Posts Tagged ‘Oporto’

From Praça da Cidade do Salvador to Praça de Gonçalvez Zarco

December 17, 2009

This post is a continuation of theMatosinhospost.

Check the path I followed on this post: HERE

Fisherman’s roundabout -> Cheese Castle

Find: "Fisherman's roundabout"; Transparent Building; Sealife and "Cheese Castle" in this photo

Following South after the Fisherman’s roundabout you’ll be between the Transparent Building to the West and the borders of Oporto City Park (“Parque da Cidade”) to the East.

Parque da Cidade” is the largest green area in Oporto.

The Transparent Building (“Edificio Transparente”) is named like this because of its façade with huge windows towards the sea. It is a building dedicated to leisure, it features a gymnasium, a surf school, a bycicle shop and bars downstairs near the beach.

At the end of this path you’ll reach “Praça Gonçalves Zarco”, another roundabout. It has a statue dedicated to the knight and navigator Gonçalvez Zarco –administrator of the settlement and colonization of Madeira Island in 1425. This roundabout is usually known as “Castelo do Queijo” Cheese Castle roundabout because of the rock upon Saint Francis Xavier Fort was built.

SeaLife was built recently near this roundabout.


Note: One of the  sightseeing bus lines parks in this roundabout to allow tourists to visit the Castle. It works in “hop on – hop off” fashion. This means the tourist can use his daily ticket to enter or leave the buses as he pleases, exploring at his own pace. More information can be found on the official site: HERE. I expect to create a post on the subject later.

Oporto: MixPão Pastry

December 16, 2009

MixPão (“pão” means bread in Portuguese) is a pastry/ snack-bar located in Matosinhos, on the Eastern side of the Fisherman’s roundabout “Praça da Cidade do Salvador”. (marked on the map)

It is particularly known for its croissants: simple, with chocolate or with cream.

1. Chocolate filled Croissants

As you can see in photo 2 there’s also other cakes like apple cake (1,20€/slice), carrot cake (1,20€/slice) and also other options like pizza slices (1,25€/slice) or “pão com chouriço” (bread baked with “chouriço” inside).

Nice place for breakfast or mid-afternoon snack.

Oporto: Matosinhos

December 15, 2009

Matosinhos – Oporto following the Atlantic Ocean and Douro River (map)

Please check the path I followed in this post: HERE


Fisherman along the coast - Matosinhos

Matosinhos is a city in the metropolitan area of Oporto. It’s located northwest of Oporto near the Atlantic Ocean. This location made the city a reference in fishing and sea transport industries but it is being converted into a tourism destination in the last years. It houses the biggest artificial port in Portugal: “Leixões” which was built in the end of the 19th century and continuously improved until present day.

It is a regular destination for people from nearby Oporto city for jogging or biking along the coast line; for surfing; for drinks at the bars at the weekend; and because of the restaurants.

This connection between Matosinhos and the ocean lead to the creation of multiple restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood dishes.

Leaving "Matosinhos Sul" towards the beach

Leaving from “Matosinhos Sul” metro station and following the avenue towards West you’ll reach Matosinhos beach. During winter the sand is usually empty except for the surfers getting their daily fix from the sea (photos taken a few days ago… December). On the northern side of the beach there is a group of statues dedicated to the suffering of the wives and daughters who remain at land waiting for their men to return from the sea in times of storm.

“Praça da Cidade do Salvador”

Fisherman's roundabout


Also known as “Fisherman’s roundabout” has a giant hanging net in its center dedicated to the fisherman from Matosinhos. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as “Anemone roundabout” because of the shape of the net.

Note: Photos taken 1st – 12th December, 2009

Inside Carmo and Carmelitas churches

November 4, 2009

Note: Religious content – This following post shows the inside of Roman Catholic Churches in Oporto, if you don’t want to see the photos please skip it.  Sorry for the inconvinience.


For more information on the location of this churches please check the “Praça de Gomes Teixeira” post.



Carmo Church

Carmo Church or “Church of the Third order of Carmo” was built in the second half of the XVIII century in Rococo style, following the project by José Seixas. In 1912 the outside wall was covered by a huge “Azulejo” designed by Silvestre Silvestri.

In the interior, golden chapels have a very detailed ornamentation. view photo 1 ; view photo 2 ; view photo 3

There is a painting on the ceiling of the main chapel. view photo 4



Carmelitas Church

The monastery of the Carmelitas barefoot friars and its Church were built in the first half of the XVII century. The church is designed in style with Classical and Baroque influences. In the XVIII century the interior was enriched with gilded chapels and pulpits. The monastery part of the building was converted into military quarters after the extinction of the religious orders in the XIX century.

The backgrounds of the chapels look simpler than Carmo Church. view photo 1 ; view photo 2

There is a chapel on the entrance dedicated to the Virgin Mary apparitions in Fatima. view photo

 There is a Pipe Organ upstairs in the choir area. view photo

Oporto: Using the Metro

November 1, 2009
Metro Porto

Metro vehicle

Metro do Porto”  is a light-rail network that currently provides transport services to 68 stations in the metropolitan area of Oporto. The network is relatively new so it will look small and inappropriate for the city needs but new lines are already planned or being built.

I’ve been asked for help by tourists using the Metro in Oporto since it can be a bit confusing at first. Hope this helps you master it from the arrival.

Getting your first title:

As an example we’ll imagine you are at the Airport and you want to go to Trindade in the center of Oporto.

This is a ticket vending machine:

Oporto Metro Tickets

Metro Ticket Machine

1-      Check the list of destinations to know what kind of title (“título”) you need – in this case z4.

2-      Use this button to change the language to English

3-      Follow the onscreen instructions and this buttons to buy a new “Andante” card with one z4 title in it

4-      Pay your Andante + title (1,95€ in the example).

Note: If the machine you’re using doesn’t accept banknotes try the other one in the same station.

5-      Collect your Andante card

6-      Validate your ticket (*)

Now that you have an Andante card check the indicators above the tracks that indicate the direction of the next vehicle and estimated time to arrival to that station.

(*)You must always validate you andante by “showing” it in front on one of this sensor machines before getting in the vehicle:

Validating machine

Validating machine

You’ll get a green light and an indication in the display of how many titles there are left in your Andante card.

The title you used is valid for 1hour (on the metro, bus and some trains) so you can change line or even to get into a bus during that hour with that very same title but please always re-validate the card in the sensor machines you encounter.

After using your title in the Andante Card you should keep it, it is reusable -it will allow you to change the kind of title or to recharge titles in the same Andante machines. 

Helpful Links: Metro do Porto official site ;       Full Metro Map




ticket + validating

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The size of the photos

October 29, 2009

Some visitors commented that the blog’s photographs should take less time loading. I can clearly reduce their resolution a bit but I need some more opinions to help me decide. Please contribute.

Thank you for your time.

Inside Trindade Church

October 15, 2009

Note: Religious content – This following post shows the inside of a Roman Catholic Church from the XIX century, if you don’t want to see the photos please skip it. Turning site previews off temporarily could also be a good ideia. Sorry for the inconvinience.


Central Dome

I found it hard to translate the name of the Saints to English and unfortunately I don’t know anyone with such specific knowledge so I did my best to add understandable notes, thank you for your comprehension.

As mentioned in the “trindade and aliados” post, the Trindade Church was built during the XIX century in neoclassical fashion following the design of the architect Carlos Amarante. The interior has the shape of a cross, the Main Altar in front of the main entrance and there’s one secondary Altar on each side: right and left. On the wide corridor towards the main Altar and before the crossing there are 3 smaller chapels on the walls of each side. view photo

As you enter the church, on your right wall you can see the chapels of (main door to main Altar direction):

  • “Sagrado Coração de Maria” (Sacred Heart of Mary) view photo
  • “Nossa Sra. das Dores” (Holy Lady of Pains) view photo
  • “Nossa Sra. da Conceição” (Holy Lady of Conception) view photo


On the left wall (main door to main Altar direction):

  • “Sta. Teresinha” (Saint Teresa) view photo
  • “S. José” (Saint Joseph) view photo
  • “Sagrado Coração de Jesus” (Sacred Heart of Jesus) view photo


Then you’ll reach the crossing with the two secondary Altars on each side:

The Altar on the right has “Nossa Sra. de Fátima” (Lady of Fatima) in the middle, “Santa Catarina” (Saint Catherine) on the right and “Santa Inês” (Saint Agnes) on the left. view photo

The Altar on the Left has “Santíssima Trindade” (Holy Trinity) in the middle, “S. Pedro” (Saint Peter) on the right and “S. João” (Saint John) on the left. view photo

The Main Altar has a big painting of the Baptism of Christ in the middle, “Nossa Sra. da Paz” (Lady of Peace) on the right and “Nossa Sra. das Mercês” (Lady of Grace) on the left. photo 1 ; photo 2

As you leave through the main door you can see the statues of two golden angels and a pipe organ in the balcony above. view photo

Praça de Gomes Teixeira

October 13, 2009

Continuing the walk from Clerigos Tower: Google Maps

Walking around the Reitoria building you could see from the Clerigos Tower and leaving the “Garden of Cordoaria” towards North you’ll reach the “Gomes Teixeira Square” also known by “Leões” (Lions because of the fountain in the centre).

It is a Square deeply linked to the traditions of the students of Oporto University, it is here where the freshman of all the Houses of the Oporto Academy are to be Baptized – the ceremony after which they increase their rank from a mere uneducated “Beast” to a “Caloiro” – the lowest rank of the university student under the code of Praxe.

In the West part of this square there’s also a group of Cafes with a lot of tradition among students, especially the 100 year old “Piolho”. It is usually full of students having a meal, a drink, training academic music (see Tuna) and even studying; open day and night.

To the north you can see two different churches side by side: Carmelitas on the left and Carmo on the right. Carmelitas is part of a monastery built in the first half of the XVII century combining Classical and Baroco influences. Carmo was built in the second half of the XVIII in Rococo fashion; it has a huge panel of Azulejos on its outside wall painted by Silvestro Silvestri.

Click to see the Azulejos in google maps

Clerigos Tower

October 12, 2009

Continue the path i followed in the “Trindade and Aliados” post: Here

The Tower is a part of the Clerigos Church and both were projected by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni and built between 1731 and 1763. It’s an example of the Baroque and Rococo architectural style in northern Portugal.

The Clerigos Tower is considered by many the main symbol of Oporto. With its 6 floors and 75 meters (246ft) it is the highest tower in Portugal. The entrance for visitors is located on the side of the building and for 2€ you can enjoy all of its 225 steps and of course a magnificent view over the city. The stone stairwell is tiring and a bit tight but luckily there weren’t many visitors on the ocasions i was there.

Be careful if you’re taking children with you because there is a considerable space between the stones that form the outside barrier of the upper balcony, luckily never heard of anyone falling down. I don’t recommend going all the way up if you suffer from vertigo.

Opening Times:


April to October (9:30 – 13:00 || 14:30 – 19:00)

 November to March (10:00 – 12:00 || 14:00 – 17:00)

 August (10:00 – 19:00)


8:45 – 12:30

15:30 – 18:30

 Sundays: 10:00 – 13:00 || 21:00 – 22:20


Note: dowloading the higher resolution pictures will probably give you better options to zoom in and out.


Oporto City Hall

October 10, 2009

The construction of the building started in 1920 and lasted for almost 50 years. The project was inspired in the palaces of northern France, with a central tower with 70meters (nearly 230ft) with its top made of metal. The initial project was by the architect António Correia da Silva but the construction finished under the direction of Carlos Ramos who introduced some changes.

In front of the main door there’s a statue of the writer Almeida Garrett.


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