Porto and the north of Portugal takes you back through time, offering the most sublime artistic details from the baroque history in Portugal.
The splendour of this artistic style, a symbol of the 17th century in Portugal, was engraved in numerous monuments in the north of the country, spared the effects of time and preserved by man so that a great deal of the past still remains. These monuments are a testimony to the alluring and impressive nature of baroque art, and we can see and read the reflection of the thriving and rich Portuguese economy of the time.
The perfect tourist route for visiting the finest examples of this artistic style must include the city of Porto, the heart of northern Portugal, as well as the regions of the Sousa Valley, the Douro winegrowing area and the cities of Braga and Guimarães.
In Porto, to marvel at baroque art, visit the Sé Cathedral, which underwent numerous changes in its baroque style, the altarpiece of the main chapel and the Episcopal Palace building, which is the work of the painter Nicolau Nasoni, who lived in this city.
Also visit the Santa Clara, Ordem Terceira, Misericórdia and Santo Ildefonso churches, theatres to the golden splendour of this art. Furthermore, include the Clerics’ Tower (Torre dos Clérigos), an iconic Porto monument that is 250 years old, and the São Francisco Church and the Museum of the Order of St. Francis (Museu da Ordem de São Francisco).
In Guimarães, take a stroll around the city’s streets. Marvel at the façade of the Nossa Senhora da Consolação e Santos Passos Church, and the Johannine altarpiece of the São Francisco Church, which is face of Portugal’s ‘cradle city’.
In Braga, visit the Biscainhos Palace and its gardens, the oldest Cathedral (Sé) in Portugal, the Santa Maria Madalena da Falperra Church, the Tibães Monastery, and lastly, pay a visit to the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary.
In the Douro region, visit the impressive Casa de Mateus, in Vila Real; the Lamego Cathedral, and climb the 686 steps to the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios Sanctuary, a long and tiring staircase with a fabulous reward: the stunning views from the top, and the fine baroque details that embellish this work of art.
The whole region offers symbols of the richness of the baroque period, and its artistic style can be seen in numerous palaces, dwellings and buildings now converted into guesthouses or restaurants. Marvel at the great detail, the radiant shine and the magnificence, and let yourself be dazzled by this region.
Lastly, you’ll see that a visit to Porto and the north is also an opportunity to take home a piece of baroque art and, therefore, a bit of Portuguese history.