Vila do Conde, old history come to life
Porto city has its own way of getting to you. We`ve been there a few times already and we are planning a new trip. This time, we want to go beyond the borders of the city and visit some interesting spots in the region, such as Vila do Conde, old history come to life.
Situated in Northern Portugal, not so far from Oporto, Vila do Conde is actually one of the oldest human settlements in Portugal, with traces dating back to the Paleolithic age. The town was apparently already there when Portugal started to found itself as a nation, as attested in a 953 document.
After centuries of uninterrupted inhabitation, the city attained its maximum prosperity in the 16th century, along with the Great Age of Portuguese Discoveries. This is because by now, Vila do Conde had already developed into a prominent maritime and commercial center.
The symbol of the city is the Monastery of Santa Clara, founded in 1318 by Afonso Sanches and Teresa Martins, his wife. Afonso was the bastard son of King Dinis of Portugal and a nobleman himself too. The convent, one of the richest monasteries housing nuns in Portugal, came to life after a dream that the nobleman had. In the dream, he was presumably told to create a stairway to heaven, so he proceeded to constructing this amazing Gothic place of worship that still stands tall today.
Vila do Conde also houses the second largest aqueduct in all of Portugal, built in the 18th century around the walls of the Santa Clara Convent.
The Maritime Museum, dedicated to sailors and other “men of the sea”, is also an important tourist attraction.
And of course, the entire town breathes history at every step. We really want to go there this year, so we’ll let you know. If you want to join us, be sure to book a Porto taxi transfer to take you there quickly and safely!