A Visit to Porto, the Invincible City

The Portuguese city of Porto may be tiny, but likes to think of itself as “mighty”, a fact reflected in it’s slogan; “a muito nobre, sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto” (the very noble, always faithful, and invincible city of Porto). This is usually shortened to “a Cidade Invicta” (the invincible city) a title won because of Porto’s strong resistance to Napoleonic troops during the Peninsular War.

I visited Porto last year and found little to contradict the city’s proud slogan. The city is full of faded grandeur, an atmosphere created by its mix of Baroque, Neoclassical, and Belle Epoque architecture, all in varying states of preservation. The eclectic and colourful mix of once-grand buildings make for some great photos.

Porto was built along the hills overlooking the Douro River Estuary, allowing for spectacular views and ample photo opportunities. It is small enough to get around by foot, but a trip in one of the city’s beautiful vintage trams is recommended.

A river cruise is another great way to see the city. A cruise will take you down the Douro and past the city’s six bridges. The landscape is stunning, with the 240ft high Dom Luis I bridge providing an iconic focal point.

No visit to Porto would be complete without a trip to one of its port wine cellars, where you can learn about the port-making process, and of course have a little taste of the drink that the city is famed for. The port wine cellars are located on the Ribeira de Gaia, across the river from the Riberia area.

written by emmamary on 2012-01-17 #places #location #local-flavor #select-type-of-location #porto-portugal-river-port-city-faded-grandeur

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