Muralhas de D. Fernando (Porto City Walls)
City Walls in Porto
The Muralhas de D. Fernando, or Fernandine Walls, are medieval fortifications located in the civil parish of Cedofeita, Santo Ildefonso, Sé, Miragaia, São Nicolau e Vitória, in the municipality of Porto, Portuguese Porto.
In the mid-14th century, during the Middle Ages, the construction of the walls of Porto (Muralhas do Porto) began as the city expanded beyond its ancient Roman and primitive walls, known as Cerca Velha. King Fernando ordered the building of new walls, almost 10 meters high, which would enclose the historic centre of Porto.
In the 18th century, Porto’s urban growth once again surpassed its walls, leading to their demolition in most sections. Some portions were preserved for cultural and historical purposes. The old walls, known as Fernandina Wall, were 2,600 meters in perimeter and featured several quadrangular towers and battlements. The construction of the Fernandina Wall began under King Alfonso IV, and was completed under King Fernando I. At the time of its inauguration, the walls had several gates and entrances, but now only the Carvão Gate remains.
Best Place to see Muralhas de D. Fernando
There are two elements that we can still see in Porto belonging to the old Fernandina wall:
- The Carvão Gate, whose name means “Coal Shutter”, was the access through which coal was supplied to the city. Hence its proximity to the river (it is located in the heart of the Ribeira neighborhood; in Cais da Estiva).
- Torre del Barredo, dating from the 13th century (located at Rua de Baixo 5, a three-minute walk from Postigo de Carvão).
Regarding the walls themselves, the best preserved parts of the wall are two:
- The best known is the wall between the Convent of Santa Clara and the Ponte Luis I (Trecho dos Guindais), next to the Funicular dos Guindais. This part of the wall, which reaches 200 meters, was restored at the beginning of the 20th century and constitutes the largest section preserved today.
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Visiting Muralhas de D. Fernando (Porto City Walls)
Monday – Friday: 08h30 – 17h30, Weekends: By Appointment Only