4 August 2018

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Porto, Portugal

The Avenida dos Aliados, (Avenue of Allies) is in the centre of Porto, the name refers to the treaty made between Portugal and the UK in the 14th century, which is actually still in place, The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty is the oldest operational alliance in the world.  The Câmara Municipal (city hall) stands at the top of the avenue,  which is lined with buildings in a mixture of architectural styles, including Art Deco and Art Nouveau, built from 1919 onwards.


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The first train arrived at São Bento station in 1896, the building didn’t open until 1916. The site of a former convent, the outside of the building is quite plain compared to what awaits one inside the main entrance hall.  It’s covered in twenty thousand hand painted azulejo by Portuguese artist Jorge Colaço, who took eleven years to complete the work.

The larger panels depict important Portuguese historical events, like the Conquest of Ceuta, and the Battle of Arcos de Valdevez. The smaller panels feature everyday life; working at the watermill and vineyards, a pilgrim camp, a cattle fair, shipping wine and the harvest.
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There seems to be at least one church on every street in Porto, some have three or four. The churches that I noticed have eye catching exteriors, like the one’s shown in these photos, often clad in blue and white azulejos.

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The prominent,  multi windowed, large white building in the photos is the Paço Episcopal, (the Episcopal Palace) which was once the residence for the bishops of Porto. The origins of the palace date back as early as the 12th century, the current building is Baroque in style and dates from the 18th century.

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Across the river  is the remains of a derelict building, long abandoned by its occupants, and gradually being taken over by nature, I like it’s decaying beauty.

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