If you’re studying in Porto and think you know all about the city you’re in, then here are a few facts about Porto that you might not have heard about.
The Latin name for Porto was Portus Cale. Then, in the Medieval times, the region north of the Douro was named the “Condado Portucalense” (County of Portucale), which then eventually led to the country of Portugal.
The most famous of Portuguese wines, the Port Wine, is traditionally produced in the Douro Valley and stored and aged in the cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto. I suggest you visit the caves in Gaia for some wine-tasting sessions!
Between 1958 and 1960, the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix was hosted on the streets of Porto. After 1960, The Boavista Circuit never hosted another Formula One GP, but was brought back for the WTCC between 2007 and 2013.
In Portugal, Invicta stands for unconquered. Why is it Invicta? Porto is called the Invicta because during the 19th century Portuguese civil war, the city withstood a siege of over a year.
Legend has it that back in the 15th century, when Henry the Navigator’s fleet needed supplies for its Conquest of Ceuta, the city of Porto provided them with every last bit of meat they had – leaving only the tripes behind. From these leftovers, the people of Porto came up with the now-famous Tripas à Moda do Porto (Tripes Porto Style) dish, thus earning the nickname of Tripeiros.
In fact, the Maria Pia Bridge was Gustave Eiffel’s last project before his famous Eiffel Tower. Eiffel was then part of the D. Luis Bridge project until he decided to walk away from it – he didn’t want to share the credit with his apprentice, Théophile Seyrig.
The “Frenchy” is a very special kind of sandwich. Bathed in a tomato-beer sauce, the sandwich has roast beef, ham, linguiça sausage, and is covered in cheese; it’s then accompanied by lots of chips and a beer.
Beware, though, this isn’t a meal for the light-stomached! Most people from outside Porto have trouble eating a whole one! Mind you, I have had two in a row a few times…
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