From Pena Ventos Hill the view across the traditional and picturesque old town of Porto, on the Rio Douro could not be more beautiful. The houses are set close to each other along the steep slopes of the old Portuguese harbor town. The historic origins of Se Catedral date back to the 12th century when the original church was established on a raised area of granite rock.
The decision to construct the building at this location was probably more for strategic rather than aesthetic reasons. In spite of numerous reconstructions, the church has never been able to lose its fortress-like appearance. Throughout the centuries and according to the architectural of each epoch, the external Romanesque appearance of the cathedral has been the subject of constant transformation.
King Joao The First and his wife, Philippa, had eight children, among whom was their famous son and discoverer, Henry The Navigator, who was born in Porto. In addition to numerous successful expeditions, Henry’s self-taught contribution to shipbuilding and nautical science earned him a glorious place in the pages of history. Due to his achievements, he laid the foundation for Portugal’s subsequent emergence as a colonial power.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.