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Porto is a city of magnificent architectural marvels

By Carlton Leisure - 29/10/2014

parlament-and-portuguese-catholic-church

Porto, the second largest city in Portugal and capital of the North region enjoys a spectacular location on the banks of river Duoro. This hub of finance and glamour is fast emerging as great destination for tourism and tourists are coming in hordes to see its medieval relics, bell towers and magnificent buildings. But if you are a history buff head to Ribeira district which has now been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a coastline lined with pine forests and downtown boasting of several attractions of repute, the destination inspires backpackers and seasoned travellers to fly to Porto where they can enjoy an eclectic mix of natural and manmade beauty. Here we deliberate on what a traveller should do while on a trip to the city.

Palacio da Bolsha

The magnificent monument which was built in the memory of money merchants from the city took more than 70 years (from 1842 to 1910) to complete. One should take a half hour guided tour to understand various aspects of this monument. The most interesting feature of this building is a ballroom named the Salão Árabe (Arabian Hall) which is adorned with Moorish designs and gold. The complex also has a restaurant and wine to enrich your experience.

Porto Cathedral

Situated in the historical heart of the city, Porto Cathedral is one of the oldest monuments in the city. This one of the major historical and cultural landmarks in the city is often visited by travellers. Built in Romanesque style, the cathedral may not boasts a great façade but that doesn’t stop travelers from visiting it.

Casa da Musica

Casa da Musica is a great destination for culture buffs. It is a large concert hall that houses the cultural institution of same name. This twelve story building is designed by famed architect Rem Koolhaas for musical performances. Opened in 2005 it is frequented for its cultural as well as architectural appeal.

Sao Francisco Church

Known for its beautiful interiors Sao Francisco Church is well known for its fine blend of Gothic and Baroque architectures. The church also houses a museum that showcases various artifacts from the former monastery. Church services are not offered here but it is famous as a venue for classical music concerts.

Clérigos Tower

Clérigos church tower was the tallest structure in Portugal when it was completed in 1763. During that period the tower dominated city's skyline. The tower was also used as a guide for ships coming into Cais da Ribeira. The tower is designed by the Italian architect Nasoni.

Apart these attractions the city also scores high in terms of accommodation and dining options that makes it worth exploring.