Suggested visit duration:
1 Hour or less
Overall raiting based on Rewiews:
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round
São Bento railway station, known in Portuguese as Estação de São Bento, is quite often referred to as one of the most beautiful not only in Portugal but in the world. And the main station of the old city Porto truly deserves its title! It is located in the heart of the city, on Almeida Garret Square, so you will inevitably pass by.
The name was derived from the site on which the construction was erected - the Benedictine Convent of São Bento da Avé Maria dating back to the 16th century. The religious institution was demolished in 1892 and after long discussions, it was finally decided to build a central station there. Thus, the period from 1903 to 1916 was occupied by establishing the new premises. The responsibility for the design was given to architect José Marques da Silva. He was heavily influenced by the French Beaux-Arts style, which he incorporated into São Bento as well.
In 1916, the station was inaugurated and officially started working. Although the facade of the building is striking enough, the interior is what everybody usually strives for. Indeed, the architecture of the hall easily grabs your attention by its colors and especially by famous tile mosaics on the walls. These blue-and-white tile paintings are called azulejos and are very popular in Porto, being its trademark. Here, tourists are exposed to more than 20,000 tiles depicting the most important milestones in Portuguese history and transport, as well as country landscapes. From the walls. the recreations of Henry the Navigator's Conquest of Ceuta, Battle of Arcos de Valdevez, Egas Moniz before Alfonso VII of Castil, the wedding of important monarchs King John I and Philippa of Lancaster. The beautiful panoramas of vineyards and mills, honoring the natural beauty and richness of Portugal. The author of these breathtaking mosaics is Jorge Colaço, who was the master in tile painting. Actually, his work is what the railway station is most well-known for, so it's definitely worth seeing! From São Bento station you may want to catch a train on the Douro line and head for the famous and picturesque realms of Régua, Pinhão, and Pocinho.
So, if you are into elegant architectural interior designs showing the impeccable taste and giving the chance to dive into the history of Portugal, then come round to see the splendid entrance hall of São Bento railway station!
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