Porto and the North Sights

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Sé do Porto (Cathedral)

Sé do Porto (Cathedral) Review

Originally constructed in the 12th century by the parents of Dom Afonso Henriques (Portugal's first king), Porto's granite cathedral has been rebuilt twice: first in the late 13th century and again in the 18th century, when the architect of the Torre dos Clérigos, Nicolau Nasoni, was among those commissioned to work on its expansion. Despite the renovations, it remains a fortresslike structure—an uncompromising testament to medieval wealth and power. Notice a low relief on the northern tower, depicting a 14th-century vessel and symbolizing the city's nautical vocation. Size is the only exceptional thing about the interior; when you enter the two-story, 14th-century cloisters, however, the building comes to life. Decorated with gleaming azulejos, a staircase added by Nasoni leads to the second level and into a richly furnished chapter house, from which there are fine views through narrow windows. Nasoni also designed the Paço dos Arcebispos (Archbishops' Palace) behind the cathedral. It has been converted to offices, so you can only admire its 197-foot-long facade.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Terreiro da Sé, Porto, 4050-573 | Map It
  • Phone: 22/205–9028
  • Cost: Cathedral free; cloisters €3
  • Hours: Cathedral Nov.–Mar., Mon.–Sat. 9–12:30 and 2:30–6, Sun. 8:30–12:30 and 2:30–6; Apr.–Oct., Mon.–Sat. 9–12:30 and 2:30–7, Sun. 8:30–12:30 and 2:30–7. Cloisters Nov.–Mar., Mon.–Sat. 9–12:15 and 2:30–5:30, Sun. 2:30–5:30; Apr.–Oct., Mon.–Sat. 9–6:30, Sun. 2:30–6:30
  • Website:
  • Location: Porto
Updated: 11-08-2013

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