Internacional

Routes of the Romantic in Porto

Overlooking the Douro River, Porto has an incomparable urban and landscape structure, visible in the architecture, monuments and streets. From the Porto 2011 European Capital of Culture emerged the creation of the Routes of the Romantic, which passed by the delimitation of five thematic walking routes, connected to the history of the Massarelos' parish. Suddenly, we leave the bustle of the D. Manuel II and Júlio Dinis streets to enter in a bucolic scenery, of the romanticism's style, between gardens, woods, stone walls, noble and bourgeois farms, fountains, springs, and wash- houses, all with a fantastic view over the Douro River as a backdrop, in an impressive silence: the village in full city.

The five thematic routes intend to bring attention to some of the contradictions of the 19th century's Porto, romantic and bourgeois, rural and industrial. The first route, the Romanticism's Porto, has the Crystal Palace's gardens as a starting point and continues down the Entre-Quintas and Macieirinha streets, reaching the Tait House and the Romantic Museum. The second route, the Use of Water, follows the old beds of the Ribeira de Massarelos (Massarelos Riverside) and its tributary, the Vilar River. Following by the Macieirinha Street, you can find fountains, springs and wash houses that used to supply the farms of the nobility and bourgeoisie, and small agricultural fields. The next route, Industrial and Rural Archeology, between the Travessa da Macierinha and the Cais do Bicalho (Bicalho Pier), reveals two lifestyles that succeed one another in time: a countryside that became, from the 19th century, a predominantly industrial area, result of the installation of mills, sawmills and foundries. The Massarelos Factory and the Prestígio da Burguesia (Bourgeoisie's Prestige) is the route that bridges the gap between rural scenarios, fishery scenarios and industrial scenarios. Among agricultural places that appear unchanged since the 17th century, we can see traces of a fluvial and maritime fauna's village and the ruins of the Pombal's first factory in the country. From Gólgota to Massarelos is the last route of these Romantic Routes. It begins in the Faculty of Architecture, passes through the Gólgota, a neighborhood of laborers, who worked in the riverside industry, and it recreates the path of these workers till Massarelos through the Arrábida's scenic beauty.

Before starting the first route, which also comprises the Quinta Tait and Quinta da Macierinha ( Tait and Macieirinha Farms) - where the Romantic Museum is installed -, a passage through the Crystal Palace is indispensable. The Tait and Macierinha farms are considered today the heart of the Porto's Romantic. The first route starts in the Entre-Quintas Street, to the right of the Quinta da Macierinha's gate. When this street intersects with the Macierinha Street, the view is privileged. The arrival to the Restauração Street marks the end of the first route, and it's also on this street, turning right into the Calçada de Sobre-o-Ouro (Sobre-o-Ouro Sidewalk), that you can begin the 4th route: the Massarelos Factory and the Bourgeoisie's Prestige. Already at the end of the street, you can find the Adro Square and the Corpo Santo de Massarelos Church. According to the legend, the sailors, among them the Prince D.Henrique, seeing the S. Telmo's fire on their vessel's mast, promised to build a chapel dedicated to this saint, in the case they managed to get through it. The route continues through the staircases that lead to the Cais das Pedra Avenue. The Use of Water Route is drawn around the Massarelos valley. The Rural and Industrial Archeology traverses the Macieirinha Street, till the Restauração Street. The Route of Gólgota to Massarelos starts on the campus towards the place of Massarelos. Unfortunately, the signs of neglect and vandalism stole part of the romanticism from the streets and footpaths. There is a service of guided tours for groups upon enrolment in the Romantic Museum or through the phone number 226066568.

 

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