Porta Azul occupies a typical house of Porto’s bourgeoisie of the nineteenth century. It stands out for its bare stone walls covered with relief patterned tiles, where the colour and brightness of the sun's reflection on the glaze of the tiles cheerfully combines with the dark and sombre tone of the granite. This type of house began to be built by the Portuguese returning from Brazil after the country's independence in 1822, they came prepared to invest their fortunes to socially assert themselves as part of the bourgeois elite. In the comfortable interior, of intelligent and sober luxury, the highlights are the stuccoed ceilings, the enhanced stained glass, the palatial layout of the house’s divisions and the central staircase illuminated by a magnificent skylight.
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History and Wine
Porto is a city of medieval districts stretching from Ribeira to the Sé district. The narrow streets are a characteristic of the city, and this whole area is a World Heritage Site. The statue of Vímara Peres can be found on this route.
Porto is the city of the four bridges linking Vila Nova de Gaia to Porto and providing passage over the River Douro. The river of the city of Porto is the 2nd largest river on the Iberian Peninsula at 850 km long, rising at an altitude of 2080m and emptying to the sea at the Douro estuary.
The river can also be crossed by Rabelo boat. These boats have only one stern and do not have a rudder. The single stern and sail brings to mind the boats of Ancient Greece. These boats first appeared on the River Douro in the 12th century and they are nowadays a symbol of the city’s history and the port wine trade.
Although port is responsible for the wealth and fame of the city, it is not produced in Porto, but on the northern slopes of the river valley, which recreate a giant chessboard alongside the river.
The seventeenth century wars between England and France prevented the English from obtaining supplies of French wines and this resulted in the demand for wine from this area.
Brandy was added to the wine so that it could reach England in a state to be consumed, and this addition of brandy led to the unique taste of port being born.
The river can also be crossed by train. The railway arrived first to Vila Nova de Gaia and only reached Porto after the construction of the great railway bridge: Dona Maria Pia bridge.
Monuments to visit:
We highly reccommend a visit to the following monuments:
- Catedral da Sé
- Torre dos Clérigos
- Igreja São Francisco
- Estação de São Bento
- Palácio da Bolsa
Museums to visit:
The City´s Museums.
Take a walk around town and visit some of these museums:
- Museu Romântico
- Museu dos Soares do Reis
- Museu do Vinho do Porto
- Museu do Carro Eléctrico