In the centre of Porto, as one of the central elements that connects the streets and monuments of the city, is located the Cordoaria Garden. This great park in a romantic style is an essential visit for travellers and a regular meeting point for the portuenses.
If you were preparing your trip for your next days off, you will surely be interested in knowing it in detail. We can enjoy it together. Join us and you will see it.
Cordoaria Garden: its history
Also called Jardim de João Changas, commonly known as A Cordoaria, it is located in Campo dos Mártires da Patria, the neighbourhood of the city from which it takes its name and where the string producers of Miragaia settled, an area from the Ribeira.
The park was built in 1865 by order of Viscount Vilar d’Allen, who commissioned the German landscaper Emilio David, also author of the gardens of the Crystal Palace.
Over the years, it became the botanical garden and main green area of Porto due to its privileged location next to monuments, such as the University, the Clérigos Tower or the Carmo church.
In 1941, the garden was devastated by a cyclone, which significantly altered its surroundings. A subsequent refurbishment gave it a new appearance and its distinctive and centuries-old tree species, one of its great attractions, classified as of Public Interest.
A few years ago, on the occasion of the urban remodelling works for the European capital of Porto 2001, the garden underwent a series of changes with a significant modification of the spaces, and which definitively turned it into a point of tourist and cultural attraction in Porto.
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Cordoaria Garden: a green door ib the centre of Porto
The park presents a leafy aspect and supposes a kind of entrance door to some of the great buildings of the city, such as the Palácio da Justiça, a great neo-fascist construction built under Batista's orders; or the Hospital de Santo António, built of granite in the 18th century, which is one of the main hospitals in Porto and Portugal.
A few meters away, the garden leads us to the main tourist and monumental attractions of the city. Let’s see it.
Portuguese Centre of Photography
It’s located in front of the Cordoaria gardens and next to the Clérigos Tower. The admission is free, and it is nestled in the old prison building.
The Clérigos Tower
It is the most characteristic monument of Porto. With more than 70 meters high and 225 stairs. It was built in the mid-eighteenth century by Nicolau Nassoni, one of the most prominent artists in the city's Baroque. The tower served as a viewpoint, and on a clear day you can see the sea, offering the best views of the city.
Carmo and Carmelitas churches
Also a few meters from the Cordoaría gardens, they are two different churches, but they form a unique monumental complex. On the left, the Carmelite church was built in the 17th century and is one of the most important temples in the city. The facade is made of concrete with two floors and a pediment.
The Carmo church, dating from the 18th century, has a facade lined with tiles, drawn in blue and white (azulejos). On the same square is the Fountain of the Lions, that gives its name to this square of the University.
Lello & Irmão library
It’s considered as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world and a true monument of the city. Its ceilings, stained glass and stairs make it one of the must-sees during your stay in the city. Its furniture and decoration inspired several scenes from the Harry Potter movie.
Café Âncora D'ouro
Located in front of the University, it was the first café that opened its doors in the city (1909), and the first one in which a licensed female entered. Also known as O Piolho (The Lice), it gets its name from the fact that it resembled a set of lice, because of the frequent, and sometimes persecuted, student meetings.
It is a true emblem among university students of several generations. It has a reputation for serving extraordinary francesinhas.
Get know it joining a free tour through Porto
But if you want to know what to do in Porto and delve into the history and current events that distinguish the Cordoaria Garden, and everything that surrounds it, the best way is to take the free tour through Porto. Our guides know the secrets of the city better than anyone and will show it to you for free.
You will be interested to know, for example, details about such important persons in Portugal and in Porto as Batista or José Afonso, the explanation of the Carnation Revolution or about the resistance of the university students in Porto.
You can check all this and much more by visiting the Cordoaria Garden with the best guides in the city. Do not run out of space, sign up here. We will be waiting for you in Praça da Liberdade (Liberty Square). Find our green umbrella!