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2014-09-24

City of Porto - A romantic and amazing entry gate to Portugal

The unvanquised city of Porto, known internationaly for naming the "Port" wine, is worth visiting for many other reasons. The millenial history and culture of the "Capital of the North" blends with a new found "movida" and makes it a vibrant and cosmopolitan uban center that is very proud of its heritage.

Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon and sometimes called the Capital of the North of Portugal. Located along the Douro river estuary, in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. Its Latin name, Portus Cale, has been referred to as the origin of the name "Portugal", based on transliteration and oral evolution from Latin.


The city's historical core was proclaimed a World heritage site by Unesco in 1996. Among the architectural highlights of the city, the "Sé Cathedral" is the oldest surviving structure, together with the small romanesque church of Cedofeita, the gothic Church of Saint Francis,  the remnants of the city walls and a few 15th-century houses. The baroque style is well represented in the city, as long as the neoclassicism and romanticism of the 19th and 20th centuries. 

One of Portugal's internationally famous exports, port wine is named for Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular the wine cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia were responsible for the production and export of the fortified wine.

Its independent-mindedness has come to expression both militarily and politically over the centuries, and Porto is often referred to as the "Cidade Invicta", the unvanquished city since it has never been conquered militarily either by the Romans, the Moors or the French Napoleonic armies.

Nowadays, Porto was elected The Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency in 2014

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