Cultural Destination

Conscious of the desolate time that has been experienced globally in the context of the pandemic that has had such a powerful effect on cultural output, we are currently witnessing the progressive and salutary dynamization of the sector, which is providing renewed energy that extends to the most diverse creative areas. With this in mind, we propose a one-day cultural tour of Porto, inviting you to discover a number of spaces united by a common purpose: to contribute to enhancing and expanding culture, the arts and the city’s architectural heritage.

Text: Joana Jervell


This route begins in the city centre, more precisely at 44 Rua dos Clérigos, where we find the Instituto. Occupying an old warehouse that was abandoned decades ago, it has gained new life and soul at the hands of the Porto architect Paulo Moreira, who conceived it, and where he set up his studio. As a gathering place for various forms of cultural expression, it is committed to an interdisciplinary programme that ranges from architecture to the visual and spatial arts, encouraging the creation of and research into new contemporary discourses.

Since opening, the Instituto has held talks, exhibitions, workshops, performances, photography sessions and artistic residences in its ample terrace and rooms. It has welcomed individuals and collective participants — domestic and international — from a number of different fields. Maintaining a relaxed and informal atmosphere, the Instituto is managed by the Tamanho Azul Association, which contributed to its creation and consolidation.

José Marques da Silva Foundation Institute

Carrying on to Praça Marquês do Pombal, a stop-off at the Marques da Silva Foundation Institute is a must. Currently housed in the studio of the famous and prolific Porto architect, it extends into the adjoining palace that once belonged to the family of José Marques da Silva’s future wife, Júlia Lopes Martins. Originally intended for the scientific, cultural and artistic promotion of his vast legacy, as well as the literary, artistic, architectural and urbanism collection of the architects Maria José Marques da Silva Martins and David Moreira da Silva, the Foundation is also home to other collections of undeniable value in respect of architecture and urbanism in both Porto and Portugal. The 25 architectural collections consist of works by such renowned figures as Fernando Távora, José Carlos Loureiro, Bartolomeu Costa Cabral, Alcino Soutinho, Raúl Hestnes Ferreira, Fernando Lanhas and Octávio Lixa Filgueiras. Mention should also be made of the Documentation Centre, which regularly organizes activities such as exhibitions, meetings and conferences as a means of sharing and promoting research into its archives.

Casa São Roque — Art Centre

The next stop brings us to Rua de São Roque da Lameira, where we find a magnificent bourgeois palace dating from 1759, when it formed part of the Quinta da Lameira.

Work on remodelling and expanding this building from 1900 to 1911 was entrusted to José Marques da Silva by Maria Virgínia de Castro and António Ramos Pinto (brother of Adriano and manager of the well-known Ramos Pinto wine company), while Jacinto de Matos was charged with designing the 19th-century garden. A true architectural and landscape treasure in the east of the city, Casa São Roque has since added new facilities to become an art centre that stands out due to its programme and its contemporary art collection. It was recently restored by the architect João Mendes Ribeiro, who retained its original eclectic style. One surprising and unmissable experience is to take a wander through its majestic interiors, which until 4 May will host the Libertarian Technician (Technicien libertaire) exhibition by the French artist Jean-Luc Moulène.


The final stop of the day is in Bonfim, with an obligatory visit to
M.Ou.Co., Porto’s newest cultural space. With its innovative and multidisciplinary concept, which also includes a hotel, the venue stands out mainly due to its musical component (but not only). Just a few months after it opened in September, many musicians and artists have performed in the 240m2 Sala M.Ou.Co., Porto’s new concert hall that can hold up to 300 people (standing). M.Ou.Co. also has three rehearsal studios, a music library and a space dedicated to ensuring the health of musicians, and seeks to combine, in an integrated manner, community, tourism and culture, using music as the unifying element. A gathering and sharing place par excellence, it is well worth keeping a close eye on its exciting artistic programme, which is updated every three months by Valter Lobo.

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