Heritage Travel, Historic Preservation, Random DJB Thoughts
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Porto, Portugal – A great start to our tour of European coastal civilizations

Candice and I just completed the first day of our European Coastal Civilizations tour, spending a delightful day in Porto, Portugal.  After setting sail from Lisbon, our ship headed north overnight and docked on Friday morning at the Port of Leixoes which services the city of Porto.

Bell Tower, Church of St. Francis

Quoting from the ship’s news,

The city of Porto, built along the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro river, is an outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history. Its continuous growth is linked to the sea (the Romans gave it the name Portus, or port). It is the second largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon, and one of the major urban areas of Southern Europe.

Porto’s history goes back to pre-Roman, Celtic times, and it was during the Middle Ages that it developed into one of Portugal’s most important trading cities.  It was in the 18th century that Porto became an important link between the Douro Valley wine producers and wine importing countries like England.

The old city – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is where we spent most of our day.  Two outstanding interiors, the Stock Exchange Palace and the Church of St. Francis, were off-limits to cameras, so you’ll have content yourself with click-throughs on the links.  We were able to take some exteriors around the city, which will give you a flavor of an extensive center city that is struggling, under difficult economic conditions, but nonetheless remains lively and attractive.

As we enjoyed a beer and sangria in an old city market with new friends from Texas, Candice and I agreed it was a great start to our trip.

Center City, Porto, Portugal
A Street in historic Porto, Portugal
The textured history of Porto, Portugal

More to come…



I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: A Wonderful Week | More to Come...

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