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!
Автор галереи: Josep Renalias, Bernt Rostad, open sources
One can get from Kyiv to Helsinki by car in less than a fortnight. In day and a half by railway. For more impatient travelers planes exist. Several airlines fly from Ukraine to Lapland. By sky it will merely take you two hours to reach crystal surface of the Gulf of Finland, famous saunas and clothes made of deerskin.
Beaches, forests, deserts are not enough to say that you have already visited many parts of the earth. Definitely, you wanna something extraordinarily special? Why not! Humanity has flown into space a long time ago! Frankly speaking, the journey to Mars will seem too expensive even for a millionaire. After all, a trip outside the Earth costs the budget of a personal island.
Often the Balkan countries are deemed to be something very close to us in terms of mentality, culture and traditions, that traveling there seems to be something second-rate, no match for a trip to Europe, or to some islands. However, today we would like to tell about magic Balkan cities that can compete with the much favoured tourist centres!
Ancient Fez medina is firmly holding time in a criss-crossing maze of tiny alleyways and picturesque shops. The medieval town of craftsmen does not recognize modern technology, however, it is not difficult to trace a full production of cute handbag with embossed lettering. The leather for souvenir is produced there, in courtyards, and at a reasonable cost a tannery owner would reveal details of folk art with a millennial history.
Impressions of this city depend much on what you have visited before being introduced to it. After Los Angeles it may seem very business-like and culturally rich, after New York – provincial and old-fashioned somehow. In any case, it has a bright and memorable face of a gentleman from Massachusetts.
5 tons of water fall off into the ravine every single moment, roaring, raising steam and disseminating spatter in all directions. ‘Liquid wall’ of Iguazu Falls extends its crescent on the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Having taken tens of millions of visitors in a couple of hundred years, the Postojna Cave made Slovenia being proud of it because of the main tourist attraction in the whole country. The maze of stone tunnels, halls and corridors, carved by nature itself, plus modern services for guest travelers have made these grottoes one of the most popular in the world.
Balkans is the travel destination that is becoming more and more popular year by year. Perhaps, every traveler has its own favorite countries of the region, however, we cannot avoid telling about the main state of this semi-island Serbia.
Kyrgyzstan is called Middle Asian Switzerland. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, caves, cols and green meadows aren’t a speck inferior in terms of aesthetics to European ones yet travelers haven't duly appreciated this country so far. Across-the-board exploration of the land by the state’s guests has only just begun. And alongside hotels that are being swiftly erected, ordinary yurts are still offered for residence to feel local natural.
The Japanese are very creative people, especially when it comes to rice. If they have some extra spare time and large spacious rice paddies, then routine process of growing an agricultural crop turns into art...
There are few ones similar to it. Around 400 meters long. With its special atmosphere. Small town inside a city. Cars don’t drive here. Here you can feel old uneven stone-blocked pavement beneath your feet with paintings on buildings around being so delusive that one cannot make out where there is a real window-balcony-door and where it is merely a picture…
The week passed in a desperate anticipation of vacations. I’ve been enthusiastically terrorizing GoogleMaps zooming in and out the precious dot of terrain against the background of deep blue ocean turn and turn about. At a reduced scale I saw open jaws of the Hollywood Alien, impudently teased by a midge at its very nostrils.
Porto is rightly considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world thanks to its south gothic architecture, intertwined with the natural beauty and the atmosphere of freedom. Every piece of it takes a breath away by its grandeur, but the most stunning wow-attraction is the legendary district of Ribeira.
Braşov is the heart of Romania with the German valves. Saxon spirit is insistently living in the houses with gingerbread roofs, and sounds in the bell ringing of Catholic Cathedral, the largest in Eastern Europe. Even the gates look waiting not for tourists but medieval knights.
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.