Oporto, City of
- Known as Porto in Portuguese, it is the second largest city after Lisbon and a major commercial-industrial center of northern Portugal, as well as the outlet of the port wine industry. The capital of Oporto district, it is also "capital of the north," in effect. The current population of the city is approximately 240,000, with that of Greater Oporto over 2 million. Oporto lies on the right (north) bank of the Douro River, about three kilometers (two miles) from its mouth. Its harbor is Leixões. Several bridges connect the city to the south bank, including the famous Eiffel Bridge, built in the 19th century by the A. Gustave Eiffel, builder of the Eiffel Tower of Paris. Among the notable historic buildings are many churches, a Gothic medieval cathedral, a bishop's palace, and the Tower of the Clérigos. There are also interesting museums and libraries. Oporto's economy has been dominated for three centuries by the port wine shippers and industry; the wine, in fact, is named after the city itself. In recent decades, however, the local economy has become diversified, and industry and manufacturing have begun to surpass port wine in importance.The city of Oporto, proud of its hard-working reputation and its preeminence, has an ancient rivalry with the capital, Lisbon. Since 1820, when the first liberal, constitutional movement burst forth in Oporto, the city has often anticipated Lisbon in supporting liberal political causes. Other cases occurred in the 19th century, including the January 1891 republican revolt at Oporto, and in the 20th century, Oporto's fervent support of the presidential candidacy of the ill-fated general Humberto Delgado in 1958. It is noteworthy, too, that one of the most enduring critics of the Estado Novo in its middle and late years (1940s-1960s) was a bishop of Oporto, who was exiled and penalized by the regime.Whether it is in soccer (futebol), liberal causes, hard work, or politics, Oporto and its inhabitants nurse a fierce local pride and claim superiority over Lisbon. In Portuguese tradition, Oporto residents are known as "tripe-eaters" (tripeiros), as opposed to Lisbon residents, known as "lettuce-eaters" (alfaçinhas). Despite Lisbon's dominance of the print media, starting in the 19th century, the city of Oporto has supported some of the country's more important daily newspapers.
Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. by Douglas L. Wheeler . 2014.
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