During the reign of Romans a large city wall was built around Porto. In the XIV century, another wall was added. It was built around the cathedral. Nowadays, this double wall is partially destroyed, but in some parts of the city the wall is still well-preserved. The old quarter of Ribeira, located on the north bank of the Douro, is one of these places. This district is full of small steep streets with old houses painted in pastel colors, narrow and dark alleys, small inner yards and coffee terraces. Many people still live here, so Ribeira quarter today is more like a museum of Portuguese culture in the open air. The facades of many houses in the quarter are decorated with colorful azulejo tiles. Even signs with the names of streets are made from these beautiful tiles.
Praça da Ribeira.
Praca da Ribeira is the heart of the quarter. This is a small cozy square with a work of contemporary art in the center – the square is decorated with a cube (O Cubo) by Jose Rodriguez. Despite the chaotic intersection of streets, it’s almost impossible to get lost in Ribeira district – if you go down, you will surely come out to the banks of the de Cais da Ribeira River, where you will find many bars, cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops. There are also small old ships (barcos rabelos) moored to the embankment. Previously, these ships were used as a transport – they brought port from remote villages to the city. Today, they are used for excursion purposes and offer tourist rides along the river. Football fans should definitely not forget to visit the Chez Lapin restaurant that is a permanent meeting place for fans of FC Porto. In the evening, the embankment of the Douro River is filled with fans of night entertainment.
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