Porto City Guide

Porto is Portugal’s second city. It is also capital of the region known as the Norte NUTS II. It is a city that is situated at the estuary of the Douro River of Northern Portugal. It is also the largest city in the region. The city is home to 220,000 people. It is also considered to be the heart of culture and the economic area in the region. The history of the city was first recorded in the 4th century during the Roman occupation of the city. There are Proto-Celtic and Celtic remains of Citadels that were found in the heart of Porto however, thus implying that there was an occupation of Celts in the area for some time. The Roman period made the city develop into a very important commercial port. They were trading with Lisbon and Braga (then Olissipona and Bracara Augusta). However, the city will fall under Moorish occupation in the 7th century. In the 9th century, the city was then conquered by the Portuguese under King Alfonoso III’s reign. It has then become part of Portugal. In 1387, the city was the location for the wedding of Philippa of Lancaster to then King of Portugal, Joao I. This marriage was the symbol of a strong military alliance between England and Portugal. Philippa was that daughter of John of Gaunt. This alliance is the world’s oldest military alliance. And NATO is there to prove that. During the 14th and 15th centuries, Porto’s shipyards witnessed the beginning of the conquest of Henry the Navigator. It was here where he left in conquest to Morocco and Africa. And it was because of this that the people were then called tripeiros. This was because the good meat was stocked in the ships while the tripe and other off-cuts and by-products were what the citizens of Porto ate. As a matter of fact, tripe is one of the most important cultural dishes in Porto today. In contemporary times, the city was able to host the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix in 1960 and 1958. The historic center of the city was declared World Heritage Site in 1996. The heritage site is divided into two concentric zones. First of the two is the protected area, which houses the second zone, called the classified area. The classified area is where the medieval borough is. It is located within 14th century Romanesque walls. The heart of the city is where the Port lodges are located. You will find them easily as they sport red roofs. These roofs are emblazoned with names of well-known brands and companies who manufacture Port wine are based. You will be able to experience a very different tour in the twisting and narrow streets with odors of blending and aging of the world famous drink. There are also guided tours available in some lodges where you will learn the process of how Port wine is made.