Around Us | Aliados

Art Senses

11 March 2018

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The imposing Avenida dos Aliados is the heart of the city, a sloping boulevard lined with grand buildings and a central promenade. Most of the buildings are hotels or banks, while the central promenade used to be a garden but was remodelled in 2006 by renowned architect Alvaro Siza Vieira who also designed the city’s Serralves Museum.

The name of this central boulevard translates as “Avenue of the Allies” and this refers to the treaty between Portugal and the United Kingdom in the 14th century. Still in place, the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty is the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force. Avenida dos Aliados is generally regarded as Porto’s city centre and is, as such, the most grandiose avenue.

Interesting Notes

At the top of the avenue stands the Town Hall, a palatial building with a tall bell tower (70meters high). Made of granite and marble, its design was influenced by the municipal architecture of Flanders and France. In front of the building is a modernist statue of Portuguese writer Almeida Garrett. At the other end of the avenue is Praça da Liberdade, a square adorned with a statue of King Pedro IV on a horse. There are also several cafes, including the historical Guarany, and what many call “The Most Beautiful McDonald’s in The World”, located where the old Café Imperial used to be. Sit at one of the tables on the pavement outside to watch the world go by, and pass by the city’s main tourism office by the Town Hall.

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