During weekends EduPlus offers to the participants the opportunity to participate in a cultural program. The northern part of Portugal offers some of the most beautiful places to visit. Among them, our Partners will find:
Viana do Castelo
A port city located in northern Portugal, in the Costa Verde region ("Green Coast") at the mouth of the Lima River which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The beginnings of the city date back to ancient times, when a Celtic settlement was located on a hill above the city of Monte de Santa Luzia (Saint Lucia Hill). Some time later it was conquered and occupied by the Romans. The official date of foundation of Viana do Castelo is the year 1253. The founder of the city was then the king of Portugal - Alfons III (1210-1279). Viana do Castelo experienced its greatest heyday in the 16th century during great geographical discoveries. At that time, deep-sea ships were built in local shipyards, and thanks to shipping, trade was also rapidly developing. The most important of them include 16thcentury Romanesque parish church (Igreja Matriz), 16th-century Paços do Concelho (former town hall), 16th-century Renaissance Queen's Fountain in the Republic Square (Chafariz da Praça da Rainha), 18th-century Church of Our Lady of Sorrows (Igreja da Senhora da Agonia ), designed by the famous French architect Gustav Eiffel, an impressive iron bridge connecting Viana do Castelo with Santa Maria Maggiore, the eighteenth century Palacio dos Tavoras and built in the years 1903-1943 and towering over the city extremely picturesque monumental Lucia Sanctuary (Santuário de Santa Luzia). This temple was built on the model of the Paris Basilica Sacré Coeur.
The city is famous for its unusual view extending from the windows of the local Temple, which was hailed by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful views in the world.
Ponte de Lima
A city in northern Portugal, located on the Lima River, about 28 km north-west of Braga. Its origins date back to ancient times, when the Romans built a bridge here (Ponte Romana), which was to be a stop on the route of an important trade route leading from Braga to Spanish Astorga. Shortly thereafter, a small settlement formed around the crossing, which quickly developed into a significant commercial center of the region. The city is known mainly for one of the largest and most well-known markets in Portugal, organized every other Monday. A characteristic element of the Ponte de Lima panorama is the Roman bridge leading to the old town, the landscape with an exotic palm tree in the background. You can walk around this 277-meter-long, 4-meter-wide bridge closed to cars, called Ponte Velha. We start the tour of the city from the main square of Largo de Camões (directly at the bridge). The square has a 17th-century chafariz, i.e. a fountain. In the corner of the square there is a remnant of the fourteenth-century defensive walls - Torre de São Paulo. At Passeio 25 de Abril, a pedestrian street, there are numerous small shops with local products. A walk to the south, along the Lima River, along the shady, plane-lined avenues of Avenida Dom Luis Filipe, allows you to see the former convent of São Francisco and São António dos Capuchos. The building, originally from the 16th century, now houses a museum of sacred art. On the other side of the bridge is Igreja de Santo António, dating from the nineteenth century. The picturesque object, with a beautiful tower, is often photographed, it blends in well with the palm tree and hills in the background.
Porto is the second largest city of Portugal, in the opinion of many, completely different from Lisbon. It constantly fights in the for the title of the most beautiful city of Portugal. Porto offers not only great architecture of the center, interesting monuments, but also the world-famous Porto wine. There is an old saying in Portugal that says: "They work in Porto, they pray in Braga, they study in Coimbra, and they spend money in Lisbon" - it reflects the atmosphere of Porto, which is the most important city in northern Portugal, but we must not forget that Porto offers also an innovative architecture that contrasts with the historic center and a number of attractions that together make the city unique. There is no shortage of postcard views, because the city lies on a hill and there is no problem to find a picturesque shot of the Douro River, which means "Golden" in Portuguese. The place to start exploring is the Town Hall which dominates the northern end of Avienda dos Aliados. It was built in 1920 and is one of the largest town halls in Europe with a 70 meter high granite tower and an impressive clock. Going down the main street we pass the historic Estação de São Bento Porto railway station on the left and a little further on the right side the Se Catedral do Porto. Strolling along Rua de Augusto Rosa you can see the Funicular dos Guindais cable car. From the tunnel you can see one of the most characteristic points of the city - the bridge of Louis I (Ponte de Dom Luís I), which was designed by the engineer Théophil Seyrigow, who a few years earlier, together with Gustav Eiffel designed the Ponte Dona Maria Pia bridge, which is also located in Porto. To see the best panorama we go over the bridge towards Vila Nova de Gaia. Along the coast there are many benches where we can sit and take a look at the river, admiring one of the most famous panoramas of Porto. You will see, among others traditional wooden barges that were once used to transport wine down the river. It is worth going to the magnificent church and tower of Clerigos - Igreja e Torre dos Clérigos - on Rua S. Filipe de Nery. Nearby is the Universidade do Porto building, the famous Livraria Lello Bookshop Porto library together with the magnificent Igreja do Carmo church, which is entirely decorated with Portuguese azulejos (ceramic tiles).