Porto, located on the
banks of the river Douro, is one of the oldest cities in Europe. With a
population of about 300.000, it is the country's second most important city in
terms of economic output and cultural influence. Porto made its name over two
centuries ago because of its connection with the Porto wine industry. It was
elected as "Porto 2001: European Capital of Culture" and recently designated by
UNESCO as a World Heritage City, a fitting recognition not only for its granite
sculpted beauty, but also for the unforgettable panorama of its historic centre
with narrow streets and typical houses arrayed like a cascade right down to the
river, and for its passionate history which determined the country's destiny.
The city's symbols are the "Rabelo" boat, which can still be found docked on the
banks of the river, the baroque Clérigos Tower (built by the Italian architect
Nicolau Nasoni) and the century-old iron bridges, one of them designed by
Gustave Eiffel. Porto is also at the heart of a knowledge and business intensive
region, offering several universities and research institutes, which stimulate a
strong connection with industry, the service sector and IT enterprises.
How to reach Porto
The city of Porto is easily accessible from abroad. Several
airlines offer direct service to
Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport, located about 20 Km from
the City Centre.
From the Airport to the City:
This is the most interesting way for reaching the conference, because it is a
surface-metro. Line E (Violet) connects Airport Station to Estádio do Dragão
Station, and, naturally, to all metro’s network. See a map for help
operates bus lines between Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport and different parts of
AeroBus is a relatively fast connection between the Airport and downtown
Porto, including the city's leading Hotels, every 30 minutes, from 07h45m till
The Euro 1 and 3 days tickets are the best way to travel when
in Oporto. One ticket is the key to all transport modes: STCP urban buses, metro
and 12 urban train stations accept Euro tickets. Historic trams, funicular and
AeroBus are other services available with Euro 1 or 3 days.
The price Euro 1 day costs 4 euros, and Euro 3 days costs 9
On sale aboard buses and STCP, TIP (Metro) and CP/USGP
(suburban trains) and tourism offices.
The average fare between the Airport and the city centre is
around €20.00. Within the city, the rates charged are those shown in the meter
at the end of the ride. For other areas the fare is calculated at €0.35 per Km
after leaving the city limits. Any tolls (round trip) are paid by the client. On
Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, and Monday to Friday between 10 p.m.
and 6 a.m., a 20% rate applies to normal fares.
origins of the urban centre date back to the Late Bronze Age, 8th
century BC approximately. From the beginning, the pre-historic
settlement had important commercial links with the Mediterranean Basin.
During the Roman occupation, the city was already provided with
impressive buildings and controlled an important road network between
Lisbon and Braga.
city was formerly called Cale
from which the name Portugal was derived
wall of Oporto was built in the Roman period. The original layout was
reconstructed in the 12th century, when the borough was donated to
Bishop D. Hugo who issued the first charter. The second layout of the
wall dates back to the 14th century; it encloses the hills of Sé and
Vitória and descends towards the river where the mooring quay and the
Royal Customs House were located.
S. Francisco Church
the 13th and 15th century, the maritime and commercial activities
underwent great development, and the links with important European
ports were strengthened, such as Barcelona, Valencia, La Rochelle,
Rouen, London, Ypres, Antwerp, etc. In this period, the shipyards of
Oporto and Vila Nova de Gaia were the most important ones in the
of the negotiators of 1352 treaty between England and Portugal was born
in Oporto. His name was Afonso Martins Alho, and his surname ('alho' is
Portuguese for 'garlic') has been perpetuated in a popular expression
used to refer to someone clever: "fino que nem um Alho".
1394, the Infante D. Henrique was born in this city. He was the
"navigator" prince, who launched the era of the Portuguese discoveries
Vitória and Clérigos Tower
inhabitants of Oporto are known as
(literally, "tripe eaters"), due to their
sacrifice in order to help the army that conquered Ceuta in 1415. It is
said that they offered all the good meat to the expeditionary forces
and only kept the tripe for themselves. That is why one of the city's
most traditional dishes is "tripas à moda do Porto".
author of the well-known Carta da Descoberta do Brasil (1500) was the
Oporto-born Pero Vaz de Caminha, former servant of the Mint, who was
requested by the King to follow the expedition of Pedro Álvares Cabral
and write the official report of the journey.
Spanish occupation (1580-1640) was a period of great urban and
administrative development. Significant artistic changes began in this
period and reached their peak in the 18th century. It is worth
mentioning the Baroque style, the best exponent of which was the
Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni (1725-1773), as well as several
portuguese masters, such as António Pereira and Miguel Francisco da
Silva. Another important change was the urban reform carried out by
João de Almada e Melo (1757-1786) and the beautiful Neo-classic
buildings influenced by the English colony in the city. It was also the
golden age for the Port wine.
has always been known as a liberal and progressive city, with a
long-standing tradition of defence of civil rights. Its population
withstood a long military siege by the royalist forces between 1832 and
1833. The victory of the liberal cause was partly due to the sacrifice
of the people, who fought to support the Constitutional Chart. As a
result of this heroic action, King Pedro IV described it as the "very
noble, undefeated and ever loyal" city of Oporto.
Clérigos Chruch and
the establishment of the Republic, the city underwent a new renovation
process, among which it is to be noted the construction of the Aliados
Avenue. The project was begun in 1915 by the English Barry Parker and
contined under the influence of the French school, due to architect
Marques da Silva, who had studied in Paris. This harmonious and
beautiful avenue is the northern limit to the protection area of the
is also known as the "city of work", due to the traditional dynamism of
the city's bourgeoisie, as well as to their honesty and
straightforwardness. On the other hand, Oporto's intense social and
cultural life has very special characteristics.
Bishop's Palace and
more information on Porto, the region and their touristic attractions please