Portugal’s second city is famed for its well-preserved medieval core, baroque churches and a string of six graceful bridges crossing the Douro River, one designed by the great Gustave Eiffel. Less well-known is that Porto is a hub of contemporary architecture. The city is home to two winners of the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s greatest accolade, Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura; both are on the faculty of the acclaimed University of Porto School of Architecture. We’ve selected a few key Porto landmarks that will deepen your appreciation of the city and the creative geniuses who shaped it.
Clérigos Church and Tower
Architect: Nicolau Nasoni
Nasoni was born in Italy but spent most of his career in northern Portugal, where he adapted the distinct baroque style of his home country. Indeed, the iconic tower wouldn’t look out of place in a Tuscan piazza. Here, it looms 250 feet over the city, providing stupendous panoramic views to those willing to climb the 225 steps to the top. The ellipse-shaped church, while not as dazzling as the gold-leafed São Francisco nearby, has a fine domed interior and an elaborately overwrought façade.