Ponte D. Maria II, The Suspension Bridge 1843

Ponte D. Maria II, The Suspension Bridge 1843

The suspension bridge, officially named Ponte D. Maria II, was a suspension bridge linking the two banks of the Douro River, between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. The start of construction ceremony was held on 2 May 1841, to celebrate the anniversary of the coronation of Queen Maria II, although it got known as […]

Barcas Bridge, Ponte das Barcas Disaster 1809

Barcas Bridge, Ponte das Barcas Disaster 1809

The invasion of the Napoleonic troops in Portugal under Marshal Soult is still vividly remembered in Porto. A day after the French victory at the First Battle of Porto, on 29 March 1809, as the population fled for the advancing troops and tried to cross the river Douro over the Ponte das Barcas (a pontoon bridge), the bridge collapsed […]

Maria Pia Bridge, Ponte Maria Pia in Oporto

Maria Pia Bridge, Ponte Maria Pia in Oporto

The Maria Pia bridge (Ponte Maria Pia), commonly known as Ponte Dona Maria, is a railway bridge built in 1877 by Gustave Eiffel in Porto, Portugal. Built ofwrought iron, its two-hinged crescent arch used to carry the railway to Lisbon for 353 metres (1,158 ft) across the River Douro at a height of 60 m (200 ft) above the river. When constructed it was the longest single-arch span […]

Philippa of Lancaster, Queen of Portugal 1387

Philippa of Lancaster, Queen of Portugal 1387

Philippa of Lancaster, Filipa de Lencastre, 31 March 1360 – 19 July 1415, was Queen of Portugal from 1387 until 1415 as the wife of King John I. Born into the royal family of England, her marriage secured the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance (1373–1386) and produced several children who became known as the “Illustrious Generation” in Portugal. Born on 31 March 1360, Philippa was the oldest child […]

Oporto and The Conquest of Ceuta 1415

Oporto and The Conquest of Ceuta 1415

He have seen how the kingdom of Portugal itself was almost an offspring of the Crusades. They had left behind them a thirst for wealth and for a wider life on one side, and a broken Moslem power on the other, which opened the way and stirred the enterprise of every maritime state. We know […]

Oporto, Portus Cale

Oporto, Portus Cale

Portus Cale (Latinised version for “Port of Cale”, from the original Celtic name Callaici and Cale) was an ancient town and port in current-day northern Portugal, in the area of today’s Grande Porto. Cale was an early settlement located at the mouth of the Douro River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean in the north of what is now Portugal. The mainstream explanation for the name is […]

Porto or Oporto, The Name

Porto or Oporto, The Name

Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. Its combined Celtic-Latin name, Portus Cale, has been referred to as the origin of the name “Portugal”, based on transliteration and oral evolution from Latin. In Portuguese, the name of the city is spelled with a definite article “o Porto” in English, the port. Consequently, its English name […]