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Porto

  Porto
     

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  PORTO, The cradle of Port wine, is essentially a working city whose inhabitants are proud of their industrial reputation. Henry the Navigator was Porto's most famous son, planning his expeditions to North Africa in the city. There is evidence, too, the family of the Spanish painter Velazquez came originally from Porto, and his grandparents immigrated to Andalusia. It was in 1703 that England and Portugal completed a trade agreement, which brought wealth and status to Porto, ensuring the region's wine would find a market in Britain and throughout the British Empire.

The most popular image of the city is that of its three famous bridges and the characteristic craft, known as 'barcos rabelos' which ply the River Douro, below, with their cargos of wine. The oldest of the bridges is the Dona Maria Pia, opened in 1877, which was designed by the famous French engineer Gustav Eiffel. The most important sites are: 'Ribeira' the riverside area, and the oldest part of the city; the Cathedral; Archbishop's Palace; Church of Santa Clara; Palacio da Bolsa; which today houses the Stock Exchange, Soares dos Reis Museum and the Museum of Ethnography and History.
     
   

View Porto from RiverCruise down the River Douro

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