Medieval Porto

Photo:  Marisa PinheiroCC BY-NC-SA - Some Rights Reserved

​The origins of Porto are linked to the Morro da Sé (Cathedral Hill), overlooking the river Douro, where traces of an ancient settlement have been identified. The Romans brought a great boom to a city, which was elevated to diocese status during the Visigothic period. The city suffered great setbacks after the Moorish invasions, with its territory being re-conquered by Vímara Peres at the end of the 9th century. 

D. Teresa, mother of the first King of Portugal, donated the land of Porto to Bishop D. Hugo, who bestowed its first charter in 1123. 

The development of the commercial activity led to the progressive urbanisation of the riverbank area and in the late 14th century the borough was encircled by a second city wall. Commerce with the exterior grew, not only towards the northern European ports but also towards the Mediterranean. 

The control of the city's resources, specifically the profits from the port, led to a conflict between the Bishop and the Crown. The construction of the Customhouse in 1324 represented a severe blow to the interests of the Bishop. In 1405 D. João transferred the jurisdiction of the borough to the Crown. In this period local power was consolidated with the support of the bourgeois merchants. The opening of Rua Nova marked a new phase in the urbanisation of the city and its localisation reflected the importance given to the downtown area, which was the main commercial area of the city until the twentieth century. ​​​

  1. Cathedral
  2. D.Pedro Pitões Tower
  3. Old City Hall (Casa da Câmara)
  4. Beco dos Redemoinhos House
  5. Primitive Wall
  6. Church of Santa Clara
  7. D. Fernando Wall – Guindais
  8. Barredo Tower
  9. Muro dos Cobertos da Ribeira
  10. Carvão Wicket
  11. Casa do Infante / old Royal Custom House
  12. Casa da Bolsa do Comércio
  13. Reboleira House, nº 55
  14. Reboleira House, nº 59
  15. Monument Church of S. Francisco
  16. D. Fernando Wall - Caminho Novo Stairway
  17. Torre de Pedro Sem
  18. Church of S. Martinho de Cedofeita

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Published 13-10-2014