Clérigos, the Beacon of Porto
30 Aug, 2016, By Manuel A.
Like any other port, Porto has always had his lighthouses. Emerging by the coast, they used to safely guide the voyagers into the Douro River’s shelter. But centuries went by, technology advanced, and this old guiding flames burned out.
But Porto still has a sort of a ‘beacon’, a lightless but enormous one, planted right in the heart of the city, in its historic centre. I’m talking about the Clérigos Tower, part of the Clérigos church, built in 1763. Designed by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, this grand construction is perhaps the most recognizable landmark in town, being adopted by numerous brand images and logos in town, including the City Hall.
I’ve always had a deep fascination by this marvellous tower. One of this city’s tallest buildings – although nothing compared to the modern days’ skyscrapers – the Clérigos Tower has always had a big presence in my life: it always accompanied me walking down the Cedofeita street, going to school as a child. I also saw it amidst the mist every morning leaving for work. Even today it still is the first thing that captures my attention when I arrive in Porto, coming from the south in the highway or by train.
This tower truly is a beacon for the city, guiding its people to its heart.