A travel blog of Ireland, Europe, and New Zealand

Porto Architecture

Porto01We had just a long weekend, Friday to Monday, in Porto where we covered a lot of ground, notwithstanding the very patchy weather. Lots of photo opportunities so I will concentrate in this first post on the buildings which were captivating, giving us itchy shutter fingers.

But not just the buildings. The dual level bridge that you can see in the above photo, called Dom Luis I, is a magnificent structure with rail and a footbridge going across the top and vehicles/pedestrians going across the bottom span, so it’s worth a couple of shots first.

Porto03 Porto04So to the buildings. When you look closely, many have started off with great symmetry, with elegant designs of buildings and windows, some classical European, others possibly Moorish. Yet the overwhelming impression is one of a huge jumble as changes have been made over the centuries. It is accentuated by the fact that Porto is very steep on both sides of the river Douro and so the buildings appear to be clinging on for dear life.

First the more or less ordered look.

Porto14 Porto06 Porto09 Porto10 Porto11

Porto02Then the higgledy-piggledy ones.


Porto16Then clinging on grimly.



There are more modern buildings, too, definitely plainer but interest is added by the graffiti, and the fishermen perched like seabirds on the edge of the wharf.

Porto12Porto17Finally, a pleasant general view of the city from Taylor’s restaurant, where we came away with a new appreciation of white port as an aperitif at lunchtime. Luckily the camera has an anti-shake mechanism built in.








2 thoughts on “Porto Architecture

  1. Hewitt Harrison

    I think the word you might have been looking for – and could have possibly been found with less White Port influencing the mind – is ‘vibration free’.
    I have not been to Porto – but have spent time in Lisbon, another river city – and traveled through the lower half of the country; one of my favourite countries in Europe. My friend Broad went to Porto a few years back and loved it. Your photos are again marvellous and offer a wonderful story.

    1. Bruce Post author

      Thanks Hewitt. Yes, I can see why you like the country, except that their language is not easy. With French, Italian and Spanish, you can often guess what the signs mean and what they are saying but Portuguese seems to be in a different category altogether. I had a long conversation with the man at airport security on the way out – well, he did all the talking and gesticulating and I could only shake or nod my head, sometimes both at once, knowing nothing of what he was saying but assuming it was did I have any gels or liquids over 100 mls, did I take my belt off? In the end, by the look on his face, I think he just assumed I was the village idiot and let me through.

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