty and uniqueness. The houses and the narrow streets frame the Douro River, where rabelo boats and bridges help create a colorful and unforgettable picture.

Ribeira is one of the most famous areas of the city and a must for anyone who wants to get to know, photograph or video the city and retain this landscape to memory. In fact, the history of Porto is intrinsically linked to Ribeira, since it was from here that the city was built as well as with the soul of the locals themselves.

The Douro River has long been a place of trade and exchange of cultures; Merchants from around the world left their goods here, taking products  such as Port Wine around the world, which has ever since given fame and wealth to this unique city.

The area of ​​the Ribeira is included in the classification of World Heritage attributed by UNESCO. Walking through its narrow streets, contemplating the river or being charmed by its monuments and gastronomy are “compulsory” activities for you to visit the city.

Points of interest:

Ribeira Square: The fountain was rebuilt after archaeological discoveries in the 80’s. At that time a sculpture by José Rodrigues, was also installed in the Cubo da Ribeira square. The statue of St. John the Baptist, made by John Cutileiro, was placed in the fountain in the year 2000. With an enviable location and several terraces, it is the ideal place to stop a bit and enjoy the scenery.

Senhora do Ó Chapel: The building dates back to the 17th century and refurbished in the 19th century after the destruction which occurred during the liberal struggles. In the interior, an altarpiece stands, carved at the beginning of the 18th century. The image of Senhora do Ó, comes from the chapel, Porta da Ribeira, which was demolished in 1821.

Pillars of the Suspension Bridge: The bridge opened to the public in 1843, a response to the need for a permanent crossing between Porto and Gaia. It only existed for 44 years, since the population did not trust its security. It was replaced by the Ponte de Luiz I; however, there are still two pillars in stone, in the form of an obelisk that remain.

Shrines at the bridge: a bas-relief that recalls one of the most tragic moments in Porto’s history. During the French Invasions hundreds of people tried to escape to the other shore by a bridge made of boats. The bridge sank with the weight and still today candles are placed in memory of the many victims of this tragedy.

Postigo de Carvão: The only one left of the 18 doors and shutters that existed in the Fernandine Walls, built in the 14th century around the city of Oporto. The two streets, namely, Rua da Fonte Taurina and Cais da Ribeira were connected, where boats were docked on the Douro River.

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.