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coat of arms map
Coat of arms of Porto
Porto (Portugal)
Basic data
Region : Norte
Sub-region : Porto metropolitan area
District : postage
Concelho : postage
Coordinates : 41 ° 9 ′  N , 8 ° 37 ′  W Coordinates: 41 ° 9 ′  N , 8 ° 37 ′  W
Residents: 237,591 (as of June 30, 2011)
Surface: 41.43 km² (as of January 1, 2010)
Population density : 5735 inhabitants per km²
Height: 104  m
Postal code : 4000, 4049, 4050, 4099, 4100, 4150, 4169, 4199, 4200, 4249, 4250, 4269, 4300, 4349, 4350, 4369
District of Porto
flag map
Flag of postage Position of the postage circle
Residents: 237,591 (as of June 30, 2011)
Surface: 41.43 km² (as of January 1, 2010)
Population density : 5735 inhabitants per km²
Number of municipalities : 7th
Administration address: Câmara Municipal de Porto
Praça General Humberto Delgado
4049-001 Porto
President of the Câmara Municipal: Rui Moreira

Porto [ 'poɾtu ] is the second largest city in Portugal . The city, whose name literally means port in German , is located on the Atlantic coast on the north bank of the Douro, which flows there . It has 238,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the district of the same name . Together with the metropolitan region of the same name , in which 1.76 million people live, it forms the economic and cultural center of northern Portugal.

Already a commercial port city since the time of the Roman occupation , Porto developed into one of the most important European trading metropolises in the age of European expansion . The historic center is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site . While this importance lost with the decline of the Portuguese colonial empire , Porto remains the economic and industrial center of Portugal to this day.

Porto is eponymous and known for the port wine , which is transported from its growing area to Porto, stored in the neighboring Vila Nova de Gaia and exported from Porto to the world. In 2001 Porto was the European Capital of Culture .

In Spanish and English , and more rarely in German, the term Oporto is common for postage . The masculine specific article o placed in front of the name Porto in the Portuguese language is understood as part of the city name.


The Douro in the evening light

The city of Porto is strategically located in the northern Portuguese region of Douro Litoral on the north bank of the Douro just before it flows into the Atlantic Ocean . Directly on the opposite side of the river is the town of Vila Nova de Gaia , with which Porto is connected by several bridges spanning the valley.


The climate classification according to Lauer and Frankenberg (1987) assigns the climate of Portugal to the maritime and semi-humid climate of the subtropical climate zone . Due to its location directly on the Atlantic, it is shaped by the temperature behavior of the sea: Summers are not too hot and winters are relatively mild. Temperatures rarely drop below 0 ° C. Snowfalls are even less common.

The months with the highest rainfall values ​​are October to April. The decisive factor is the location on the cool Canary Current , which sweeps along the coast of Portugal in a southerly direction. It often causes coastal fog in the warm season . In winter, Porto is often in the area of ​​influence of the Atlantic lowlands, which bring a lot of rain in the coastal area. The total of the annual precipitation averages 1267 mm.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Porto
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 13.5 14.3 16.2 17.5 19.6 22.7 24.7 25.0 24.0 20.9 16.7 13.9 O 19.1
Min. Temperature (° C) 5.1 5.9 6.8 8.3 10.6 13.5 15.0 14.6 13.9 11.4 7.9 5.9 O 9.9
Precipitation ( mm ) 171 169 112 112 89 53 16 22nd 64 131 152 176 Σ 1,267
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 4.0 4.6 6.2 7.2 8.3 9.1 9.9 9.5 7.5 5.9 4.6 4.0 O 6.7
Rainy days ( d ) 14th 13 11 10 9 6th 2 3 6th 10 12 12 Σ 108
Water temperature (° C) 14th 13 13 14th 15th 16 17th 18th 18th 17th 15th 14th O 15.3
Humidity ( % ) 81 80 75 74 74 74 73 73 76 80 81 81 O 76.8
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


The Sé do Porto, Porto's cathedral from the time of the Reconquista.

Antiquity and the Middle Ages

People have settled here since the Castro culture . The Greeks established a small trading post here and called it Kalos (Greek for beautiful). The Romans adopted the name as Portus Cale for a Celtic settlement shortly before the mouth of the Douro into the Atlantic. In 540 the Visigoths made the city a fortress and a bishopric. The city was ruled by the Moors from 716 to 868 and from 997 to 1050 . In the course of the so-called Reconquista , the area finally fell under Christian rule in 1092, initially to the Kingdom of León . Its county Portucale was granted to the crusader Heinrich of Burgundy as a hereditary fief in 1096/97 - the beginning of the history of Portugal . Porto became one of the starting points of the Reconquista promoted by Afonso I. Henriques , the first Portuguese king. In 1370, during the reign of King Ferdinand I , the new, expanded and reinforced city fortifications, the Muralhas Fernandinas ( Ferdinandine Walls ), were completed.

Modern times

In 1703 England and Portugal concluded the Methuen Treaty , which u. a. England allowed the duty-free export of woolen cloth to Portugal. In return, Portuguese wines were imported into England at a tariff that was a third lower than that for French wines. This spurred the cultivation of the wine from the hinterland of Porto, already praised by the Roman historian Marcus Terentius Varro, and its export via the port of Porto. In the 18th century more and more port wine could be sold in England ; From 1717 numerous English trading houses set up branches in Porto. In the second half of the 18th century, up to 15% of Porto's 60,000 inhabitants were temporarily English. Today the boats of the port wine cellars on the Douro are still a reminder of this time, but the boats are only used for tourism.

During the Napoleonic Wars , after the French victory in the Battle of Braga on March 20, 1809 and in the First Battle of Oporto eight days later on March 29, 1809 , Porto was occupied by French troops under Nicolas Jean-de-Dieu Soult . When the citizens fled across the Ponte das Barcas , a ship bridge built in 1806, from the soldiers pushing in with bayonets, the city collapsed. Up to 4,000 people were killed in the floods of the Douro. The disaster is depicted on the Alminhas da Ponte on the Ribeira . In the Second Battle of Oporto on May 12, 1809, British troops under the Duke of Wellington defeated the French and liberated Porto.

In the tram accident in Porto on December 10, 1911, 15 people died.

Today Porto with its textile, leather goods, metal, luxury food and chemical industries, the oil refinery, the international port of Leixões and the international airport of Porto is the country's most important industrial and commercial city and an important traffic center. The university , the art academy, museums, theaters and the opera emphasize Porto's position as an important cultural and scientific center in Portugal. The historic center of Porto on the north bank of the Douro is on the 1996 UNESCO the list World Heritage listed. The city became famous for its export item, port wine.

Culture and sights

Old town

Historic center of Porto
UNESCO world heritage UNESCO World Heritage Emblem
National territory: PortugalPortugal Portugal
Type: Culture
Criteria : iv
Reference No .: 755
UNESCO region : Europe and North America
History of enrollment
Enrollment: 1996  (session 20)
Panorama of the city of Porto (June 2006); on the right the Ponte Dom Luís I ; left of the center of the picture the historic old town ( Ribeira ) with the Torre dos Clérigos in the background; in the far left the Ponte da Arrábida in front of the Douro estuary; in the foreground the Rabelo boats, which were previously used to transport port wine .

Because of its numerous baroque churches, Porto is also known as the “baroque city”. Nicolau Nasoni , architect of Italian origin, is responsible for the city's important baroque buildings. The image of the historic old town is shaped less by special individual buildings than by the overall structure of a preserved inner city. The numerous granite buildings are characteristic. The oldest existing hotel is the Grande Hotel do Porto , which opened in 1880. The oldest concrete skyscraper in the city is the Hotel Dom Henrique .

Narrow, winding streets with dense houses, starting from the banks of the Douro on a slope, form the terraced structure of the old town of Ribeira , which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. Due to the brisk trade in the shops, the hilly old town looks very lively during the day.

Foz Velha, Porto's historic waterfront district, with its characteristic narrow, winding streets, was listed as a historical monument by the Portuguese Institute for Architectural Heritage in 2002.

However, this area is problematic as most of the listed houses are vacant or only have shops on the ground floor. The rents and maintenance costs for the partially dilapidated buildings are high. Since many residents therefore prefer apartments on the outskirts, the old town - with the exception of the banks near the Douro - is hardly lively in the evening.

Cathedral and churches

Torre dos Clérigos

Perched above the Ribeira on the hill Pena Ventos, on the Terreiro da Sé , is the two-towered cathedral of Porto ( Sé do Porto ). Built in the 12th century as a Romanesque fortified church and then changed in the Gothic style, it was completely rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries. Despite these modifications, its original defensive character was retained. Richly furnished altars, including the gilded main altar by Niccolò Nasoni in the choir and the silver altar in the left transept, are located in the interior, which is otherwise characterized by simplicity. The azulejos that were installed in the 18th century are characteristic of the Gothic cloister on the right aisle . In the immediate vicinity of the cathedral is the Bishop's Palace .

The cityscape is also determined by numerous churches, which reveal the formative power of Catholicism, which is still deeply rooted today:

  • Torre dos Clérigos : The striking bell tower was built between 1754 and 1763 by the Italian architect Niccolò Nasoni. With a height of almost 76 meters, the tower once served seafarers as an orientation aid, today it is the city's landmark. The associated oval "Igreja de São Pedro dos Clérigos" , built between 1732 and 1750, exudes almost simple elegance with its two-story facade for a baroque building.
  • Igreja Santa Clara : Baroque church, almost entirely furnished with Brazilian precious wood and gold leaf , with a simple Gothic facade; Located in an inconspicuous courtyard on Largo 1 ° Dezembro .
  • Igreja do Carmo : Baroque church built between 1756 and 1768; the azulejos on the side facade represent the foundation of the Carmelite order; Located opposite the rectorate of the university .
  • Igreja da Trindade : built in the 19th century in neoclassical style; located directly behind the town hall.
  • São Francisco (Porto) : Because of the exuberant gold decoration from the 17th / 18th centuries. Century inside also called "Golden Church"; originally part of the Franciscan monastery , located next to the stock exchange.
  • Igreja de Santo Ildefonso : exterior facade decorated with azulejos; built in the 18th century; located near the São João theater.
  • The Capela Carlos Alberto as a memorial chapel for the Sardinian King Karl Albert .


Museums, concert halls, theaters

Casa da Música concert hall

The cultural wealth of Porto is evident not least in the many museums, concert halls, theaters, cinemas, art galleries, libraries and book shops. The most famous museums in Porto are the National Museum Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis in the Palácio dos Carrancas from the 18th century, which is dedicated to Portuguese art from the 16th to the 20th century, and the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Fundação Serralves (Museum for Modern art from the Serralves Foundation) in a museum building designed by Portugal's star architect Álvaro Siza Vieira .

The city is home to a wide variety of theaters, including the Teatro Nacional São João, built in 1794 . There are also elegant concert halls such as the Coliseu do Porto , which was designed by the Portuguese architect Cassiano Branco . Since 2005 there has been a new, important concert hall in the Boavista district , the Casa da Música , designed by the Dutch architects Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon . Its unusual architecture immediately catches the eye. In addition to the large hall, which can accommodate 1,200 people, this building also houses another small hall for 350 people. The Jardim do Passeio Alegre has since its opening in 1888, one of the most popular parks in the city.

to eat and drink

Porto's most famous export item is port wine . The vineyards where the grapes for this special sweet wine are grown extend along the Rio Douro. Since 1756, only grapes from an area precisely defined by law may be used to produce port wine. The Região Demarcada do Douro (DOC) is divided into three sub-regions, Baixo Corgo , Cima Corgo and Douro Superior .

The typical dishes of the city are the “Tripas à Moda do Porto”, giblets or tripe Porto style, a stew with white beans . The famous caldo verde , a soup made with cabbage leaves cut into fine strips, and “Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá” are two dishes that are typical of Portugal and which the Portuguese like to serve.

Furthermore, Porto is known throughout Portugal for its Francesinha . This is a kind of sandwich with a lot of meat and spicy ingredients. The preparation goes back to Napoleon's time when Porto was besieged and a quick meal was needed to supply the soldiers.


The bars close at 4 a.m. on weekends.


Even if the most important institutions of Portuguese film are based in the capital Lisbon and most of the film productions are made there, Porto has always made an important contribution to the film scene in the country.

For example, Portugal's cinema pioneer Aurélio Paz dos Reis came from Porto. The country's most important director, Manoel de Oliveira, also came from the city. He shot some of his works here and was considered the last great auteur filmmaker in European cinema. He was the oldest active director in the world and the only one who has worked through all phases of film from silent to digital. Other directors also come from Porto, alongside such important names as Paulo Rocha , João Canijo and Alfredo Tropa , names such as Mário Gajo de Carvalho , Tiago Guedes , Luís Ismael and Joaquim Pinto should be mentioned.

The Rivoli Theater, one of the city's old cinemas that has been preserved. The Fantasporto film festival takes place here.

Some of the Portuguese film festivals take place in Porto, including the international fantasy film festival Fantasporto , the short film festival Corta! - Porto International Short Film Festival and the Black & White Film Festival Audiovisual Black & White .

A large number of national and international film productions have also been made in Porto. In addition, Porto is occasionally also a location for films without naming the city. The filmmakers use the historical building fabric, which is built up in Porto from the river upwards by epoch and which has remained almost closed, as a film set.

Main article: List of movies related to postage

Some old cinemas have been preserved in the city, although most of the visitors can now be found in the numerous multiplex cinemas in the shopping malls. Other old cinemas are closed, but their buildings are still preserved, such as the Cinema Batalha on the square of the same name, the Cinema Júlio Dinis , the Cinema Olímpia or the Art Nouveau & Art Deco house Cine Águia de Ouro (today Moov Hotel), also on the Located in Praça da Batalha.


Pavilhão Rosa Mota event hall , renamed in 1991 in honor of the marathon runner Rosa Mota

In addition to the well-known football clubs from the highest Portuguese league FC Porto and Boavista Porto , SC Salgueiros also comes from Porto. The Estádio do Dragão (built in 2003), in which several matches of the 2004 European Football Championship took place, is the home stadium of the FC Porto football club . The football stadium Bessa Século XXI , which also hosted several matches of the 2004 European Football Championship, is that of the Boavista Porto football club .

In 2007 a race for the World Touring Car Championship WTCC was held in the city, on the Circuito da Boavista on the Atlantic. With the Grand Prix of Portugal in 1960 , a Formula 1 race took place here for the last time.

The Porto Marathon has been held in autumn since 2004 . It starts from the Pavilhão Rosa Mota in the garden of the Crystal Palace ( Jardins do Palácio de Cristal ): The event hall was built in 1952 on the site of the former Crystal Palace. It has 10,000 seats and is mainly used for basketball games and as a concert hall.

Large billiards events often take place in Porto, such as the three-cushion world championship in 2012 , the three-cushion European championship in 2011 , or the second three-cushion world cup tournament in 2015 .

The city is home to some of the country's sports associations, such as the Portuguese Volleyball Association and the Portuguese Hockey Association .

Economy and Infrastructure

Porto is the country's most important economic and industrial location and, next to Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite bank, it is the center of port wine production.



Ponte Dom Luís I
Ponte Maria Pia

Porto is directly connected to other major cities in Portugal and some cities in Spain by several highways ( Portuguese autoestrada ). The A29 and A1 motorways lead south to Aveiro , the latter to Lisbon , the A4 east via Vila Real to the Spanish border, the A3 via Braga to Galicia and the A28 north to Viana do Castelo . In addition, a number of other freeway-like expressways run through the surrounding area from a ring of expressways that surrounds the city.

With Vila Nova de Gaia , the city on the south bank of the Douro, Porto is connected by six bridges. Most historically and touristically significant is the arched bridge Ponte Dom Luís I in the historic center, designed by Théophile Seyrig , which today has a metro line and pedestrian traffic and a street with pedestrian traffic on two levels , and the Ponte Maria Pia railway bridge , which Seyrig worked with his teacher Gustave Eiffel . In addition, two motorway bridges , a road bridge and another railway bridge cross the Douro.


Porto Campanhã train station
The azulejos foyer of the São Bento train station

Porto has two major train stations, Campanhã and São Bento . The São Bento train station ( Estação de São Bento ) was completed in 1906 and is located below the cathedral ( ). The vestibule was designed in 1930 with extraordinary azulejo pictures, which depict historical scenes such as the conquest of Ceuta, but also everyday life in the country or the history of transport. With the Campanhã train station located outside the city center, there is a connection to one of the two high-speed lines in Portugal that the Alfa Pendular travels on. This means that the cities of Lisbon , Entroncamento , Coimbra , Aveiro , Vila Nova de Gaia and Braga in northern Portugal can be reached directly on the route with a maximum speed of 200 km / h . The station forms the beginning and end of the Linha do Norte , which is the most important railway line in Portugal. There are also Intercidades lines going north and south from Campanhã train station . A number of other regional connections also lead to northeastern Portugal. Four suburban railway lines (pt. Comboios Suburbanos ) with the common end point São Bento lead via Campanhã to Braga, Guimarães , Caíde and Aveiro.

Line 18 when turning
The Porto Metro

Public transport

Local bus network

The public transport company Portos STCP operates a large bus network that also connects the suburbs with Porto. In addition, there are three tram lines (lines 1, 18 and 22) that are more used for tourist traffic. Their cars are even more “rustic” than the old railcars of the Lisbon tram and date from the 1940s. In particular, the trip along the Douro with line 1 from Rua do Infante D. Henrique to Jardim do Passeio Alegre is recommended for Porto visitors. Their speed is comparatively low on a flat stretch. During the conversion of large parts of the network from trams to buses around 1980, however, it became clear that the old trams were superior to the new buses on steep inclines.

Metro network

The Porto Metro operated by the Metro do Porto S. A. is a light rail system with underground road sections and includes six lines with 80 stations (2011). The trains on lines A , B , C , E and F travel a joint route from Senhora da Hora station in the northwest to Estádio do Dragão in the east of the city region. After Senhora da Hora , the lines continue over four different branches. Line D runs a north-south route, including the Dom Luís Bridge. There are transfer points to the railway network at the São Bento , Campanhã and General Torres stations . The line network will be expanded further in the future. Line F connects the municipalities u. a. Fânzeres with postage.

Regional bus network

There are also a number of other bus terminals for intercity buses , which represent the end point of numerous bus routes from various companies. The well-known bus company Rede Expressos has three bus terminals on Rua Alexandre Herculano for lines from regions south of the Douro, on Praça Filipa de Lencastre for lines from northern cities and Campo 24 de Agosto for lines from different areas. All of these bus stations are quite close to the center.

Air traffic

Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport

The international airport Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro ( IATA code : OPO) is located about ten kilometers northwest of the center of Porto in the area of ​​the municipality of Maia . It mainly serves intra-European but also partly transatlantic direct flights. In 2016, 9.4 million passengers were handled. In a survey by Airports Council International among passengers about the quality of service at airports, Porto Airport was ranked first in Europe in 2008 and fourth in the world among all airports with fewer than 5 million passengers.

Maritime transport

The international port in Leixões , which contributed to the rise of Porto to a commercial metropolis, is located near the city .


Rectorate of the University of Porto

The oldest university in Porto is the Porto State University, founded in 1911 . It comprises 14 faculties and around 28,000 students. In addition, the University of Portucalense and the University of Fernando Pessoa, as well as the Porto Polytechnic Institute, have their headquarters in the city. The University of Lusíada and the Catholic University of Portugal have major branches in Porto. Furthermore, the art college ESAP - Escola Superior Artística do Porto is in Porto . The Biblioteca Municipal Almeida Garrett was founded in 2000.


sons and daughters of the town

Honorary citizen


Porto maintains the following international city partnerships:

Município Porto

Porto is the seat of the Município (district) of the same name with an area of ​​41.66 km², which corresponds to the urban area and is divided into the following seven municipalities ( Freguesias ):

District of Porto
local community Population
Density of
population / km²
Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde 28,858 6.27 4,604 131216
Bonfim 24,265 3.10 7,837 131202
Campanhã 32,659 8.04 4,061 131203
Cedofeita, Santo Ildefonso, Sé, Miragaia, São Nicolau e Vitória 40,440 5.43 7,443 131217
Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos 29,059 5.59 5,201 131218
Paranhos 44,298 7.17 6,180 131210
Ramalde 38.012 5.83 6,526 131211
District of Porto 237,591 41.43 5,735 1312

The neighboring districts of Porto are Matosinhos , Maia , Gondomar , Vila Nova de Gaia .

Web links

Commons : Postage  - collection of images
Wikivoyage: Porto  Travel Guide

References and footnotes

  1. a b - indicator resident population by place of residence and sex; Decennial in the database of the Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  2. a b Overview of code assignments from Freguesias on
  4. Monica Blöcker-Walter: Alfons I of Portugal. Studies on the history and legend of the founder of Portuguese independence . Fretz and Wasmuth, Zurich 1966, pp. 151–161.
  5. ^ Alan David Francis: John Methuen and the Anglo-Portuguese Treaties of 1703 . In: The Historical Journal , Vol. 3, 1960, pp. 103-124.
  6. ^ William Francis Patrick Napier : History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France from the Year 1807 to the Year 1814 , Vol. 2, Thomas and William Boone, London 1829, p. 206. A smaller number of victims takes Aníbal José Barreira, see his essay O desastre da ponte das barcas in: Luís Valente de Oliveira (ed.): O Porto e as invasões francesas 1809–2009 . Câmara Municipal do Porto, Porto 2009, vol. 3, pp. 87-107. Barreira bases his estimate on the death records of the municipal parishes, but admits that the entries are probably not complete (p. 101).
  8. Geminações de Cidades e Vilas. Associação Nacional de Municípios Portugueses, accessed February 13, 2015 (Portuguese).
  9. ^ Bordeaux - Rayonnement européen et mondial ( French ) In: Mairie de Bordeaux . Archived from the original on February 7, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  10. ^ Bordeaux-Atlas français de la coopération décentralisée et des autres actions extérieures ( French ) In: Délégation pour l'Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) . Archived from the original on February 7, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  11. ^ Bristol City - Town twinning . Bristol City Council. Archived from the original on June 22, 2009. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved July 17, 2009. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. ^ Sister Cities of Nagasaki City . International Affairs Section, Nagasaki City Hall. Archived from the original on July 29, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2009.
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