OPORTO

Oporto city is known as Cidade Invicta (Undefeated City). It is the city which gave the name to Portugal from very early times (a. 200 B.C.), when it was called Portus Cale, and later became the capital of Condado Portucalense (County of Portugal). It is a worldwide known city on account of its bridges and contemporary and ancient architecture, its Historic Centre, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, since 1996.

THE ORIGINS OF THE URBAN CENTRE OF OPORTO CITY DATE BACK TO THE BRONZE AGE, MORE SPECIFICALLY AROUND THE 8TH CENTURY B.C.

“Oporto has a slight sea smell, the aroma of an old wine, the autumn charm of the subtle tones of the granite, the magic of the morning fog. Oporto has flavours coming from the houses through iron balconies. In the painters’ palette, the almost grey city hurts when gazed upon. Oporto is allowed everything but indifference; everything is allowed to that sweet and dignified presence. It rests on the breakwater beaches, dresses with the disorder of the marketplaces and stretches out voluptuous and incoherent through the river banks.”

SÃO DOMINGOS SQUARE

Once known as Santa Catarina Square and São Crispim Square, for centuries this square was considered the communication node among the quarters of the Quinhentista* city.
A place where people played “bisca calada” (whist) and where the most important meetings of Oporto City’s Council Hall took place, it was considered one of the liveliest trade and social life places of the city.
It witnessed the first round fountain of Invicta around which the most illustrious figures discussed politics, religion and every-day topics.
A site of bishops and friars, its name comes from the Monastery founded in 1236 by Oporto bishop, D. Pedro Salvadores, of the Dominican order: São Domingos Monastery was destroyed by a fire in 1832. Only its façade resisted the fire and it is nowadays Palácio das Artes (Palace of the Arts).
World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it was restored in 2014 and it is nowadays a pedestrian square where several tourists and local people pass every day captivated by the beauty of the buildings of the very noble São Domingos Square. *T.N.: Designation that refers to the 16th Century.

FLOWERS STREET

Commissioned by King Manuel I, in the 16th century, Rua das Flores is associated with the ennoblement of Invicta. Located in the land plots belonging to the bishop’s vegetable gardens, it was opened following the population growth and the economic development of the city. For the first time there was specific regulation on the type of houses to be built and therefore the street borders were regulated enabling a good visibility of the façades.

The most illustrious people of the city lived here, from surgeons to clergymen, as well as tradesmen and barbers, and this fact granted it an elitist nature. Because it was the noblest and main street in Oporto city it was cobbled in 1542.
In the 18th century the richest shops in the city, such as jeweller’s and wool and silk shops, were located here. Many farmworker women and marriageable girls spent most of their dowries in trousseaus in this street.

Nowadays it is a pedestrian street, which was renovated in 2014. Hundreds of tourists walk on it every day, fascinated with the beauty of a street which marks the history of 16th century Oporto.