Porto celebrates National Day of Historic Centres with 10 hours of entertainment

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Filipa Brito

The National Day of Historic Centres (DNCH) is officially celebrated on March 28th. In Porto, the celebration is anticipated to the previous Saturday, the 26th. Between 9 am and 7 pm, there will be a program full of initiatives, mostly, free of charge.

Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1996, the Historic Centre of Porto will be celebrating during the 26th of March. Activities start at 9 am and last until the end of the day, in a program that includes guided tours, exhibitions, workshops and music and dance shows.

Until 7pm, museums, monuments, churches, and other institutions will open their doors to the public and there will also be several outdoor routes available.

The initiatives, promoted by more than 20 entities, require prior registration, in the most part.

City Museum(s) outdoors

The City Museum presents a set of guided outdoor tours, free of charge, but with prior registration.

The Extensão do Douro, on Reboleira street, invites the public to visit “Em torno do Douro” (Around the Douro). Between 3 and 4pm, the participants will be able to learn about the history that surrounds this street and its buildings, showing its connections to the river, the Douro region and wine.

Starting at 10:30 am, at Casa do infante, the visit to the “Obras de arte na zona ribeirinha” (Riverside Art), takes place, in an itinerary that aims to pay attention to some of the art works located in the riverside area of Porto, through their authors, contents and meanings.

“Da Porta da Batalha à Porta da Ribeira” (From Porta da Batalha to Porta da Ribeira) is another available option to know the historic city centre. For two hours, the visit will show one of the major routes of the medieval Porto city, between the high area of Batalha and the river Douro. The rendez vous is scheduled for 3pm in Batalha square.

In the afternoon, Casa Guerra Junqueiro proposes an itinerary through the streets and alleys around Sé Catedral, where you can discover the marks that make this territory considered a World Heritage Site. The visit, which starts at 3pm, lasts approximately one hour.

Family Activities

The program, which consists of more than 60 activities, dedicates some initiatives to the younger public and their families. There will be workshops, guided tours and even a Pedi paper. With so many activities, rain or shine, the motto is to go outside and discover the city’s historic centre.

The Museu do Centro Hospitalar do Porto (Museum of the Hospital Center of Porto) challenges families to unravel various enigmas related to the building. “Enigmas do Museu” (Museum Enigmas) is the name of the Pedi Paper that will allow you to discover, explore and travel through the memory of Hospital de Santo António and Hospital Joaquim Urbano.

The workshop “Se essa rua fosse minha” (If this street were mine) is a proposal by the Municipal department of Cultural Heritage Management, where children will be able to use their imagination and various materials to design the different buildings that make up the surrounding area of Casa do Infante. The initiative will take place between 11 am and 12 noon at Casa do Infante.

The World of Discoveries has also prepared a special activity for families. As part of the commemorations of the 500 years of Magellan’s circumnavigation journey, the invitation is to experience the reality of a 16th century ship. There are several sessions of “Embarque na viagem de Fernão de Magalhães!” (Embark on Magellan's Journey), morning and afternoon.

“Uma aventura em Família” (A family adventure) is the name of the guided tour to São José das Taipas church, where culture and adventure merge. The secrecy and history will provide an experience fit for all ages. The activity starts at 1:30pm and lasts for two hours.

A day filled with music and dancing

The Palácio das Artes, in São Domingos square, will host several dance shows during the afternoon. The invitation was addressed to six dance schools in the city (Escola de Ballet do Porto; Estúdio de Dança Margarida Valle; MXM Dance Studio; Escola de Dança Sabor Latino; Escola de Dança Opala; Academy Broadway) that will fill this iconic building with movement.

In the same place, and when the curtain falls, there will be silence to hear a string quartet. At Portuguese Photography Center (Centro Português de Fotografia), the show “Piano delle Arti” will bring together Portuguese and Italian students on stage, in a presentation where music and dance go hand in hand.

At Terreiro da Sé, the Portuguese Symphonic Band presents a concert specially designed for the National Day of Historic Centres.

The program will be exclusively by Portuguese composers, such as Hélder Bettencourt, José Silva Marques, Ilídio Costa and Duarte Ferreira Pestana. Highlight for “Porto de Saudades”, a composition by Nelson Jesus, which alludes to Clérigos Tower, Palácio de Cristal and other experiences of the Invicta.

The show starts at 5 pm and is promoted by Ágora – Cultura e Desporto do Porto.

See the complete program attached.