Historic Centre of Oporto
Historic Centre of Oporto
The city of Oporto, built along the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro river, is an outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history. Its continuous growth, linked to the sea (the Romans gave it the name Portus, or port), can be seen in the many and varied monuments, from the cathedral with its Romanesque choir, to the neoclassical Stock Exchange and the typically Portuguese Manueline-style Church of Santa Clara.
Centre historique de Porto
À l’embouchure du Douro, la ville de Porto, s’étageant sur les collines dominant le fleuve, forme un paysage urbain exceptionnel qui témoigne d’une histoire de deux millénaires. Sa croissance continue, liée à l’activité maritime – ce sont les Romains qui la baptisèrent Portus, le port –, se lit dans la profusion des monuments qui s’y côtoient, de la cathédrale au chœur roman à la Bourse néoclassique en passant par l’église Santa Clara de style manuélin typique du Portugal.
وسط بورتو التاريخي
تمثل مدينة بورتو الواقعة عند مصب نهر دورو والمتدرجة على الهضاب المطلة على النهر منظراً مدنياً استثنائياً يشهد على تاريخ ألفي سنة. ويبرز نموّها المتواصل المرتبط بالنشاط البحري – الذي دفع الرومان الى تسميتها بورتوس أي المرفأ - في وفرة المباني المتجاورة، ابتداء من الكاتدرائية ذات الخورس الروماني ووصولاً الى مبنى البورصة الكلاسيكي الجديد، مروراً بكنيسة القديسة كلارا المبنية حسب الطراز المانويلي الذي تميزت به البرتغال.
Исторический центр города Порту
Построенный на склонах холмов вблизи устья реки Дору город Порту - это выдающийся городской ландшафт, имеющий тысячелетнюю историю. Его непрерывное развитие, связанное с морем (древние римляне называли его Портус, что значит порт), можно представить по многочисленным и разнообразным памятникам – от кафедрального собора с хорами в романском стиле до неоклассического здания Фондовой биржи и церкви Санта-Клара, построенной в типично португальском стиле мануэлино.
Centro histórico de Oporto
Situada en la desembocadura del Duero y escalonada sobre las laderas de las colinas que dominan el río, la ciudad de Oporto ofrece un paisaje urbano excepcional, testigo de su historia bimilenaria. Llamada “Portus” –el puerto– por los romanos, la ciudad siempre estuvo estrechamente vinculada con la actividad marítima, fuente de su prosperidad secular, de la que son exponentes sus numerosos monumentos, desde la catedral con coro románico hasta el edificio neoclásico de la Bolsa, pasando por la iglesia de Santa Clara, de estilo manuelino típicamente portugués.
Historisch centrum van Porto
De stad Porto is gebouwd langs de heuvels die uitzien op de monding van de Douro. Het is een stedelijk landschap met een historie van 2.000 jaar. Omdat Porto verbonden was aan de zee – de Romeinen gaven de stad de naam Portus (haven) – groeide ze voortdurend. Dit blijkt uit de vele verschillende monumenten, zoals de kathedraal met zijn Romaanse koor, de neoklassieke beurs en de Santa Clara kerk, in de typisch Portugese Manuelijnse stijl. Het historisch centrum van Porto toont een stadsbeeld van hoge esthetische waarde, met sporen van stedelijke ontwikkeling uit de Romeinse, middeleeuwse en Almada periode.
Justification for Inscription
The Committee decided to inscribe the nominated property on the basis of cultural criterion (iv) considering that the site is of outstanding universal value as the urban fabric and its many historic buildings bear remarkable testimony to the development over the past thousand years of a European city that looks outward to the west for its cultural and commercial links.
Oporto is of outstanding universal value as the urban fabric and its many historic buildings bear remarkable testimony to the development over the past 1,000 years of a European city that looks outward to the West for its cultural and commercial links.
The historic centre of is a townscape of high aesthetic value, with evidence of urban development from the Roman, medieval, and Almadas periods. The rich and varied civil architecture of the historic centre expresses the cultural values of succeeding periods - Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, neoclassical and modern. The active social and institutional tissue of the town ensures its survival as a living historic centre. Military, commercial, agricultural, and demographic interests converged here to shelter a population capable of building the city. It is a collective work, not accomplished at a particular moment but the result of successive contributions. One of the most relevant aspects of Oporto is its scenic character, resulting from the complexity of the landform, the harmonious articulation of its roads, and the dialogue with the river. It also represents a successful interaction between the social and geographical environments
There has been human occupation on the site of modern Oporto, at the mouth of the Douro River, since the 8th century BC. There the Romans established a town under the name of Portus. With the arrival in the early 5th century of the barbarians, the town became very important as an administrative and trading centre. By the early 11th century, it was firmly established as part of the Castilian realm. The first period of expansion came with the construction in 1374 of a new town wall protecting the two urban nuclei - the original medieval town and the hitherto extramural harbour area.
Oporto lent support to the expeditions organized by Henry the Navigator (who was born in the town) in the early 15th century. English entrepreneurs invested in the vineyards of the Douro valley, to supply the huge English market, and Oporto, as the port for the export of these wines, benefited greatly, as the wealth of Baroque buildings in the town attests. The citizens reacted against Pombal's creation of the Companhia do Alto Douro, designed to end the English monopoly. Oporto was the birthplace of the Liberal Revolution in 1820, which led to the adoption by the monarchy of the Seminal Constitution of 1822. During the 19th century, the town centre moved from the banks of the river to the new developments around the Praça da Liberdade: Gustav Eiffel designed the railway bridge across the river (1875), and many new buildings were constructed.
The historic centre is enclosed within the enceinte of the 14th-century Fernandine walls, together with some smaller areas that retain their medieval characteristics. This area conserves to a large extent the medieval town plan and urban fabric, with some later monumental insertions. Remains of the 12th-century ramparts that survive in place were erected on Roman foundations. Only two sections of the Fernandine walls, initiated by Dom Afonso IV in 1336 but named after his successor, Dom Fernando, in whose reign they were completed in 1376, are still standing. The massive crenellated stone walls were strengthened with many bastions and square towers. In this area there are many important ecclesiastical building, such as the Romanesque core of the cathedral. Among the many fine Gothic churches are São Francisco, São Lourenço dos Grillos, in the Mannerist style, Santa Clara in the Gothic Manueline style with later classical Renaissance elements, Nossa Senhora da Vitória, the early Baroque lgreja da Misericórdia, and lgreja dos Clérigos of Niccolò Nazzoni. Oporto also has a number of outstanding public buildings: the São João Theatre, the Palácio da Batalha, the Palácio das Sereias and the former Prison da Relação. Among the important later structures are the neo-Palladian Hospital Sant'António, the imposing Alfándega, and the Palace da Bolsa in neoclassical style, the Ferreira Borges Market, the São Bento railway station and the Paços do Concelho.Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Archaeological excavations nave revealed that there has been human occupation on the site of modern Oporto, at the mouth of the Douro River, since the 8th century BC, when there was a Phoenician trading settlement there, taking advantage of the access to the Interior afforded by the river. The Romans established a town there in the 1st century BC, under the name of Portus (= the port).
With the arrival in the early 5th century of the barbarians, who followed the rivers in their invasions, the town became very important as an administrative and trading centre. The Visigoths established an episcopal see there. In the succeeding centuries it was the object of attacks and Pillage by successive groups - Swabians, Visigoths again, Normans, and Moors. By the early 11th century, however, it was firmly established as part of the Castilian realm. The inhabitants rallied in support of Afonso Henriques in his crusade to drive the Moors out of Portugal and became part of the new kingdom. The first period of expansion came in the late 14th century, with the construction in 1374 of a new town wall protecting the two urban nuclei- the original medieval town and the hitherto extramural harbour area.
Oporto was later to lend massive support to the expeditions organized by Henry the Navigator (who was born in the town) in the early 15th century, though it drew little profit from its investment. It was not until the signing of the Treaty of Methuen in 1703 that economic expansion began, with the commercial links established between Oporto and England. English entrepreneurs invested heavily in the vineyards of the Douro valley, to supply the huge English market, and Oporto, as the port for the export of these wines, benefited greatly, as the wealth of Baroque buildings in the town attests. The citizens reacted strongly against Pombal's creation of the companhia do Alto Douro, designed to end the English monopoly, and restored the status quo by burning down the company's headquarters in the Revolta dos Barrachos (Revolt of the Drunkards).
Oporto was the birthplace of the "Liberal Revolution" in 1820, which led to the adoption by the monarchy of the seminal Constitution of 1822. During the attempt by Miguel I to reimpose autocracy, Oporto rose against him and its trade suffered badly during a long blockade in 1832. The town played an important role in the expulsion of the monarchy in 1910, and also in the 1974 revolution that led to the return of democracy to Portugal.
During the 19th century the town centre moved from the banks of the river to the new developments around the Praça da Liberdade. It was at this time that Gustav Eiffel designed the railway bridge across the river (1875). and many new buildings were constructed. In the course of the 20th century Oporto has progressively changed from a primarily industrial town to one whose economic basis is the service industries.Source: Advisory Body Evaluation
- Network of World Heritage Sites in Portugal created Friday, August 1, 2014
- Director-General visits four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in northern Portugal Friday, June 5, 2009
Direção-Geral do Património Cultural (in Portuguese)
SIPA (Information System for Architectural Heritage) (in Portuguese)
Turismo do Porto (Oporto's Tourism)
PORTO, Cidade Mundial
View photos from OUR PLACE the World Heritage collection
IGESPAR (Institute for the Management of Architectural and Archaeological Heritage)
Porto Vivo SRU (Societety for Urban Rehabilitation)
Câmara Municipal do Porto (Oporto Municipality)
Comissão Nacional da UNESCO (in Portuguese)
Casa da Música (Hous of Music)