I’m pretty sure you won’t need more than the friendly attitude of local people or a glass of full-bodied red wine from the Douro valley to really feel like at home in Porto. But still, if you’re looking for a common element, something familiar, one that you can find in other parts of the world, then you may want to read this post through to the end. Spoiler: it's not the croissants!
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 :)
" - Is that the Crystal Palace you've mentioned? "
" - Well.. not really... :) "
You can't miss this building when you look at Porto's skyline. That is why it frequently becomes a conversation topic in the running tours I guide. A second reason is because I often bring up the fact that this venue is intimately connected to running, though not in an obvious way... !
While some local people still call that UFO shaped green dome in the background "o Palácio de Cristal", that is not its name. The historic Crystal Palace was indeed built in this location in the 1860's, inspired on the original exhibition building that stood in the south of London. The Portuguese 'replica' does no longer exist for it got dismantled in 1951.
The currently existing building's real name is Rosa Mota pavilion, a sport venue. To explain you who Rosa Mota is and how is running involved we need to go back to the 80's.
Care to join me?
Around 60 million people are estimated to run or jog in the United States. In Europe we have around 50 million people running, 6 million in Germany alone, the Netherlands with 2,4 million regular runners and, according to a Marktest study last year, Portugal with around 1.5 million natives 'saying they've engaged in some form of running activity at least once in the last 12 months'…
2015's Boston Marathon finish line - running community has huge numbers in the US
Sérgio is the founder of PRT, a keen runner since 1999 and a friendly running tour guide since 2015.
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