Between the River Douro and the sea, the Foz Velha (old Foz) sometimes seems like its own city.
Inhabited since prehistoric times, this fertile area for agriculture and fishing was always inviting for shepherds, fishermen and farmers, but also members of the clergy.
In the 19th century, Foz, which until then did not belong to the city of Oporto, began to be visited for leisure activities, especially in the summer season. The wealthier families built summer homes there, and gradually the demography itself was altered making it the noblest area of the city.
Strolling through Foz Velha is to discover narrow streets and centuries-old houses, but also unique landscapes and corners where the sea lurks.
The author of the page Porto a Penantes shows us, through images, all the beauty of Foz Velha.
As you stroll through Porto, make sure to stop along the way to look at the balconies, doors and windows and discover true works of art in wrought iron.
Present in major works, such as the D. Maria and D. Luís I bridges or the Ferreira Borges market, iron was not only used in architecture and engineering. Wrought iron, because it is more malleable, has been (and continues to be) used in more delicate decorative pieces. It is made in an artisan way and with a knowledge that has been passed down through generations.
Walking through Porto you will discover hundreds of small works of art present on the doors, windows and balconies. Geometric motifs, flowers, plants and animals “carved” in wrought iron, decorate houses making them unique. In some you can even see, among the iron lace, the date of the construction or the initials of its owner.
The author of the page Porto a Penantes has toured the streets of the city and in this edition shares some examples of the beauty of wrought iron.
They function as a way to enjoy the landscape but they are also part of the landscape. When viewed from the outside, they may surprise you by their beauty, originality and artwork.
Surrounded by tiles, hidden by iron balconies and flower pots or opening onto the narrow streets, the windows of Porto have a charm that only a quiet and time-consuming walk can fully apprehend. Noble palaces, large houses of the bourgeoisie of centuries past, and smaller and humble houses all have in common their windows which are also a testimony of the everyday life of different times. They served to see who passed, to talk to neighbors and even to date.
Nowadays, the windows of Porto are another excuse to discover corners of the city, as did the author of the page Porto to Penantes, who shared with the readers of Hey Porto some of the photographs that illustrate the beauty of these architectural elements.
A stroll through the streets of Porto, even for those who know the city, always reveals surprising details. Closely looking at the doors of older buildings might actually reveal an art almost forgotten: the door stops.
Before the invention of the bells, visitors were announced by knocking on doors. To ensure an audible sound and for the visitors not to hurt their hands, it was necessary to create an accessory placed in the door itself. The stops are often authentic works of art, representing hands, flowers and even animals. Using materials such as bronze, iron or brass, the stops were quite popular during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Aluminum doorbells and doors have made this object almost unnecessary, but there are still many houses that with them, even if they are no longer used.
The author of the page Porto a Penantes toured several points of the city and photographed some of the most original examples: from Foz to Baixa, passing through the historic area, there are many stops that adorn the city gates.
When you walk through the harbor, it’s worth spending some time discovering these little details.
“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.