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Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto)

Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto)

Built in 1110 in the highest point in the city, Sé do Porto, or Porto Cathedral, is a defining landmark of the city, and the most important religious building in Porto. A visit to the cathedral is well worth not only for its historical importance, but also for its remarkable mix of architectural styles that range from Romanesque to Baroque and Gothic, and lastly, for the beautiful views it offers over the city--stretching from the Old Town to the Atlantic coast.
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Stock Exchange Palace

Stock Exchange Palace

Built between 1842 and 1870 on the former site of a Franciscan convent, The Stock Exchange Palace, or Palácio da Bolsa, is an impressive building in Neoclassical style, which currently houses the headquarters of the Porto Commercial Association. Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Palácio da Bolsa attracts around 200,000 visitors a year, making it the most visited monument in the north of Portugal. Take a guided tour to see up close its magnificently decorated rooms, especially the Arab Room, which features the exotic Moorish Revival architecture. This room also serves as a reception hall for heads of state and personalities visiting the city.
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Monument Church of St Francis

Monument Church of St Francis

Near the Stock Palace and the Douro River is another UNESCO World Heritage site that is well worth visit while in Porto, the Monument Church of St Francis, or Igreja Monumento de São Francisco. This church built around the 14th century has one of Europe's most sumptuous and extravagant interiors. Here, all that glitter is, in fact, gold! Its interior is covered in gilded woodwork, and rumour has it that it was used around 400 to 600 kg of gold to decorate it. Hence why the St. Francis Church is also known as "The Golden Church". Another highlight of this church is its impressive Tree of Jesse, a wooden sculpture carved by Filipe da Silva and António Gomes in 1718 depicting the ancestors of Jesus Christ, shown in a branching tree--considered to be one of the best in the world of its kind. Under the church, you will find the catacombs, where the Franciscan monks along with the members of Porto's noble families are buried.
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São Bento Railway Station

São Bento Railway Station

A must-see while in Porto is the São Bento Railway Station. More than just a train station, this place is another architectural jewel, among the many others this city boasts. Built by the Portuguese architect José Marques da Silva in 1900, the São Bento Railway Station opened to the public sixteen years later. Its construction took place on the site that once housed a Benedictine monastery, hence the name São Bento. The architecture has a French Renaissance influence, and even though its facade is already quite impressive, its interior is what leaves visitors truly awestruck. The main hall is beautifully decorated--from the ground to the ceiling--with more than 20,000 "azulejos" (Portuguese tiles), which recount important events of the history of Portugal.
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