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 Rua Antonio Bessa Leita 1478

Things to do in Vila Nova De Gaia

    Sao Francisco Church Sao Francisco Church Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
    The Church of St. Francis is the most prominent gothic monument in Oporto, Portugal, famous for its magnificent baroque interior decorations, sitting in the heart of the city and a World Heritage Site. In 1223, the Franciscan order would be established in the town, and at the beginning was antagonized by the clergy of the other religions, especially the bishop of Oporto. It would take a papal bull, called the Bulla Doelentis accepimus, that was issued by Pope Innocent V, to give the Franciscans the property that had already been donated to them, and start construction on their convent and small church, dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi in 1244. King Ferdinand I, would allow the Franciscans to construct a bigger church, in 1383, and it would be finished in 1425, with a simple gothic design, that was quite atypical for the orders at that time in Portugal. Since that time, the church hasn't been changed, so today, it is the finest example of gothic architecture in the city. In the 15th and 16th centuries, important Porto families would pick the Franciscan church for their services, with the chapel of St. John the Baptist a marvelous example, that had been built in the 1530s for the Carneiro family in the Manueline style, which was the Portuguese late gothic style. The major artistic changes to the church would begin in the first half of the 18th century, when the interior of the church would be covered with fabulous Portuguese gilt wood works in the baroque style, including the walls, roof, pillars and side chapels. Most outstanding are the numerous baroque altarpieces of the apse chapels and the nave that are considered to be some of the finest in the country. In the Siege of Porto in 1832, the old cloisters would be destroyed, by a fire, and later replaced with a beautiful example of 19th century neoclassical architecture. The main facade has a marvelous big rose window, made in the gothic style, and is the sole decoration to the facade, with the west portal showcasing a baroque work, that had been organized into two tiers, a statue of St. Francis and solomonic columns. The church has a nave with three aisles, and the center aisle is the biggest, while at the church's east end, there is a splendid transept and apse with three chapels. The interior has a beautiful polychrome granite statue of St. Francis of Assisi, with many beautiful works of art, that make the church such a favorite destination.

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Local Restaurants in Vila Nova De Gaia

    D. Tonho em Gaia
    Entrees; sautéed cod patties with rice & salad; peniche fish stew; bacalhau a ze do pipo; d. tonho francesinha; lafoes veal; vilaca de paredes de coura kid; tripe with white beans; grilled salmon; octopus dried rice with octopus fillets; braised veal tongue with peas; viraito veal tenderloin; traditional small Iberian pork steaks.

Cod Patties D Tonho em Gaia Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

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    Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis National Museum Soares Dos Reis Porto, Portugal
    The National Museum Soares dos Reis occupies the old Carrancas Palace in Porto, Portugal, as one of the most famous Portuguese museums, founded in 1833, as the nation's first national museum. It showcases one of the best collections of Portuguese art, with a fabulous gallery of works by the famous Portuguese sculptor, Antonio Soares dos Reis, who the museum would be named after. It would originally be founded as the Museum Portuense by King Peter IV and housed in the St. Anthony Convent, in the center of the city, with outstanding exhibits of religious art that had been confiscated from the many convents and absolutists, who were the followers of Miguel I of Portugal that had fought against Peter IV the year before. In the 19th century, the museum would make numerous acquisions that would become the nucleus of the collection; and in 1911, the museum would change its name to show honor to the extraordinary sculptor. The museum would be moved in 1942, to the palace, that had improved the storage and exhibiting of the marvelous collection. The palace itself was constructed in 1795 as a home and factory for the Moraes e Castro family, in the neoclassical style that was characteristic of the architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries in the city. The interior of the church would be finished with stucco work, done by the Italian artist, Luis Chiari, along with numerous paintings. In the Peninsular War, the palace would be used as a residence for General Soult, headquarters for the Duke of Wellington and a residence for General Beresford. In the Siege of Porto, in 1832, King Peter IV used it as a headquarters for four months, and in 1861, the palace would be purchased by King Peter V and convert it into the official residence of the Portuguese monarchs in Porto. The palace would keep its austere condition until the monarchy ended, which was in 1910. It would be inaugurated in 1942 as the Carrancas Palace. Its marvelous collections include works by artists like Augusto Santo, Domingos Sequeira, Henrique Pousao, Miguel Angelo Lupi, Vieria Portuence, Augusto Roquemont, and many others.

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    House of the PrinceHouse of the Prince Oporto, Portugal
    The Casa do Infante is also well known as the Alfandega Velha or Old Customs House, that is a historical house in Oporto, Portugal, originally constructed in the 14th century as a customs and mint house, but the condition it is in now was the result of a major renovation done in the 17th century. The name, House of the Prince, comes from the tradition that this house is where Prince Henry the Navigator would be born in in 1394, sitting the historical heart of the city, that is now a World Heritage Site. The customs house would be constructed about 1354 under King Afonso IV, while the king and bishop of Porto were having problems, since the king decided to tax the many goods that were carried by ships going up and down the Douro River, in hopes of reducing the power of the bishop. The new royal customs house would be constructed near the Ribeira River and include a mint, living quarters for the employees and a storage house. There have been numerous archaeological digs done near the structure that there had been a big building that had two towers connected by a courtyard, and in the 15th century, it would undergo numerous expansions and remodels that would change its appearance a lot. The most significant renovation happened in 1677 under King Peter II, when the house would be almost completely reconstructed. They would keep the inner courtyard, although the towers would be reduced in height, while the facade that faced the street, would get two new storeys, and a big staircase that led to the living quarters on the second floor. The facade would incorporate modifications between the 19th and 20th centuries, with a new story being added. During the 1990s, the entire complex would become the site of archaeological surveys that would enhance the understanding of the evolution of the structure, and would divulge that the remains of a large Roman structure had sat there, with a mosaic pavement below that is now viewable. It currently contains a display about the history of the city, that includes a scale model of how the city looked during the Middle Ages.

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    Paco dos Duques de BragncaThe Palace of the Dukes of Braganza Guimares, Portugal
    The Palace of the Dukes of Braganza is a medieval estate and former residence of the first Dukes of Braganza, in the historical heart of Guimaraes begun between 1420 and 1422 by Afonso, Count of Barcelos, the illegitimate son of John I of Portugal, and the future Duke of Braganza, after he married a second time. His prodigeny would live in the house until the Dukes of Braganza moved to the Vila Vicosa, in which time, the palace would be abandoned. In the 16th century, a period of ruin would start, and become worse in the 19th century, when the local populace would use the palace as a personal quarry, until the Estado Novo regime, which would begin a controversial renovation of the palace, and showcasing a grandeur that wasn't there. The palace would become a National Monument in 1910 and become the official residence for the president. The palace would go through some difficult times, and even when it would be used again, it wasn't much more than a simple, albeit, large dwelling without embellishments or artwork. It is an excellent example of Portuguese late medieval architecture that had been used by the nobility, compared to the French 14th century palaces and structures of that period, and would be used as a model for the Palace of the Kings of Majorca, in Perpignan. There are some noteworthy stained glass windows, with two splendid Flemish windows, as well as many other arches, doorways and staircases that break up the monotony. The interior contains simple granite walls, with wooden ceilings and floors, without much decorations, and that can be visible evidence that those royals that lived here didn't care too much about fancier digs, or they didn't live here long enough to do any major changes or dressing up.

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 Rua Antonio Bessa Leita 1478

August 4, 2011