Porto - from Casa da Musica to Torre dos Clerigos

JUL 26,2014 - JUL 26,2014 (1 DAYS)

Portugal

1 DAYS

Citywalk

Porto - from Casa da Musica to Torre dos Clerigos:

Attractions: Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque, Avenida da Boavista, Casa da Música, synagogue "Kadoorie - Mekor Haim", Jardim Botânico do Porto, Parque e Jardim da Fundação Serralves, Jardins do Palácio de Cristal do Porto - Crystal Palace Gardens (!!!), Torre dos Clérigos.

Start: Casa da Musica Metro station.

End  : Sao Beneto Metro station.

Weather and Orientation: the first half of the day can be gloomy, cloudy or rainy. But, PLEASE reserve, at least, two sunny, bright hours, during the second half -  for the stunning Crystal Palace Gardens !!! I recommend NOT coming to the Crystal Palace Gardens in the 1st half of the day. Fog obscures, frequently, the view over the Douro but when it lifts the view is fantastic. The gardens are wonderful, especially when the afternoon sun hits the parks at such an angle to create beautiful lighting amongst the trees. But the icing on this cake is the views across the Douro River to Vila Nova de Gaia and Ribeira. Anyone who enjoys scenic views and photography would love these gardens.

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The Itinerary: from the Casa de Musica Metro station walk south to the Rotunda da Boavista - which is the nickname for the Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque. A large roundabout in Porto, Portugal. Its official name honours Joaquim Augusto Mouzinho de Albuquerque, a Portuguese soldier that fought in Africa during 19th century. A column in the middle of the square (Monumento aos Heróis da Guerra Peninsular) commemorates the victory of the Portuguese against the French troops that invaded Portugal during the Peninsular War (1807–1814). The column, slowly built between 1909 and 1951, is a project by celebrated Porto architect José Marques da Silva and sculptor Alves de Sousa. After the death of the sculptor Alves de Sousa, still young (38 years), the work was completed under the direction of sculptors Henrique Moreira and Sousa Caldas.

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Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

There are eight streets reaching the Rotunda da Boavista roundabout:

Avenida da Boavista (twice)
Rua de Caldas Xavier
Rua da Meditação
Rua de Júlio Dinis
Rua de Nossa Senhora de Fátima
Avenida de França
Rua de Cinco de Outubro.

The Casa da Música, Porto's modern music venue, is located in the west side of the Rotunda da Boavista. Casa da Música (House of Music) is a major concert hall space in Porto, which houses the cultural institution of the same name with its three orchestras: Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Orquestra Barroca and Remix Ensemble. It was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas with Office for Metropolitan Architecture and Arup-AFA, and was built as part of Porto's project for European Culture Capital in 2001. But was only finished in the first half of 2005 and immediately became an icon in the city. The Building engineers were Arup (London) together with Afassociados (Porto). Inside Outside (Petra Blaisse) designed the large 13 curtains, ranging from 22mx15m to 65mx8m, and the gold leaf wood grain pattern on the large auditorium. The building was inaugurated on 15 April 2005. The building's design has been highly acclaimed worldwide. The New York Times, classified it as the "most attractive project the architect Rem Koolhaas has ever built" and saying it's "a building whose intellectual ardor is matched by its sensual beauty". It also compares it to the "exuberant design" in Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. "Only looking into the original aspect of the building, this is one of the most important concert halls built in the last 100 years". The NY Times compares it to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, in Los Angeles, and the Berliner Philharmonie. The House of Music is the main place in Porto to go either for classic music or for any other type of music. Most of Fridays at 9 pm you can listen the Symphonic Orchestra of Porto performing any of the main compositors symphonies. Worth to see a concert and worth to see the building. You can go inside the lobby, free, and you already see enough... Restaurant at the top floor is open on weekdays only ! Food and concerts reasonably priced. The concert hall is with excellent acoustics and enthusiastic audience. I was at a free performance of the three orchestras of Porto and enjoyed the music, the hall and the audience. Easy to reserve tickets at a reasonable price, or free -  online. Opening hours: BUILDING, TICKET OFFICE AND SHOP: Winter: Monday to Saturday: 10.00-19.00, Sundays and holidays: 10.00-18.00. Summer: Monday to Saturday: 10.00 -18.00, Sunday and Holidays: 10:00 -18:00. RESTAURANT: Monday to Wednesday: 12.30–15.00, 19.30–23.00, Thursday to Saturday: 12.30–15.00, 19.30–00.00, Sundays and Holidays: Closed. On performance days, the Bar in the Restaurant closes one hour after the end of the performance. Guided Tours: +351 220 120 210, visitasguiadas@casadamusica.com.

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Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Ceremonial Brass Bands Parade - Casa da Musica square:

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Old houses along Avenida da Boavista, opposite Casa da Musica - the ultimate contrast to the architectural gem:

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We walk west along Avenida da Boavista (part of the famous avenue is under reconstructions).  Turn left (south) in the 2nd intersection to Rua Guerra Junqueiro. WE are heading to the synagogue "Kadoorie - Mekor Haim" ("source of life" in Hebrew) is located on Guerra Junqueiro street No. 340. Its construction started in 1929 and was inaugurated in 1938. It is the largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula. In the year 1929, Laura Kadoorie, the wife of a Jewish philanthropist of Iraqi origin, Sir Elly Kadoorie died, and her children saw in this unfortunate event the necessity to honor their mother, a descendant of Portuguese Jews who fled the country from the Inquisition. This tribute was reflected in the monetary support of the Kadoorie family to the construction of large parts of the Synagogue of Porto, which was renamed "Synagogue Kadoorie - Mekor Haim.". For unclear reason I found the Synagogue closed on Saturday ("Shabat"):

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Return back to the Boavista avenue, turn LEFT (west), pass Rua António José da Costa on your left - and you'll see the Porto Palacio Hotel (Boavista 1269), as well, on your left:

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A bit further west, still on the left side (south) of Boavista avenue - you see the Casa das Artes with its interesting garden (nothing to see inside the house):

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opposite, on the north side of Boavista avenue - an art gallery of sculpture. MON-FRI 10.00 - 12.30, 14.00 -19.30, SAT 14.30-19.00:

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Turn left to Rua António Cardoso and walk (south) until its end to enter the Jardim Botânico do Porto (Botanical Garden), Rua do Campo Alegre 1191. Due to temporary works there - the entrance might be from Travessa Entrecampos. Free admission. Guided tours in foreign languages (also free). Open: winter weekdays only: 09.00 - 17.00, summer - weekdays 09.00 - 18.00, weekends 10.00-18.00. The Porto Botanical Garden might not be the most spectacular green space in Porto, yet it might worth a visit. The garden was created in 1951 under the patronage of the Portuguese state, on the former manor of Joao Henrique Andresen. During the time, the Porto Botanical Garden was greatly diminished, both in terms of size (now, its surface amounts to some 4 hectares) and plant life patrimony (though the diversity of the flora is quite notable). However, at present the garden shelters sundry rare and exotic plant species, featuring highlights like the cacti garden, a greenhouse and a historical garden (the latter comprising a rose garden). There’s also a lake situated within the perimeter of the Botanical Garden, the habitat of a fairly numerous population of water lilies. The Porto Botanical Garden is managed by the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto. Part of the greenhouses are closed to the public:

"The boy of Bronze":

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Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We leave the botanical garden from its north exit, turn left (west) along Rua Campo Alegre and turn right (north) to Rua Ruben A. Part of the homes, in these roads, are empty. Turn LEFT (west) to Rua da Venezuela and walk the rest of the road until its end. Then, turn right (north) to Rua João Grave. On your left: McDonald branch and WC.  Arriving, again, to Avenida Boa Vista - turn LEFT (west). Here, the famous avenue is not under massive reconstructions with their unavoidable noise and dust. On the left side Porto Magnum project and another commercial / residence complex and on the right - the Bessa(****) hotel. We continue walking west, crossing a bridge over an highway. Note, on your left side (south) house No. 2533 (Colegio Universitaria da Boavista Tangerina). Another house with nice ceramic tiles is in # 2609. Here, is the house # 2671. On its right side a luxurious restaurant:

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We turn left (south) in the next square (note the sculptures) to Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa:

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In Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa we walk south-west and turn left (south) (2nd turn) to Rua Serralves. The entrance to the Parque e Jardim da Fundação Serralves is easily noticed with  yellow color. MUSEUM: Tuesday to Friday: 10.00 - 17.00. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 10.00 - 20.00. PARK: Mon: 10.00 - 19.00 (JUL-SEP), Tuesday to Friday: 10.00 - 19.00. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 10.00 - 20.00. Mon: the Park is closed on Mondays, from April till June. VILLA: Tuesday to Friday: 10.00 - 17.00. TICKET OFFICE: Monday to Friday: 10.00 - 18.45. Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: 10.00 -  19.45. Café: Monday to Friday: 12.00 - 19.00. Saturdays: 10.00 - 19.00. Sundays: 10.00 - 20.00. Restaurant: The Restaurant is closed at dinner time, unless a dinner reservation is made. For reservations: 226 170 355.  ADMISSION FEE: Museum and Park – € 8,50, Park – € 4,00. 50% DISCOUNTS: Cartão-jovem (Youth card), Senior citizens aged over 65, Porto Card. Free - Sundays: 1.00 – 13.00 with free tickets use valid until 13.30, Under 18s, Higher Education Students (B.A. Hons. Degrees and Master’s degrees). Serralves is a cultural institution, one of the most important of all the country. It includes a Contemporary Art Museum, a Park and a Villa, each one an example of contemporary architecture, Modernism, and Art Deco architecture. All the area is filled with beauty and creativity, consisting of several spaces, such as the Park, the House, the Contemporary Art Museum, the Library, the Auditorium and this amazing Park.

The Museum, designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, is now the most visited museum in Portugal (more than 300,000 visitors per year) and one of the most relevant in the contemporary art circuit in Europe. The first step towards establishing the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art was taken on November 27, 1996, when the Board of Directors invited Viicente Todoli to become the museum’s Artistic Director, alongside Assistant Director, João Fernandes. Serralves Museum opened in 1999 in order to endow Porto with a space dedicated to contemporary art. The Museum’s core objectives are the constitution of a representative collection of Portuguese and international contemporary art. The building of the Serralves Museum was designed by architect, Álvaro Siza, who was invited in the early 1990s to design a museum project that took into consideration the specific characteristics of the physical setting and the need for integration within the surrounding landscape. The architectural plans for the Serralves Museum were first drawn up in 1991 by the architect Alvaro Siza. The new building was finally inaugurated in 1999, harmoniously integrated within the surrounding urban area and the pre-existing spaces of the gardens of the Park and Villa. The exhibitions - normally three parallel exhibitions – are organized on a quarterly basis. Since the inauguration of the Museum building in 1999 a total of 4.6 million visitors -of all ages and from all parts of Portugal and the world - have visited the various spaces of the Foundation. These results position the Foundation in first place amongst Portuguese Museums and amongst Europe’s most highly visited contemporary art museums with similar characteristics. The Museum has exhibition rooms and store rooms for works of art, distributed across three floors. The upper floor is the location of the cafeteria/restaurant, esplanade and multi-purpose rooms, the entrance floor has exhibition rooms and a bookshop and the lower floor houses the library and auditorium. Access to these spaces is facilitated via a square-shaped atrium located next to the reception, complemented by a cloakroom and information area, in an area adjacent to the Museum entrance. The Museum building also has a workshops area and another area for activities of the Educational Service, together with complementary areas such as a shop and a large terrace overlooking the Park. As in most of Siza’s buildings, the furniture and fittings were also designed by the architect, including lighting fixtures, handrails, doorknobs, and signage. Materials include hardwood floors and painted walls in gesso with marble skirting in the exhibition halls, and marble floors in the foyers and wet spaces. Exterior walls are covered with stone or stucco:

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The Museum is surrounded by water canals:

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Casa de Serralves is a villa and museum located inside the park of Serralves. Owned by the Serralves Foundation, the house was built by the second Count of Vizela, Carlos Alberto Cabral and designed by the architect José Marques da Silva. It is a unique example of Streamline modern architecture in Portugal. Casa de Serralves - in addition to serving as the Foundation’s head office - is an important extension of the Museum of Contemporary Art, used for presentation of temporary exhibitions. Originally designed as a private residence, the Villa – which is a unique example of Art Deco architecture – and the Park – inspired by the modernists – were commissioned by the 2nd Count of Vizela, Carlos Alberto Cabral. With its façade overlooking the Rua de Serralves and the main entrance located in the Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa, Casa de Serralves is a significant example of Art Deco style. The building was constructed on the outskirts of Porto between 1925 and 1944, combining neoclassical, romantic and art deco elements.

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"Aquário", work by Ana Vieira, in Casa Serralves:

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Casa de Serralves - the Chapel:

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The Rosaleda:

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Serralves Park spans 18 hectares and is constituted by a wide variety of magnificent, harmoniously interconnected spaces: formal gardens, woodlands, and a traditional farm. Designed by the architect Jacques Greber in the 1930s, it constitutes a singular reference within Portugal’s landscape heritage. A visit to the Park, via any of its circuits, involving different routes and durations, is a privileged opportunity to come into contact with nature and appreciate the wide diversity of trees and shrubs, constituted by roughly 200 species and a variety of ornamental exotic plants. In addition, the gardens and the park also constitute a museum setting: visitors to the park will encounter sculptures from the Serralves Collection that are permanently on display. The landscaped gardens designed by João Gomes da Silva, on the approximately 18 hectars of land, preserved the most important species already existing on the site. The new Serralves Park opened to the public in 1987, and was subject to a recovery and enhancement project initiated in 2001 and concluded in 2006. Currently on display in the park are sculptures by Claes Oldenburg, Dan Graham, Fernanda Gomes, Richard Serra, and Veit Stratmann.
Claes Oldenburg, Plantoir:

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Naivy Baghramian, "Cold Shoulder":

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Aristido Maillol - The draped bather 1921:

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Gilberto Zorio - "The Porto Canoe":

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"Double Exposure" by Dan Graham:

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The lake in the Park:

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The Ginko Patio - Arboretum:

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The Park Fountain:

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View to the Park from the Museum:

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Jardim das Aromáticas:

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WE RETURN THE WHOLE WAY EAST TO CASA DA MUSICA (in case you booked a concert...) or to the Rotunda da Boavista / Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque square (our starting point).  It is a 3.2 km. (45 minutes) walk. There are no buses - since part of Boavista Avenue are under constructions works. We take the road Rua de Júlio Dinis to the south east. There are no least than 9 branching from Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque. Let us imagine the square to a clock. If Avenida da Boavista is in the 10 hour position (north-west) than Rua de Júlio Dinis is in the 5 hour. On your left is the Brasilia shopping centre (WC inside) and on your right (further after passing Largo Ferreira Lapa on your right) ) - the Vice-Rey hotel. Continue direct and cross Praca Galiza. On your left towers the Lusitania (insurance company) high building.
Continue south along Rua de Júlio Dinis until its end - and you arrive to Jardins do Palácio de Cristal do Porto - Crystal Palace Gardens. Jardins do Palácio de Cristal do Porto - Crystal Palace Gardens - This beautifully landscaped park is dominated by a huge domed pavilion built in 1956 which replaced the 19th century iron-and-glass "Crystal Palace." Today's pavilion serves as a venue for concerts and sporting events. It is surrounded by a lake, flowerbeds, and roaming peacocks, all overlooking the Douro River, of which there are DIVINE, fantastic views. These romantic gardens were designed in the 1860s by German landscape architect Emile David, to engage the then Crystal Palace, replaced by Rosa Mota Pavilion in the 1950s. It opens at 8 a.m and closes at 9 p.m. (Summer) or at 7 p.m. (Winter). The entrance is free. There are public restrooms.

The Lime Tree Avenue is the most striking axis of this Park and is flanked by Almeida Garrett Municipal Library (where the Gallery of the Palace is located), the acoustic shell and the Chapel of Charles Albert of Sardinia (built in 1849 by Princess Montléart). They are located near a restaurant and a terrace overlooking the lake. The building is not the most modern anymore and not-so-well kept. The pavillion is usually closed and has nothing interesting to it, besides its cool architecture:

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Avenida das Tilias:

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The Gardens of the Crystal Palace include the so-called Garden Emilio David with some beautiful specimens of rhododendrons, camellias, pines, beeches and Ginkos, beyond allegorical statues and fountains to the seasons:

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Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Portugal, visiting things to do in Portugal, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The themed gardens are also represented, including the Garden of Aromatic Plants, Garden of Medicinal, Garden Twin City (opened in 2009) and still the Garden of Feelings (opened in 2007), where the statue of Pain Teixeira Lopes . Other enjoyable spaces are the Forest (Bosque), the Avenue of Chestnut-of-India and the Garden of Rose Garden that is enriched with significant elements of the artistic heritage of the city. Nearby magnificent seven specimens of palm trees of California arise:

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Palmeiras das California:

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The chapel that Augusta, Princess of Carignano and later Montléart Princess built in honor of her brother, King Carlos Alberto:

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Everywhere, but, mainly, from the Feelings Garden (Jardim dos Sentimentos) there are strategic viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the Douro river and the city:

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Views from the Roses Garden (Jardim das Rosas):

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There are a few peacocks roaming into the Feelings and Roses Gardens:

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sculpture near the lookout terrace of the Cafe' (yellow house) in the lower level of the Gardens:

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We walk down to a lower level of the gardens where there are many ponds and typical Portuguese mosaics:

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Sorry ! the only exit from the Crystal Palace Gardens is from its north side. You ends up walking all the way back up to the top of the park, in order to drop back down to the Douro and walk to Ribeira or to the Centro Storico. You have to climb up and trace back the whole way to the main entrance (where you started your visit in the gardens...). From the main entrance head east (right) on Rua D. Manuel II, 88 m and turn right again onto Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira. Walk till the end of Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira and turn LEFT (EAST) to Rua da Restauração. Here it is quite along (and boring) walk along this street until you approach the historical centre of Porto. In the end of Rua da Restauração (cross-lights) turn RIGHT (south) to Campo dos Mártires da Pátria. On your left a park (Jardim da Cordoaria) and on your right the SECRETARIA GERAL DAS VARAS E JUÍZOS CÍVEIS DO PORTO (Palace of Justice):

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Here, our daily route converges to another Porto Itinerary: "Historic Centre of Porto - World Heritage Site". We bend left (north-east) along Rua Campo dos Mártires da Pátria and continue in Rua Senhor Filipe de Nery to hit the Torre dos Clerigos. From here, it is 5 minutes walk to Sao Beneto Metro station. Head southeast on R. das Carmelitas toward R. Arquitecto Nicolau Nazoni, 30 m. Slight left onto Rua dos Clérigos, 110 m
Continue onto Praça da Liberdade, 120 m. Turn right onto Praça Almeida Garrett, 100 m.

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