As Porto was once my adopted home city, I was blessed to be able to walk past the Cathedral of Porto every day, on my morning walkies with my dog.
The most important religious building in Porto, the cathedral was built on the highest point of the city in the Morro da Sé district. Being one of the oldest districts – many say this area and its residents are the most genuine part of the city.
Overlooking the Rio Douro with stunning views over the city, the square that the cathedral stands on has a history going back to medieval times. All the major commerce and trades of the city took place on the ground where the cathedral now stands.
In 1147, the Normans, crusaders who came from Northern Europe, agreed to join the Portuguese Army, and help king Afonso Henriques in the conquest to rid Lisbon of the Moors that held the city at that time.
The square also has a more macabre history – the column that stands in the middle of the square was once used to hang the criminals of Porto.
It is believed that construction of the cathedral began during the 12th century. Throughout the centuries, it was rebuilt and renovated which explains why the cathedral is a beautiful mix of architectural styles.
On the outside, the cathedral looks a little like a fortress – it’s facade and nave are romanesque, the temple is baroque in style, and its cloisters and one of the chapels have a distinctive gothic flair.
Just inside the cathedral is the entrance to the cloister through a door to the right of the temple. Dating back to the 14th century, the cloister is decorated with Azulejos, Portuguese hand-painted tiles with scenes from the Bible. You can also visit the Casa do Cabildo, which features the cathedral Treasure, a collection of it’s most precious possessions.
For Camino pilgrims, the Cathedral is the major starting point of their Portuguese Camino de Santiago. You can visit the Cathedral to purchase your pigrim credentia and receive your first Camino stamp.
If you begin your Portuguese Camino de Santiago in the beautiful city of Porto, I hope you enjoy a visit to the Cathedral of Porto.
If you plan to walk the Camino de Santiago, check out my book, A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino de Santiago. I share everything you need to know before you begin your Camino. Read at A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino De Santiago or click the link below.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.