JUL 29,2014 - JUL 29,2014 (1 DAYS)
Porto - from Moistero Serra do Pilar to Praça da Batalha:
Orientation: The first half of the day is devoted to walk near the Douro river and to famous, more modern streets in Porto. BUT, the second half - is devoted to the historic centre and, perfectly, complements the routes offered in Porto "Around the Cathedral" and "Historic Centre of Porto" itineraries - in exploring the historic centre of this outstanding city.
Attractions: Moistero Serra do Pillar, Ponte Luis I, Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, Rua de Santa Catarina, Capela das Almas, Trinidad Metro station, Igreja de Lapa, Banca de Materiais (Bank of Materials), Igreja do Carmo and Igreja Das Carmelitas, Praça de Gomes Teixeira and its Fonte dos Leões, Livraria Lello, Igreja de Trinidade, Porto Town Hall, Avenida dos Aliados, Praça da Liberdade, Praca da Batalha.
Start: General Torre Metro station, Vila Nova de Gaia.
End: Praça da Batalha (Sao Beneto Metro station).
From General Torre Metro station walk east, in the direction of the Avenida República (already known from the "Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia- walk along the Douro river - West of Ponte Luis I" itinerary). The House of Culture (Barbot house) located on Avenue of the Republic, in the Jardim da Casa da Família Barbot, Vila Nova de Gaia, district of Porto. This is an old family residence, erected in 1904 on the initiative of the Viennese Bernardo Pinto Abrunhosa, its first owner. However, the name by which is known comes from Ermelinda Barbot, owned the property in 1945. It is listed as a Public Interest since 1982. The Municipality of Gaia acquired the property, recovered it and then installed the Culture House, headquarters of the Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism of the municipality. The Barbot House - House of Culture currently has an area for exhibitions and promotional events such as debates, seminars, workshops, book launches and musical moments. It is the only example of new art in Vila Nova de Gaia and includes elements of Arabian-inspired rooftop tiles neoclassical inspiration and also elements of oriental taste, approaching the building of a French taste of the late nineteenth century. The roof with sunglasses denotes the influence of the style of the Second French Empire of Napoleon III:
Walk along Avenida República to the north (river direction). In the cross-lights of Rua Rodrigues de Freitas - move to the east side of the avenue and climb along Rampa do Infante Santo to Moistero Serra do Pilar (see our itinerary "From Moistero Serra do Pillar to Praca da Batalha"):
There are FIVE WONDERFUL lookout sites over the Douro river in Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia: Torre dos Clerigos, Moistero Serra do Pilar, Crystal Palace Garden (In my opinion - the best, see later in this route !), Ponte Arrabida and along Avenida Paiva Couceiro in the eastern part of Porto). All of these observation points are described in our Porto blogs. I could not resist returning again (see our itinerary "From Moistero Serra do Pillar to Praca da Batalha") to this Miradouro and taking photos, again, of the magnificent views of Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia and the Douro river:
Ponte do Infante:
Ponte Luis I:
Vila NOva de Gaia:
Caves de Gaia:
Barcos Rabelos carrying some Port wine barrels:
Torre dos Clerigos:
Porto Se' Cathedral:
Funicular of Vila Nova de Gaia:
Metro on Ponte Luis I:
We are, now, in Vila Nova de Gaia but we head to Porto itself. This is the first itinerary in Porto that we cross the Douro river (from VNDG to Porto) via Ponte Luis I ( we did the same in the "Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia- walk along the Douro river - West of Ponte Luis I" itinerary - via Ponte Arrabida). From Moistero Serra do Pilar - head west on Largo Aviz toward Rampa do Infante Santo, Largo Aviz turns left and becomes Rampa do Infante Santo, turn right onto R. Rodrigues de Freitas, turn right onto Av. da República, 210 m, turn right onto R. Casino da Ponte and turn left. We cross Ponte Luis I on the level dedicated to the Metro - over a wooden deck for pedestrians.
Funicular dos Guindais and Avenida de Gustavo Eiffel from the bridge:
Ribeira from the bridge:
Vila Nova de Gaia from the bridge:
The yellow Metro line (No. 5) crossing the bridge:
View from the northern (Porto) enge of the bridge:
Cross Rua Saraiva de Carvalho. On your left the ascent to the Porto Se' - Cathedral and on your right, north-east: Torre dos Clerigos. Head north on Av. Vimara Peres, 17 m, slight left toward Calçada Vandoma (leading to the Cathedral), 23 m. Turn back and take photo of the Porto Se':
Turn right onto Calçada Vandoma, turn left onto Av. Dom Afonso Henriques, 28 m. Turn right onto R. Chã, 110 m and continue onto R. Cimo de Vila. In selecting this route - we opted for the more shady options... Continuing along Rua Cimo de Vila we arrive to an intersection
and coontinue climbing up along Rua de Santo Ildefonso. Opposite us stands Church of Saint Ildefonso. The Igreja de Santo Ildefonso is an eighteenth-century church situated near Batalha Square. Completed in 1739, the church was built in a Baroque style and features a retable by the Italian artist Nicolau Nasoni and a façade of Azulejo tilework. The church is named in honour of the Visigoth, Ildephonsus of Toledo, bishop of Toledo from 657 until his death in 667. Two notable features of the church are the Retable and the blue-and-white tiling. The artist and architect Nicolau Nasoni designed the retable, which was created and installed by architect Miguel Francisco da Silva in 1745. Approximately 11,000 Azulejo tiles cover the façade of the church, which were created by artist Jorge Colaço and placed in November 1932. The tiles depict scenes from the life of Saint Ildefonso and figurative imagery from the Gospels:
With your face to the church, continue with the road on your LEFT (west to the church) - Rua de Santa Catarina. The Rua de Santa Catarina is the most commercial artery of downtown Porto, with much of it now forbidden to traffic and reserved only for pedestrians. The planning was due to the visionary spirit of Almadas whose works of redevelopment in the second half of the eighteenth century, brought to Porto a new life. The street was extended to the Alameda Brandy today Marquês de Pombal. In this extension was named Bela Princess street. Much of the land to the west of the street, especially where later was erected the Grande Hotel do Porto in the first half of the nineteenth century were lands belonging to Dona Antonia Adelaide Ferreira, the Ferreirinha Port wine. The Rua de Santa Catarina features clothing stores, shoe stores, stands selling handicrafts and jewelery - remnants of the permanent fair located at the Battle Square (Praca da Batalha) before the works of redevelopment of the city's downtown. Here are Azulejos opposite the Bolhao Metro station and belong to the pretty Capela das Almas. The facade is really nice and well preserved. The tiles feature the life of St. Catherine:
Capela das Almas interior:
We climb north along Rua Rua de Santa Catarina. In the 4th or 5th turn to the left to Rua de Gonçalo Cristóvão. Walk along this street west and on the 3rd turn, if you turn LEFT (we continue westward) to Rua Bon Jardim to face the Trinidad Metro station - the most central and busy station in Porto. It is the only station where lines A, B, C, E and F (which run as one line within the metropolitan area) intersect with line D. It is in the centre of Porto and is the busiest station in the system by passenger numbers:
We continue west along Rua de Gonçalo Cristóvão and cross rua de Camoes and arrive to Praça República. With the establishment of the Republic in Portugal in 1910, the square's name was changed to the Republic Square.
Along the EASTERN side of the Republic Square walk north along Rua Regeneração. Turn left to Largo de Lapa to face the Igreja de Lapa. Father Angelo Sequeira Oporto received on year 1755 the papal permission of Pope Benedict XIV, with generous donations of the faithful community, to build up the Chapel of Our Lady of Lapa's Confessions. The construction of the church dragged on for over 100 years due to scarcity of resources and the Napoleonic invasions. Since 1835, the interior of the church houses the heart of King Pedro IV. From 1837, it is accommodated in a monument built by Costa Lima and located in the Main Chapel, on the Gospel side:
Monument of King Pedro V:
The huge organ of Lapa Church:
We return south to the Praca Republica. We stick to its west side with our face to the south. Continue south along the narrow Rua dos Mártires da Liberdade road (I suspect the road does not bear a signage in its beginning). BTW, on the south-east corner of the squre - Pingo Doce supermarket. Cross Rua dos Bragas on your right. Take the left, shady side of the road. On your left you pass through Rua Pinheiro. Step a few steps onto this alley to admire the inhabitants passion for football:
Continue south along Rua dos Mártires da Liberdade to arrive to Fonte das Oliveiras in Largo de Alberto Pimentel:
Continue south along Rua das Oliveiras. On your right Teatro Carlos Alberto with restaurant / bar (under reconstruction). I took my lunch, here, in Restaurante a Lareira, Rua Oliveiras 10, Porto, T: 4050-448. See Tip below. In the end of Rua Oliveiras we arrive to Praca / Jardim Carlos Alberto, which we are familiar with from our itinerary "Historic Centre of Porto". Immediately on your right is the Banca de Materiais (Bank of Materials). Here, in the Palace of the Viscounts Balsemão, Plaza Carlos Alberto, 71, 4050-157 Porto, Tel (+351) 223 393 480. http://balcaovirtual.cm-porto.pt/PT/cultura/patrimoniocultural/bancodemateriais/catalogosemateriais/Paginas/catalogosemateriais.aspx
You can find a marvelous collection of Azulejos. This is a project initiated by the Municipality of Porto in order to safeguard, enhance and raise awareness of the numerous different specimens such as Portuguese ceramic tiles. No photos allowed. Walk south along Praca Carlos Alberto and turn right to the Igreja do Carmo and Igreja Das Carmelitas (already covered in "Historic Centre of Porto" itinerary:
With our back to the couple of churches - we turn LEFT (EAST) to Praça de Gomes Teixeira and its Fonte dos Leões (Lions Fountain) (visited in the "Historic Centre of Porto" itinerary:
Leave this square from its south-east side and continue down to the Rua das Carmelitas. On your right you see the the Jardim da Cordoaria / das Oliveiras and the Torre dos Clerigos ("Historic Centre of Porto" itinerary). On your left at Rua das Carmelitas No. 144 - the world-renowned bookstore - Livraria Lello & Irmão. Along with Bertrand in Lisbon, it is one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal. In 2011, the travel publishing company Lonely Planet classified Livraria Lello as the third best bookstore in the world. Also known as Livraria Chardron or simply Livraria Lello (Lello Bookstore). In 1881, José Pinto de Sousa Lello established a bookstore in the nearby Almada street. In 1894, Mathieux Logan sold the old Chardron Library to José Lello which, holding a partnership with his brother Antonio Lello, kept Chardron with the registered name of "Sociedade José Pinto Sousa Lello & Irmão", which then would be referred to as "Livraria Lello e Irmão". The bookstore is located in a house decorated in Art Nouveau, with some features of the Gothic revival. You must go to see the inside of the building as it is spectacular. It has a beautiful stain glass ceiling that gives the store a beautiful glow. The staircase is worth a look. Note that it is very popular so gets quite crowded. Don't let the crowds keep you away.Photos strictly NOT permitted inside the store: If you come early, at 9, before the store opens, they do allow you to take pictures then:
All the houses in the left (north-east) side of rua das Carmelitas - are exceptionally beautiful:
With your face in R. das Carmelitas down (south-east) turn LEFT (north-east) onto Galeria de Paris, 140 m. Turn left onto R. Santa Teresa
37 m and turn right onto Rua de José Falcão. Climb up whole Rua Falcao and note houses nos. 86 - 150 with their ceramic tiles. In the end of Rua Falcao - turn RIGHT to Rua da Conceição and walk until Largo de Mompilher and Café Candelabro (MON - SAT 10.00 - midnight). The Chandelier is an open café-bookstore opened in December 2009. The shelves are being filled with books, mostly about film and photography. The cafe' buys used books, especially about photography, cinema, theater, plastic arts. They also seek photographs and postcards, old and new:
If the Café Candelabro is on your right - there is a dmolished red pagoda on your left. We continue in the same direction we've arrived to the square and Café Candelabro - EAST to Rua Doutor Ricardo Jorge. WE walk until the end of Rua Dr. Ricardo Jorge until we arrive to Praça Trindade.
On your left is the Igreja de Trinidade and on your right the City Hall of Porto. The Trinity Church was built during the nineteenth century, according to project architect Carlos Amarante (who is buried in this church). The church was opened for worship on June 5, 1841. In the chancel stands out the large panel of the painter José de Brito, representing the Baptism of Christ:
Porto Town Hall is, formally, in Avenida dos Aliados. Built from 1920 to 1957 in Neo-Baroque style. It is a very impressive building with Doric and Corinthian marble pillars. Its south facade is especially magnificent in the afternoon sun. It is one of Porto’s landmarks, along with Clérigos Tower, this is one of the most famous monuments among tourists. Porto City Hall is an imposing building that dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Also note worthy is the solid 70m high tower with a carillon clock.
Salvador Barata Feyo monument in Avenida dos Aliados:
With the Camara Municipal (CM) (City Hall) on your back - walk south along Rua Clube dos Fenianos which changes to Avenida dos Aliados. The Allies Avenue honors the Allies of World War countries. The magnificence of this avenue and its architectural complexes make it the "living room" of the city, the place par-excellence where Portuenses prefer to celebrate their special days. All the buildings are of quality granite, many of them crowned with skylights, domes and spires. Midway through the avenue on either side are the two entrances of the Aliados Metro Station of Line D. It was the construction of the station that triggered the complete overhaul of the avenue, one work that was given to architects Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto Moura. On the afternoon of May 15, 1982, Pope John Paul II presided over a Mass celebrated next to City Hall, in the Avenida dos Aliados, in his first apostolic visit to Portugal. At the top, where stands the Town Hall of Porto, the avenue gives way to Praca General Humberto Delgado:
The Avenida dos Aliados is lined with many sculptures. Here is a statue of Garreto (1799-1854) in the Avenida dos Aliados:
The Avenida dos Aliados ends, in the south, in Praça da Liberdade:
Head east on Praça da Liberdade toward Praça Almeida Garrett, 65 m. Turn right onto Praça Almeida Garrett, 31 m. Sharp left onto R. 31 de Janeiro, 19 m. Turn right onto R. da Madeira, take the stairs, 290 m. Turn left onto R. Cimo de Vila, 5 m, continue onto R. de Santo Ildefonso and Praca da Batalha will be on the right. From here it is 2-3 minutes walk to Sao Beneto Metro station.