Today's blog post is about the origin of the Dragon's symbolism in Porto. Two things are for sure: they are not endemic and they're not the reason for FCPorto's excellent results in football and other sports :)
"WHAT's WITH ALL THESE DRAGONS IN PORTO?"
HIC SVNT DRACONES, latin for "here be dragons” is in fact an expression that some medieval cartographers used for labelling some unknown regions in maps believing that fantastic beasts existed in remote corners of the world.
While you cannot find the expression in any of the modern local tourist maps of Porto, the city could definitely be considered as a Dragon’s den as you’ll find an unusually large number of these fierce creatures lying around squares, façades and even inside some buildings and monuments.
One of my tasks as guide, almost as a civic duty, is to inform any running visitor that these dragons are not just FCPorto’s symbol of invincibility (FCPorto is the most important local football club) but its origin and connection to Porto go way back! Dragons have been around for the last 6 centuries...!
It can actually be great fun to run in search for the not so visible dragons spread all throughout the city! This Roman warrior statue called "o Porto" standing in Aliados avenue is proudly wearing a Dragon on his helmet. The statue was part of the old city hall building, demolished in the early 1900's.
Sérgio is the founder of PRT, a keen runner since 1999 and a friendly running tour guide since 2015.
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