Photo Essay: Porto, Portugal

Photo essay from two visits to Porto, Portugal to organize and present the 2008 WikiSym conference. The conference was covered by the Portuguese media, including major newspapers Jornal de Notícias and Público, and I gave an interview to Jornalismo Porto Net.

Porto, capital of Portugal’s Região Norte, is an economic and cultural hub, and producer of the internationally known Port wine. The names of Porto, its sister city Vila Nova de Gaia, and Portugal itself derive from Portus Cale, an early settlement at the mouth of the Douro river. Portus Cale evolved during the Middle Ages into Portucale, then Portugale, and finally Portugal. Porto derives its name from Portus, and Gaia is a derivation of Cale.


Casa da Música, a concert hall designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas for Porto’s designation as a European Capital of Culture in 2001. The red cube in the forefront contains the logo of Banco BPI, one of Portugal’s major banks, and a sponsor of Casa da Música.


“Brise Soleil” louvers are for interior cooling, but they also make a nice exterior pattern on this new building in Porto.


Rotunda da Boavista, the traffic roundabout surrounding Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque, a plaza commemorating the victory of the Portuguese against French troops during the 1808-1814 Peninsular War.


New construction near Rotunda da Boavista


Park on Rua de Clemente Menéres (
Rua do Carmo, near the University of Porto Faculty of Science


Porto City Hall at dusk


Avenido dos Aliados and Plaza Gen. Humberto Delgado


Rua de São João Novo, looking south toward the Douro River


Dom Luís I Bridge crosses the Douro River, connecting Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia


Underside of the Dom Luís I Bridge


Dom Luís I Bridge pier at night


Vila Nova de Gaia waterfront, along Avenue Ramos Pinto.
Ramos Pinto, founded in 1880 by Adriano Ramos Pinto, is a major producer of Port wine, one of Portugal’s most famous exports.


Sandeman Porto (Port) wine aging in wood barrels. Although the wine is called Port, many of the aging caves – long stone buildings with terra cotta tiled roofs – are built into the hills of Vila Nova de Gaia, the city on the southern shore of the Douro river. Grapes are grown in the Douro valley, east of Porto and Gaia, and traditionally carried downstream to the aging caves on special boats called Rabelos.


A cold Super Bock on the Gaia waterfront. Super Bock, a strong, pale lager brewed by Unicer (a brewery just outside the Porto), is one of Portugal’s most popular beers and has a cult following among English soccer (football) fans (Source: Wikipedia).


Interior, Porto Metro tram


Crossing the Dom Luís I Bridge on the Porto Metro


Underground station, seen from inside a Porto Metro tram


Entrance to Sessenta Setenta, a restaurant in the Massarelos neighborhood of Porto. Sessenta Setenta, literally translated, means “Sixty Seventy” but the name is also a play on words. The Portuguese, “se senta, se tenta” means “if you sit, you try.” The restaurant is located in a former convent with panoramic views of the Douro river.


Former convent space across from Sessenta Setenta


Modern design and clean lines in the Sessenta Setenta restroom


An underground Parking Garage in Porto that feels very much like a large spiral


Poster for Fiddler on the Roof in Porto


Suspended light bulbs in the library at Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza


Stucco and stone exterior, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. The Galinsky website provides a good description of the building’s design and relationship to its surrounding landscape.


Exterior walkway, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art


Giant shovel in the gardens at Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art


FEUP – Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto


Gate 33, Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport, Porto


Arrival and Departure Board, Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport


Concourse, Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport


Terminal, Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport, seen from airside


Atlantic Ocean, at the mouth of the Douro River


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