The city of elegant bridges and mazelike streets, fouled on the map as if a headphones carelessly flung into a pocket. A place that gave name to the whole country and an alcohol drink that used to pack a punch for rugged sailors. The capital’s main rival and the pride of the North in its opposition to the South. We’re talking about Porto – Portugal’s second business and industrial centre after Lisbon and all-in-all one of key South European metropolises.
In order to follow the history of the hero of our story, it takes digging back into 'bearded’ times of Roman Empire. We reach such distant layers to discover a small settlement of Portucale situated in the mouth of river Douro. In fact, lazy Romans mated to towns that occupied both sides of the water artery. On the North bank citizens of Portus found lodgement with inhabitants of Cale that we know today under the name of Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite one.
Later Latins, who erected a large dock here, got shifted by Moors, who did their best for former masters to be forgotten as soon as possible. So, when Europeans got to Porto, they didn’t find constructions from imperial times. They had to sway the city’s history from square one. The whole country borrowed the ancient name of Portucale to become Portugal. And the strong drink produced nearby in the valley of Douro, gained notoriety under the name “port wine”. Without a second thought Englishmen combined in one term – ‘dock’ – both wine and the city from harbors of which the drink was being sent to them.
First thing to strike one’s eye is Porto’s peculiar building development. Streets here are tied into a snaky knot occasionally intersecting at incredible angles. And houses are shoved so close to one another, they resemble subway passengers at rush hours. Speaking of subway, there is one here, and it has illuminated tunnels. Truth be told, the tracks mostly lies above ground so the trains should be more appropriately called express trams.
Porto’s historic centre is listed among UNESCO World Culture Heritage objects. And since the property is common, tourists settled in the old part of the city, having a watchful look around numerous places of interest. Main symbol of Porto is Clérigos Tower 75 meters high – the highest in the country. It can easily serve as a reference point since the offspring of Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni can be seen from every spot of the city. Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto) can serve as another beacon therefore only an utterly topographically challenged person can get completely lost here provided that he sets himself such an honorable globetrotter’s aim.
Walking around the city’s historic centre, you’re sure to be carried away by the sight of Cadofeita and St. Francis Churches with their towers “photographically worn thin” as well as by tremendous Episcopal Palace. Now that we mentioned it, kings from all over Europe used to come to it to get married, they just about queued here! One can also have a look at Stock Exchange Palace where a tour to Arabic Hall full of the shine of gold enjoys great popularity. Main condition is not to touch anything and not to partition anything for souvenirs…
Porto never palls. Even in the eyes of a tourist schooled by experience of antiquity it still represents an admirable sight. Hilly terrain allows finding various sightseeing platforms that busy quays and an endless surface of the Atlantic Ocean can be seen from. It is also the city of bridges; there are 6 of them here: from Ponte D. Maria Pia designed by Eiffel in 19th century to modern metal Ponte D. Luis.
It is remarkable that in the time of erection the length of the latter construction’s arch span was the largest in the world – 172 meters.
However, whether you’re overlooking Porto or closely perusing its every street winding as a “Teutonic pretzel”, hunger pierces stone walls and even amazing views cannot satisfy it. In order to recharge you power we suggest you drop by the iconic café Majestic. According to the biography of Joanne Rowling, author of Harry Potter adventures, she spent quite some time in the place when she was working on the first book about the young wizard. So who knows, maybe splendid coffee collection at Majestic together with aristocratic interior of 1920s, will prompt you to your own writing about magic and miracles attempt. If so – don’t be greedy, share with us. Editorial staff of Outlook as well as our readers will be happy to read your “op-porto-nist” notes!
Photo by: Josep Renalias, Bernt Rostad, open sources
It turns out possible to walk in heaven living on Earth. It is enough to go to the south of a small country of Bolivia, to one of the most extraordinary deserts of the world – Uyuni. When looking at pictures of tourists who had been there you can’t help asking: “Are you sure it isn’t Photoshop-made?”
People who like to travel usually visit the same places. Citizens of Paris, Venice, Rome, Krakow, Dresden have become accustomed to tourists for so long that they often look cavalierly at them, pouting their lips, while less known but no less interesting towns or villages always welcome guests.
Having been to Portugal, at the very edge of Europe, the OUTLOOK could not help paying attention to the local cuisine. Read below about gastronomical predilections of residents and tourists of this once one of the greatest empires in the world.
Finally, one of our favorite categories reached the city, where dollars are considered as the main currency. Thus, we will not have to go around exchange offices and constantly convert prices. So, we go to such a different and exciting New York to spend our 10 dollars.
Here were born composer Mozart and poet Georg Trakl, here Haydn wrote his operas, and many other famous people are connected with Salzburg. But only a small part of local attractions is linked to these geniuses. A city with a fairly small population, thanks to its memorable places was listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.
A function of UNESCO World Heritage Committee is to work in the most careful manner year after year on studying objects that constitute outstanding culture civilizations and are unique in their origins. Under number 569 of an impressive list of the organization city of Gjirokastër, the one from the south of Albania, is located – it is it we are going to study today through the length and breadth.
Except for Russian-speaking countries, nowhere else a round metal attraction is called a devil’s wheel. Named after its creator, Ferris wheel first opened panorama of Chicago city from 80-meter height in 1893. Since then rotating upright wheels with multiple passenger cabins began to spring up almost in every big city. OUTLOOK offers you to learn about the most impressive observation wheels.
There are hardly many travelers who would go somewhere further than city centre where their hotel is situated when on a short-term journey. And if location is a metropolis on top of everything else, such “outside” trips are sure to be put on hold till better occasions.
You often got convinced that skilful hands of a master who puts life into his creation, can transform humble tree stump into a charming violin, piece of plaster becomes an ancient sculpture, and even clay tile looks like a work of fine art.
Jamaicans like rum, marihuana (hardly anybody seems to be bothered by the fact that it isn’t officially legal there), Bob Marley and… attending churches. They also wouldn’t mind winning several Olympic medals as well as competing for a crown of a beauty queen. Today we get acquainted with peculiarities of both serious and funny Jamaica.
Try to guess name of this city and its location: the Croats and the Slovenes are scurrying here and there, they drink beer no worse than regular customers of the best Austrian breweries and combine it with snack of pasta and local seafood. You are unlikely to grasp immediately what it is all about, but we unveil it for you as our today story is about the Italian city of Trieste.
The creative copywriter Masha Goldman travel around half a planet. The girl can compare travels with the useful drug. Masha tells that every trip, even the shortest and least far gives her complete renewal of powers and it seems that the new life begins.
Eastern cities are hard to imagine without a huge number of the commercial places. It is in the genes of the local citizens to sell and buy regardless their age and status. Despite the fact that Istanbul is semi-European city, the metropolis has prominent oriental features. So as to know exactly where to go and what to buy, OUTLOOK talks about the most spectacular markets after returning from Istanbul.
Today we are inviting you for a walk in the oldest neighbourhood in the city of Lisbon, the famous Alfama, an emblematic quarter we often see in the movies and works of popular culture when it comes to the Portuguese capital.
In the world there are two Cartagenas. In both, their inhabitants speak Spanish, love bullfighting, and in the evenings they go to the beach to skip the mojito and breathe the salty wind. But only in one of them a rhythm of hot salsa, placers of emeralds and pearls can burst into a languid city walk, and bright, hot beauties can cross the road. And this is Colombia!
Iceland is a ‘country of ice and fire’, ‘country of thousand rivers and lakes’, countless waterfalls and geysers. There, like in a fairy tale, again and again, you feel like pinching yourself to check if you are dreaming or does it all really exist…
Spiegelgasse is originated from German collocation ‘Mirror street’ or ‘Mirror alley’. However, it is not the biggest and the most important street in Zurich. Moreover, it is vice versa, incredibly short and narrow… Well, being situated in the quiet nooks of the old city in such a way that no tourists could see it.
Euphoria comes with freedom, masterpieces are in museums, and fantastic architecture is done by human and nature… Netherland capital Amsterdam is famous and unknown simultaneous. It might sound strange but Netherlands are not visible in this cosmopolitan and tolerant European city. So, we will try to search for it in the suburbs of the capital, particularly, in the village Volendam.
Despite many pessimistic forecasts of urbanists of the 20th century, on-street trammanaged to stand up competition withsubways, cars and other means of public transport, and even found a second wind in modern city. The beginning of the 21stcentury, with its incredible technologies will surely become history as an era of "tram renaissance".
Croatia is dubbed the pearl of the Adriatic coast. This country in the south of Central Europe recently became a member of the European Union. Now its beauty sites are much visited: every year more than 10 million tourists come to enjoy it, that is even more than population of the country. Let’s find out what attracts travellers so much.