Cordoaria's Garden is a lush garden in Porto, one of the most popular Portugal city for tourists. The official name of the garden is Jardim de Joao Chagas or, for locals, Jardim da Cordoaria. It can be found in the center of Porto, among quite a few other iconic locations, such as Clérigos Tower and Portuguese Center of Photography.
Garden manages to lure visitors in by rare flora along with specific architectural and sculptural style. During the medieval era, the garden's terrain was occupied by the bishop's ropery. The Portuguese word "corda", meaning "rope", gave the garden the local name of Cordoaria. In 1865, Viscount de Vilar d’Allen made the decision to convert the territory into the garden and the design was given to the German architect Emilio David, who previously constructed Crystal Palace Gardens. This resulted in the birth of a beautiful Romantic Jardim de Joao Chagas, a triangular-shaped park with the lake, alleys, and benches.
Cordoaria's Garden is home to many exotic plants and rare sorts like sequoias and Bunya pines. Some of them managed to survive all the way till nowadays! Like many historical landmarks, Cordoaria Garden had its piece of bad luck. In 1941, it was severely affected by cyclone which almost destroyed it. It has subsequent renovations, but it was in 2001 when the garden gained its present-day status. Due to the glorious event of the European Capital of Culture, it was rebuilt and filled with additional sculptures.
Speaking about sculptures - they are a really important part of Cordoaria! Here, you can find older examples, dedicated to the famous Portuguese people, for example, the writer Ramalho Ortigãoa or the poet António Nobre. There are also sculptures on classical motifs, such as the abduction of Ganymedes. However, one of the newer and possibly the most popular sculptures in the series by the author Juan Muñoz, "Thirteen laughing at each other". There are thirteen figures, scattered across the park, sitting on the benches and blending into the real visitors of the park. They are permanently laughing at each other and at others, although not in an insulting way, which makes the walks through the garden more amusing.
So, if you are into the long walks through the greenery, resting on the bench near the lake with a cup of coffee or maybe an eager people-watcher - don't miss your chance to step into the Cordoaria's Garden!
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