4 December, 2017 / Garden
It is one of the most recent green spaces in the city and one of the quietest, despite all the movement around it.
Located in the Antas area and surrounded by several cafes ideal for a family breakfast, this garden was built in 1948. Initially it was designated as Velasquez Square Garden (Spanish painter, 1599-1660), name by which it is still known by the older residents.
Its current name – Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro Square – honors the former Portuguese Prime Minister, born in Porto in July 1934 and died on December 4, 1980, in a plane crash near Lisbon.
This circular shaped garden has a sculpture alluding to the politician. With ample space for walking, running or cycling, it also has places with shade and benches that invite you to rest.
The former FC Porto stadium (Estádio das Antas, which is now demolished) was very close by, so on football days it was one of the busiest places in the city.
On the third Saturday of each month, an Antique Fair takes place in this garden.
STCP (Bus): 300,301, 305, 401, 402, 805, 806 and 8M
17 October, 2017 / Garden
From boot camp to leisure activities area
The official name of this space is Jardim de Teófilo Braga, but this garden, located in the center of the city, is better known as Praça da República. It was a boot camp and only in 1915 became a public garden.
It was built in 1790 with the sole objective to be a field for military exercises of Quartel Santo Ovídio, a building that still exists today. This place was also the stage of historic moments, like the Liberal Revolution of 1820, the 31 of January of 1891 (first attempt of implantation of the Republic) and 25 of April of 1974.
It is a rectangular garden, flanked by linden and oak trees, with lawns and palm trees. With wooden benches to enjoy the shade, this garden is also distinguished by the sculptures that adorn it: Baco by Teixeira Lopes, Padre Américo by Henrique Moreira and the República by Bruno Marques, which marks the centenary of the implantation of the Republic.
How to get there: STCP: 202, 304, 502 and 600
A garden with many lives
During the French invasions it was a line of defence of the city and also functioned as a tax collection post. Today it is one of the most central green spaces in the city.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, when this space gained its current configuration, it was called Largo da Aguardente and even had a bullring. In 1898 it was landscaped, a mall and a bandstand were built which still stand today. The name pays homage to the Marquês de Pombal, minister of king D. José, who played a crucial role in the History of Portugal.
In the XXI century, with the construction of the metro line and the urban renewal of Porto 2001 – European Capital of Culture, it gained two new elements: a circular fountain was assembled which for many years had been placed in Praça D.João I and access to the subway station was built, which is camouflaged with hedges of camellias.
On the west side of the garden is the Church of the Immaculate Conception, built in 1938.
How to get there:
STCP Buses: 203, 206, 302, 303, 402, 701, 702, 703, 805 and 800
Underground line: D
The peacefulness of the countryside by the beach
It is the largest urban park in the country, with 83 hectares and a privileged location, very close to the sea. Parque da Cidade is an ideal place to stroll, exercise and relax in the company of a book or even a light meal, taking advantage of the shade.
A verdant expanse stretching up to the Atlantic Ocean, with ponds, lanes for walking and jogging or bike riding and various species of trees and birds. The City Park is a pleasant space, perfect for family outings or to spend long hours of tranquillity and freshness on hot days.
It was designed by the landscaping architect Sidónio Pardal. The first stage of the work was completed in 1993 and the inauguration took place in 2002. The stone walls and pavements create a rustic atmosphere and the direct access to the beach contributes to a connection between the countryside and the sea that makes this space even more attractive.
The City Park also houses the Environmental Education Center.
Hours: until September 30th: every day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
An oasis of tranquillity
Featuring an eighteenth-century country house, Quinta de Bonjóia is a large space in the eastern part of the city ideal for a delightful family outing.
Occupying an area of roughly 40,000m², Quinta de Bonjóia stands out for its country house, which is said to have been designed by Nicolau Nasoni, architect responsible for the Clérigos Tower. Although the main building has never been completed, this property is classified as a monument of public interest.
The unevenness of the terrain allows you to enjoy a privileged view to the level garden and also to the Campanhã Valley, framed by the river Douro. The gardens and woods that make up this farmhouse invite you to spend some hours appreciating it.
In addition of being a pleasant place to stroll and relax, Quinta de Bonjóia also hosts activities, such as Tai Chi classes, markets dedicated to organic farming and workshops.
Rua da Bonjóia, 185, Porto
A romantic garden on the eastern side of the city
An area with more than four hectares of outdoor space, ideal for family walks, sports, “travel back in time” and the discovery of idyllic sceneries of the eighteenth century.
The house dates back to the 18th century and the surrounding garden is redolent with the taste of that time. Built on levels, there are nooks that take one back to other ages, such as a wrought iron fountain, a lake with a grotto or a circular viewpoint. An eucalyptus woodlot, turrets and fountains create an atmosphere that suggests that you to relax and enjoy the tranquility. Incidentally, one of the most interesting places is a maze of hedges.
It belongs to the city council of Porto since 1979 and was opened to the public in the 1990s; during this period some sculptures were placed on the site, and a chapel that existed in another area of the city was also rebuilt on the park.
Rua de S. Roque da Lameira, 2040
Hours: 8:00 a.m. / 8:00 p.m.
Buses: 55, 69, 70, 800, 801, 700
A viewpoint to discover
The garden is also a special place to enjoy the view over the river, up to Barra Da Foz of Douro. Built on terraces, it also houses a fountain that is National Monument.
The garden, located at the rear of the Palace of Justice, is much sought after not only because of the landscape, but also because it is a place where one can stroll and relax at the end of the day. Several activities are held in it during the spring and summer.
The largest tree of the species Ginkgo Balboa in Portugal is in this garden, measuring about 35 meters (roughly 115 ft.). Another point of interest is the sculpture “four Knights of the Apocalypse” by Gustavo Bastos.
Highly recommended and worth a visit is the Fountain of Virtues, which was built in 1619 and also known as the Rio Frio Fountain, considering it was supplied by a river (currently it runs through culvert pipes) and ran through the plot where the Customs Building (Alfândega) is presently located. The water flowed from two spouting stone heads. Visible from the top are the royal coat of arms, as well as five escutcheons and seven castles.
Pure air and a space for leisure
This area, dating back to the thirteenth century, was donated to the Porto Municipality for the construction of a hospital. The construction never took place, but Quinta do Covelo is now an ideal place to breathe fresh air and do sport activities.
This 8-hectare area is one of the favorite places for many people to run, cycle or entertain their children in a large playground.
The estate belonged to a nobleman, who later sold it to the merchant Manuel Jose do Covelo. It changed ownership again in the 1930s and ended up in the hands of the municipality, so that a hospital for tuberculosis could be built there.
The work was never completed and the vast landscaped area has pine trees and cork oaks, and boasts a space that invites leisure, a cafeteria, dirty-jump / BTT track and an Environmental Education Center.
Rua de Faria Guimarães / Rua do Bolama, Porto
Park 7: 00/20: 00H every day
Children’s playground: 10: 00/20: 00H every day
Directions: STCP: 204 and 603
19 February, 2017 / Garden
In one of the busiest areas of the city, this is a place of tranquility, but also of fun on special occasions.
The Monument to the Heroes of the Peninsular War, placed in the center of the garden, is a point of reference in the city, and can be seen from far. But the garden of Mouzinho de Albuquerque Square, commonly known as “Rotunda da Boavista”, has also been a place of leisure for many decades.
The garden, dating back to the early 20th century, was created around the monument, a project by the sculptor Alves de Sousa and the architect Marques da Silva. It is formed by a granite column of 45 meters of height, having at the top a peninsular lion to shoot down a Napoleonic eagle. At the base are sculptures of soldiers.
Even before the construction of the garden, this was a place where fairs were held, but also bullfights or cycle races. A tradition that continues, as the Rotunda da Boavista continues to receive carousels and other entertainment equipment on occasions such as Christmas or São João.
Camellias, liquidambars, and linden trees are some of the species present, but the most prominent are the California centennial palm trees, being of public interest.