Neoclassic architecture

Stock Exchange Palace
Photo:  Pinguim DesignAll Rights Reserved

In the course of the second half of the eighteenth century Porto underwent great urban and architectural changes. Under the guidance of João de Almada e Melo, a plan was laid out which foresaw the renovation of the old city and the structuring of zones that had developed outside the city walls. The co-ordination of the building work was a responsibility of the “Junta das Obras Públicas” and was financed by a tax on the wine trade.

The reconstruction of the Ribeira Square, the opening of new roads and the creation of riverbank esplanades are signs of a new spirit and a taste for more open, lit spaces for both function and leisure.

The construction of the Santo António Hospital, one of many buildings given to the city by the Almadas, introduced the neopalladian style to the city, which at the time was the dominating architecture in England. This is clearly shown by the influence of the English community, especially through the Consul, John Whitehead, creator of one of the structures that mark the era: the English Factory. These buildings already show solutions that would be used in the civil and religious buildings that followed: mezzanines, smooth-surfaced façades, classic colonnades and pediments, guillotine windows.

The neo-classical civil buildings in Porto are the following:

  • Ribeira Square;
  • English Factory
  • Stock Exchange Palace;
  • Building of the former Customs
  • Building of the Former Court of Appeal Gaol;
  • Building of the former Polytechnic Academy;
  • Santo António Hospital;
  • Carrancas’ Palace;
  • Building of the former Casa Pia.

The neoclassical religious buildings in Porto are the following:

  • Church of Terceiros de São Francisco;
  • Church of Nossa Senhora da Vitória;
  • Church of Trindade;
  • Church of Lapa.

Published 10-09-2013
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