est.reading time: 3 min
A statue with a nomadic lifestyle
(January, 10th, 2024) The iconic statue 'o Porto' was relocated. It is now placed next to the 'old town hall' tower, a few meters away from Porto's Cathedral - and has a shiny new golden spear!
This stoic figure, sculpted in the 1800s, has seen the city change dramatically over the last two centuries, and it has been quite the traveler itself. Kind of a tourist in its own city! Shall we learn a bit more about its journey and symbology?
A fairly mobile statue carrying all the symbols
This elegant warrior in Roman attire, modeled after Mars, the god of war and father (pater) of the Roman people, but with a helmet topped by a dragon (a reference to St.George) and a shield bearing the inscription "Portus Cale" alongside the city's coat of arms, is the bearer of the name of the city it symbolizes: "O Porto".
The statue, initially conceived as the central element at the top of the facade of a private palace turned town hall, would make any modern-day nomad envious. Since 1916, time when this palace got demolished to make space for the wide new 'Avenida dos Aliados', it has been placed in various locations around the city, including the front of the Episcopal Palace, the gardens of the Crystal Palace, the Fernandina Wall, or next to the middle-ages' city council tower, the exact place to where it has now returned to.
From 2013 until very recently, it was installed in the Liberdade Square, in front of Bank of Portugal's building ( at the lower end of the Aliados avenue).
Once upon a time, there was a palace
The mighty warrior and its palace were witnesses to some of the most important events in Portuguese history, including the proclamation of liberalism in 1820, the proclamation of the Constitutional Charter in 1832, and the proclamation of a short-lived republic in 1891.
Keeping you up to speed
As long as we keep having the motivation to run and share some of the history with visiting runners, we will continue to chase down this statue throughout the Invicta. Our running tours are also a great opportunity to quickly get your bearings and learn about events or new places that are not to be missed, making the most of our local running tour guide's knowledge.
For now, 'o Porto' returned to its roots, finding a permanent home on the hilltop, next to the Cathedral. This spot held a certain charm for the itinerant trooper, as it brought him back to the place where the Romans founded Portus Cale about 1700 years ago, a settlement that would eventually give rise to the magnificent city of Porto.
Above all, it is a reminder that even in a city as old as ours, there is still room for adventure.
Next time you're in Porto, be sure to book a running tour in the heart of the city and say hello to 'o Porto', the wandering warrior!
Who knows where his next adventure will take him?
Sérgio é o fundador da Porto Running Tours, corre regularmente desde 1999 e desde 2015 que guia visitas em corrida na Invicta enquanto revela algumas das suas mais fascinantes histórias.
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