“On the streets of Porto”
Porto, Portugal. May 2019. (12 photos)
“Faces of Porto”
Street art is everywhere in Porto. French artist Guate Mao has several artworks in Porto. His works are mostly portraits taken from photographs of his travels. This one is near the base of the Dom Luis I bridge, a double-deck metal arch bridge that spans the River Douro between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. The upper deck is for pedestrians and trams whilst the lower deck is for pedestrians and cars. Local boys offer to jump off the lower deck for money from passing tourists.
Looking across the rooftops, Porto looks a bit rundown, but this is part of the charm and true beauty lies within. In the background is the Torre dos Clerigos, the bell tower of the Clerigos Church and a high point in Porto. It’s a steep climb up the stairs but the views are lovely. I went up about an hour before closing when the crowds had dropped off.
“Monumento a Dom Pedro IV”
In Praca da Liberdade (Liberty Square) stands the statue of King Pedro IV of Portugal, also known as King Pedro I of Brazil, presenting the constitutional charter to Porto.
On his deathbed Pedro begged his wife that Porto be “the tomb of his heart”. And so it is that whilst his body is buried in Brazil, his heart is at rest in a church in Porto. According to a chronicler that attended the ceremony of the delivery of Pedro’s heart at the time, it featured “no royal splendor nor luxury, but rather an abundance of tears and nothing short of pure sentiment”.
“Welcome to Porto”
That’s what this mural entitled “AN.FI.TRI.AO” by Frederico Draw seems to be saying, as you approach the city across the top deck of the Dom Luis I bridge.
“Pixo not dead”
Looks like that police officer has wasted a trip there.
“Along the River Douro”
I might have already mentioned that Porto is a bit run down. Up river from Porto is the beautiful Douro Valley.
“Out and About in Porto”
Porto is a hilly city. But almost every mode of transport is available there, including cars, motorbikes, tuk-tuks, outside elevators, trains, trams, boats, aerial cable cars and funiculars (pictured).
“Walk on by”
Porto is a wonderful place for street photography. Seriously, but for Portuguese context my favourite backdrops in Portugal are the azulejos…
“Igreja do Carmo”
“Capela das Almas de Santa Catarina”
“Fonte dos Leoes”
I suppose that in this modern day and times, no post about Porto would be complete without at least a quick mention of the author J. K. Rowling.
J.K. Rowling lived in Porto from 1991 to 1993 and taught English as a foreign language in Porto. She has been quoted as saying that whilst living in Porto she developed her ideas and storylines for the Harry Potter series, and even got started on the first book. Naturally, stories exist about possible influences in her books taken from Porto, including:
1. The winged lions in the Fonte dos Leoes (pictured) were inspiration for the Gryffindor house symbol.
2. Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world, on the block behind me in this photo, was the inspiration for the bookshop in Diagon Alley.
3. The “Bats” of Porto, the university students who wear black capes as regular wear, were the inspiration for the attire of Hogwarts students. The University of Porto is immediately on my left in the photo above.
4. Professor Salazar Slytherin was named after Portugal’s former dictator, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. Interestingly, 2 blocks in front of me in the above photo is Largo do Professor Abel Salazar.
This is Part 16 of this photographic series and Part 10 of the posts about Portugal.