Living history

The city’s memories by “Porto Desaparecido

An enthusiasm for history and the traces of time led Manuel de Sousa to create this community in 2012. Just a year later, he was receiving the Municipal Medal of Merit by Oporto’s City Council. The community was born from the conviction that the best way to understand the city we live in is by preserving its history.

Portuguese pavements at Aliados – Avenida dos Aliados

At the turn of the century, Avenida dos Aliados still had a central median and sidewalks cobbled in Portuguese pavements. In 2005, as part of an urban development project directed by Álvaro Siza Vieira and Souto de Moura, the pavement was replaced by large granite slabs. Part of this sidewalk, however, was moved to the nearby Rua de Sampaio Bruno, where you can still see it.

The Piers of the Suspension Bridge – Cais da Ribeira

They began building the Suspension Bridge in 1841 to replace the ill-fated Bridge of Boats. It remained in operation for 45 years, until it was replaced by the Luís I Bridge. Today, only the pillars and the ruins of the guardhouse remain, on the right bank of the Douro. They are classified as Real Estate of Public Interest.

Crystal Palace – Rua de Dom Manuel II

Inaugurated in 1865, Oporto’s Crystal Palace hosted the first Portuguese Expo as well as hundreds of fairs, exhibitions and concerts. It was eventually demolished in 1951 to make way for the Sports Pavilion. Today you can still visit its magnificent gardens.

Nossa Senhora de Vandoma – Calçada de Vandoma

Topped by the statue of Our Lady of Vandoma, the Vandoma Gate was the city wall’s main entrance for centuries. According to legend, the statue was brought by a French prelate from Vendôme. The door was demolished in 1855 and the statue was moved to the Oporto Cathedral, where it has since become the patron saint and the main icon on the city’s coat of arms.

Oporto’s hidden gems by “Porto à la Carte

Jean-Pierre is a Parisian who has been living in Portugal since 1983. He is passionate about photographing the city where he came to live for professional reasons. He began taking long walks to fight cholesterol and discovered the pleasure of sharing Oporto’s stories.

Alfândega’s old railway branch – Avenida Gustavo Eiffel

Built in 1880, the former railway line was a key link between Campanhã Station and the old customshouse. On the right bank of the Douro, at the top of a flight of stairs, you can walk along 4 km of this branch, with the added opportunity to go through two tunnels with amazing views.

Bandeirinha da saúde – Rua da Bandeirinha 27

On Rua da Bandeirinha – Small Flag street, a flag used to be flown between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. Hoisted above the wrought-iron granite turret which you can still see, the flag set the mooring limits for boats in times of plague.

Jardim das Virtudes – Calçada das Virtudes

The Virtudes promenade, behind the city’s main courthouse, leads to a lovely terraced garden. It used to be the operating site of Oporto’s Horticultural Company. Some argue that this is the most beautiful spot in the city to watch the sunset.

Capela Santa Catarina e Senhora dos Anjos – Largo Santa Catarina 3

This baroque chapel is blessed with stunning views of the city. It’s perfect for capturing the point where freshwater and saltwater meet, the confluence of the Douro in the Atlantic. Taking a camera is mandatory.